Demodara, with its cool climate, pristine waterfalls (Dunhinda and Ravana), springs and mountains dotted with tea bushes is a picturesque town situated in the Badulla District and it is famous for its railway station, an ingenious construction by a Sri Lankan.

wimalasundara_1It is a wonder and source of pride that a seemingly complicated construction was masterfully handled by none other than the famous engineer D. J.
Wimalasurendra. Local legend says of the perplexity faced by an Englishman whilst surveying the terrain, his inability to offer a plausible solution to the problem of continuing the rail track pass the rock in Demodara. He was on the verge of giving up, when a local herdsman demonstrated the manner in which a turban was tied around his head and said the railway could be built likewise.

Wimalasurendra implemented that concept in building the station and the rail track much to the surprise of the foreigner, who committed suicide out of shame.

That was related by the second in command at the Demodara Railway Station,who in turn showed us his replica of the Demodara Railway site describing the layout in detail. Our planter friend, the Assistant Superintendent at The Demodara estate took us on a 1.5 km walk along the tracks, which we did with a spring in our step and adventure on our minds.

Hooting in the tunnel and scaring each other were part of the fun.Thereafter, we came upon the ‘Kalu Palama,’ the wrought iron bridge aptly named wimalasundara_3for its colour and proceeded to find a good vantage point to see the train.

A few minutes passed before the train came at full speed before disappearing through the tunnel and up the incline to the station which is situated atop the tunnel.

Some of us who were affected by the walk on the rail tracks found it hard to conceive that the railway station was actually much closer by the road adjoining the tunnel than the circuitous walk along the tracks, but it was worth the effort as we got to see the path taken by
the ‘Yakada Yaka.’

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About Rochelle Gunaratne

I believe that everyone has a story to tell and in turn, I love listening to those stories, attempting to paint a picture to my readers with my words. I may not be an artist or painter, but I believe words can create powerful images in ones mind and it is how we share our stories with others.
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