Every tourist must take the scenic train journey in Sri Lanka. It’s one excellent way to explore tea factories, tea plantations, waterfalls and other breathtaking sightings. Luckily for me, my departure point was Nuwara Eliya, and arrival point, Haputale. So, I got to enjoy the most phenomenal views en route. The train ride lasted for nearly three hours. However, the trip commenced at Nanu Oya Railway Station. Most of the station walls are draped, in contemporary beige; while it’s sporadic breaks overlayed with white doors and windows. Nanu Oya Railway Station is positioned in Nanu Oya Village, say, about 7 Km from Nuwara Eliya.
Some of Sri Lanka’s best photographs exhibit blue trains, Podi Menike and Udarata Menike express, moving along the flourishing green spectrum of Nanu Oya, until Badulla. Nanu Oya is the 63rd-station on the mainline. It was built, in 1885 as the end of the mainline connecting Hatton to Nanu Oya. In 1893, Nanu Oya railway line was prolonged to Bandarawela. In 1903 Nanu Oya station was announced, a junction after, Udupussallawa railway line was built. In 1948 Udapussellawa railway station was shut down, and the tracks were extracted.
Nanu Oya Railway Station is a small junction, with a compact ticket counter. Thus, it’s quite straightforward to obtain tickets, for different classes of service. A few stairs from here, take you to the platforms. There are only two platforms on the station. Each dotted with small, colourful plant holders. The first sign of the colonial era influence. The Nanu Oya Railway station is a fascinating place. It has endured urban development yet its historic building inspires stories. Besides, I was thoroughly-elated, by the idea of embarking an exciting adventure, in the next few minutes. The station was very quiet on this foggy afternoon. Friendly stray dogs were on regular parole. A few of the foreigners were walking, in and out of the appointed restroom. Some, in and out of the small station restaurant. While others, quietly waiting for the train. Shortly, two trains arrived. A blue one and a maroon one. I was booked on the maroon one, however, to capitalise on the moment, I quickly hopped the blue train to get a photo.
Soon after, the train rolled out in the acclivity. I was travelling 1st class reserved; in a packed compartment full of sweet and social passengers. I ended up chatting with quite a few people. And clean toilets! Usually, tourists are required to keep the windows close for the AC to work effectively. However, most travellers slide over the panes in a pursuit to observe uninterrupted panoramas. Because I had got myself a window seat, I too was, immersing in spectacular countryside beauty. Other times, I was accessing the open compartment-door to take iconic train photos. The train was plodding with exceptional scenery along the way.
This was the much-coveted, experience of my Sri Lanka vacation. It felt like touring a tea paradise at a leisurely pace. The landscape was as astounding as I had heard-about. Each turn – breathtaking! Undoubtedly, a trip to Srilanka would have been incomplete without this train ride. I covered Haputale Station to Bandarawela, in a rental car, however, you can hire a Tuk Tuk alternatively.
P.S. I visited Nanu Oya Railway Station and forth, as a guest of Sri Lanka Tourism Board, however, the views are my own.