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Demodara Loop

A Marvel of Civil Engineering 

This Spiral Railway known as “the Loop” is well recognized as one of the fascinating civil engineering marvels of Ceylon .It was built by the British in the 20th century mainly for transporting tea from tea plantations in the Uva region to the buisness capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo.

One of the main sources of foreign exchange for Ceylon is tea production. The major tea cultivation areas are Badulla, Haputale and Bandarawela in the Uva province, Matara, Galle and Mulkirigala in the Southern Province, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya in the Central Province, Ratnapura and Kegalle in Sabaragamuwa Province. We can certainly believe that the Demodara Loop was a big factor in how Sri lanka became the worlds leading tea exporter in the year 1995.

Opened on the 5th of February in 1923,The loop is truly a beautiful sight to behold. Many famous express trains for example the “Podi Menike” and the “Udarata Menike” make stops here. This Railway Station is the third last on the “ Main Line”, the major railway line in the rail network of Sri Lanka.

During the construction of the Demodara railway track, Engineers and Surveyors found that the elevation on the hills was too steep for the track to negotiate from one side to another. With the maximum inclination allowed in the Ceylon Government Railway (CGR) being one foot per 44 feet (1/44), engineers and surveyors had the task of devising a truly innovative track design to navigate the hills.

According to folklore, this idea had been introduced by a farmer. His suggestion to the engineers a track designed in the way similar to how he tied his turban; Whether Mr. Devapura Jayasena Wimalasurendra, the engineer who is credited with coming up with the solution to this problem, took the farmers advice is not known, but Wimalasurendra went on to design a railway loop that winds around the mountain and through a tunnel that inclines to match the elevation of the hills.

This marvelous creation is considered to be the only loop in the world with a railway station situated exactly over a tunnel at a spiral loop. We recommend this is a must see in Ella! Don't miss this Spiral Ride.