Idalgashinna Railway Station: A Picturesque Gem in the Sri Lankan Wilderness 

Nestled between Haputale and Ohiya railway stations, Idalgashinna Railway Station is a hidden gem that captures the hearts of those who venture into Sri Lanka’s upcountry region. Dating back to the colonial era, this charming station was constructed in 1893 as part of the extension of the railway track from Nanu Oya to Haputale. Today, it is hailed as one of the most picturesque railway stations in the country, offering breathtaking views and a glimpse into the island’s rich railway heritage.

As you approach Idalgashinna Station, the first thing that catches your eye is the magnificent pine-forest covered hill that towers behind it. The station itself is small, with just a single platform, adding to its rustic charm. You’ll be greeted by endless green hills stretching as far as the eye can see, punctuated by a few scattered buildings peeking through the lush foliage.

To fully appreciate the station’s beauty, it’s best to visit in the morning, especially during sunrise when the surrounding landscape is bathed in golden hues. However, even in the later afternoon and evenings, when a thick mist envelops the station, there is a magical ambiance as the mist rolls in, covering everything in a blanket of white.

The station is also known for offering breathtaking panoramic views, allowing you to gaze all the way to the South Seas on clear days. It is even said that the light from the Dondra Lighthouse can be spotted from the station at night. You will also be able to witness a unique characteristic where rainwater falling on its roof feeds into the Mahaweli River on one side and the Walawe River on the other, showcasing the intricate relationship between nature and infrastructure.

A scenic walking trail awaits, for adventurous souls, stretching from Idalgashinna Station to Ohiya Station. This 8-kilometer trail runs along the railway track, offering breathtaking views of forest-covered hills, deep valleys, and the 14 tunnels that lie between the two stations. Walking through these tunnels creates an eerie yet thrilling experience, as you venture into the darkness, surrounded by the sounds of your own footsteps echoing against the tunnel walls.

You’ll often find yourself in complete isolation, surrounded only by acres of pine trees and eucalyptus forests that add to its ethereal appeal. If you feel the need to rest and enjoy a hot cup of tea, keep an eye out for small roadside shops, where you can indulge in a refreshing break amidst the natural beauty. I would say, if in Idalgashinna, this trail is something you should definitely explore.

Many say the best way to reach idalgashinna is by train, as it allows you to soak in the breathtaking scenery along the journey, compared to going by vehicle on hidden roads. It is recommended that you start your trip early in the morning to catch the hill country trains from Colombo Fort railway station, and by around 2:00 pm, you’ll arrive at this picturesque station. If you are looking to get back to Colombo, be sure to check the train timings in advance, as the last train usually departs from Idalgashinna in the evening.

Idalgashinna Railway Station is more than just a stop along a train route; it is a gateway to adventure and natural wonders. From hiking through scenic trails to witnessing the untouched beauty of the upcountry region, this station offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking to connect with the enchanting landscapes of Sri Lanka.

As you explore this remote village and its railway station, you’ll feel a sense of wonder and nostalgia, transported to a bygone era amidst the untouched wilderness. Idalgashinna Railway Station truly captures the essence of Sri Lanka’s upcountry region and promises to leave you with beautiful memories etched in your heart.