A most iconic place in Ella Sri Lanka is a Bridge named nine arch bridge also known as the bridge in the sky. This is a masterpiece you can find when you travel to Sri Lanka. Totally man-made by bricks in early times.
Also, the name “nine arches” also has a wonderful story.
Location of nine arch bridge
On the railroad of Colombo to Badulla, nine arches can be found in between the railway stations Ella and Demodara. It is the most tourist attractive place in Ella. Because of the epic scenery as well as the hikes in the region like Ella rock and little Adams peak Ella area became a traveller hotspot.
About Nine Arches
This bridge has a height of about 80 feet and 300 feet in length and has a width of 25 feet. And also nine arch bridge is located 3100 feet up from the sea level. The engineer who was in charge of nine arches bridge construction was Harold Cuthbert Marwood However this bridge was built by the British in the colonial era and has many interesting stories and myths about this bridge. As a traveller, it is interesting to know these stories when you visiting this place.
When building the railway line from Colombo to Badulla, the bridge was initially planned to build by iron bars which were an import from England. However, the bridge that was imported from England was smaller than the expected and the construction of iron bridge was stopped. And also some rumours say that because of world war ii, shortage of iron is a reason to terminate the iron bar bridge.
However, the engineer in charge of this project decided to build this bridge with bricks and cement. So he gives the subcontract to local team including D.J Wimalasurendra. He was a great Sri Lankan engineer at that time to build nine arch bridge.
Most Famous Myth
The most famous story about the nine arches bridge is about the villager Appuhami. According to the story, he made the plan of the bridge. The Engineers are failed to build a plan for this area and work held up.
They met the villager Appuhami and after visiting the site, he has a great plan for the bridge. So the contractors decided to give him the contract to build the bridge. The villager Appuhami draw a plan for the bridge connecting Ella and Demodara with nine arches!
That is how the name nine arch bridge came. Finally, the bridge was totally finished and the bridge was handed over to the government. Hence the officers were afraid to drive the train over the bridge. They have a doubt about the persistence of the bridge. So the man Appuhami lay under the bridge saying drive the train on the bridge.
However, the nine arches bridge is still in good condition. As for today, it is the best tourist attraction place in the Ella area.