Nine Arch Bridge

Surrounded by the lush greenery of the hill country, the Demodara Nine Arch Bridge is not only an engineering marvel, but also a place of exquisite serenity likened to the countryside through which the Hogwarts express passes through in the Harry Potter world. The railway bridge, being one of the most notable engineering marvels in Sri Lanka serves as a testament to Sri Lankan engineering ingenuity.

Best Known For

Nature and Outdoors:

  • The spectacular lush green scenery, along with steaming trains passing by provides an idyllic setting to bring out the best views of the hill country.
  • The iconic bridge is also known for its engineering ingenuity being entirely built with rocks, bricks and cement without any sort of steel support.

Interesting Facts

  • The Nine Arch Bridge is locally known as ‘Ahas Namaye Palama’ meaning ‘nine skies bridge’ in Sinhala. The name derives from the visual experience. When you stand below the bridge and look up you can see the sky through the nine arches.
  • The railway bridge was built during the First World War and eventually completed in 1921 after undergoing many shortcomings as a result of the world war.
  • The ‘builder of the bridge’ has been debated by many, however, it is widely regarded that the builder was a Sri Lankan that went by the name of P. K. Appuhami, a native of the area.
  • The original structure of the bridge was supposed to be based on a steel frame in order to support the structure.
  • The outbreak of the First World War meant the steel that was supposed to be used for the bridge was transferred for war efforts which left it impossible for construction due to the uneven and marshy ground it was going to be constructed on.
  • However, a brave Appuhami believed that it could be done and eventually was given the task by the British.
  • Appuhami used such innovative and cost efficient methods that the bridge was built in a single year and at a fraction of the original cost.
  • The story goes that the British colonials initially doubted the structural integrity of the bridge, however, Appuhami proved them wrong by lying under the bridge when the first train passed over. The bridge yet to this day stands tall and magnificent a beacon of ingenuity and development.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The best time to visit the bridge is between the months of January and September when the weather is pleasant with the least amount of rainfall.
  • Passing trains is what brings many to visit the bridge since it gives an unforgettable experience and an indelible memory. However, it can get crowded with many tourists attempting to take photographs.
  • Study the train schedules beforehand in order to be better prepared and to avoid disappointment.
  • Looking for a hassle-free experience? Be a part of the many adventure tours which does all the research and organizes all the activities on your behalf.

All in all, the Nine Arch Bridge is a testament to engineering ingenuity and has become one of the most scenic places to witness the spectacular hill country of Sri Lanka.

Title image by: Jehan Gamalathge

Location info





Guided Tour


Nature and Outdoors

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