Demodara Railway Loop


Discover the breathtaking Demodara Loop, a one-of-a-kind spiral railway adventure in Sri Lanka. Explore its history, engineering marvels, and scenic beauty. Plan your visit today!. If you ever find yourself in the mesmerizing Ooduwaare Estate, take a moment to witness the spectacle of the Demodara Loop—a railway engineering marvel that transcends the ordinary. Perched 912.5m above sea level and just 8km away from Badulla town, this loop offers a bird's eye view of a train gracefully navigating around a hill and looping back. Let's delve into the unique charm of the Demodara Loop, where engineering meets folklore.

"The Demodara Loop is a testament to human creativity. The way the train navigates the hill is like a well-choreographed performance. Unforgettable"

James Rodriguez
The Origin Story: Inspired Turbans and Spirals

The Demodara Loop, often referred to as the Demodara tunnel and railway entrance, was born in 1923 with a singular side platform. The spiral loop, where the rail line cunningly circles beneath itself, emerges from a tunnel precisely below the Demodara train station. Legend has it that the idea was sparked by observing a tea estate supervisor unfastening and retieing his turban.

Demodara Railway Loop
Demodara Railway Loop


A Spiral Symphony: Engineering Marvels

Situated in Demodara, this spiral railway loop stands as a testament to cutting-edge civil engineering. The railway line winds beneath itself, slithers around the mountain, and reappears from a tunnel beneath the Demodara Railway Station. Uniquely, it is hailed as the only one of its kind globally. Embarking on a trek along the loop provides an unparalleled opportunity to witness this engineering wonder and capture the surrounding beauty. Ensure you check the train schedule before planning your trek.

Demodara's Steep Challenge: Engineering the Impossible

In the 20th century, the steep hills of Demodara posed a formidable challenge for laying down the rail line. To overcome this obstacle, a 441-feet long spiral loop was ingeniously constructed. Beyond the engineering feat, Demodara Loop and its lush surroundings offer a sight to behold. Experience the charm by taking a train ride, especially from Ella to Demodara.

Historical Threads: British Legacy and Hydro-Electric Vision

Sri Lanka, once a crown colony of the British Kingdom, boasts a railway network laid down by the British administration. Demodara Loop, en-route to Badulla, is a masterpiece conceived by Mr. D. J. Wimalasurendra, the father of hydro-electric power in Sri Lanka. This visionary engineer's concept of a winding railway loop winding around mountains and through tunnels was brought to life. The inspiration behind this loop is said to be a local farmer's suggestion, mirroring the way his turban was tied.


Exploring the Loop: Tips for Travelers

If you're traveling from Ella, reaching the Nine Arches Bridge is a convenient tuk-tuk ride or a scenic two-kilometer hike through tunnels along the railway tracks. Numerous vantage points offer stunning photo opportunities, including a small eatery. From the bridge, consider a 6 km hike or a tuk-tuk ride to Demodara station, where you can walk the loop. Notably, this loop is the only one globally featuring a tunnel directly beneath the station.

Getting Up Close: Safety First

Whether you arrive by car, tuk-tuk, or train, a short downhill walk from the platform leads you to the tracks. Prioritize safety by checking the train schedule for both locations, considering there's only one track but several tunnels. A model of the loop is available at the Demodara Railway Station, where the station master is eager to explain the concept.

The Journey Continues: Beyond Demodara Station

As the railway line passes the Demodara station, it traverses the loop, offering picturesque views. Easily obtain directions to the viewpoint for a more immersive experience.

Conservation Efforts and Future Prospects

Preserving the heritage of the Nine Arches Bridge is crucial for future generations. Conservation efforts have been initiated to maintain the bridge's structural integrity while ensuring its continued role as a cultural and historical landmark. As tourism flourishes in Ella, the bridge stands as a beacon, inviting more admirers and fostering a deeper appreciation for Sri Lanka's rich history.


Demodara Loop, with its fascinating history, engineering brilliance, and scenic allure, stands as a testament to human ingenuity. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, this spiral railway adventure is bound to leave an indelible mark.



Is Demodara Loop open to the public?

Yes, Demodara Loop is open for public exploration. Plan your visit and marvel at this unique engineering wonder.

How can I reach Demodara Loop from Ella?

Traveling from Ella, you can take a tuk-tuk ride or enjoy a scenic hike to the Nine Arches Bridge and proceed to Demodara station.

Are there safety precautions for visitors?

Absolutely. Ensure you check the train schedule, stay on designated paths, and follow safety guidelines for a secure visit.

Is there a guided tour available at Demodara Railway Station?

While there might not be official guided tours, the station master is happy to explain the loop's concept to curious visitors.

Can I take photographs at Demodara Loop?

Yes, photography enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to capture the beauty of the loop and its surroundings.

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