Ride the Seethawaka Odyssey | Sunday Observer

Ride the Seethawaka Odyssey

19 February, 2023

The Seethawaka Odyssey is the latest addition to the Odyssey Weekend Special train service. Like the Ella and Kandy Odyssey, the Seethawaka Odyssey provides an excellent opportunity for tourists to travel to the exotic locales of the Avisawella-Seethawaka region.

A Low-Country Dance Troupe performs a fire dance 

“Colombo District’s most scenic environment is in the Seethawaka Valley near the Kelani Valley. The site of the Seethwaka Kingdom has great historical value as well as many tourist attractions such as traditional martial art schools and archaeological sites, so it is important to encourage the people of Colombo and other places to visit this area.

New avenues for investment in the area’s tourist industry have also opened up,” Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, who spearheaded the project, said.


The Avisawella-Seethawaka tourist zone remains pretty much unexplored. The Colombo District’s eastern frontier is bounded by misty rolling hills and shares many physical features of the central highlands. Avissawella is a quiet provincial town with many attractions like Sri Lanka’s largest water park and the famous Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Garden. The region also has many picturesque waterfalls including the Ranmudu Ella, Kumari Ella, and Goraka Ella in addition to the Labbugama and Kalatuwawa Reservoirs.

The historically significant Kumari Ella is four metres tall and is fed by four creeks and is a tributary to the Kelani River but the waterfall has a deep plunge pool and is not suitable for swimming and bathing although there are many waterways in Seethawaka that are ideal for that sort of activity.


The Kalatuwawa Reservoir is a public work you can visit on this tour. The reservoir covers 320 acres and supplies water to the Colombo city and other areas in the district. The area around the reservoir is a forest reservation and is home to a number of indigenous birds.

The Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Garden spans 106 acres and was built to conserve trees and plants native to Sri Lanka’s low-country wet zone. The lower area of the botanical garden was built around a natural pond and the landscaping features simulate meadows and forests. The garden also provides activities such as paddleboats and a watchtower for bird-watching in addition to paths, a boardwalk and a cafeteria. The botanical garden is renowned among photography enthusiasts and is an excellent place for a family picnic.

The region is also rich with culture and is home to an Angampora School and traditional dances.

Luxury compartments

Like the Ella Odyssey and Kandy Odyssey, the Seethawaka Odyssey offers luxury and semi-luxury compartments with comfortable seating, ample luggage space, air-conditioning and entertainment among other options. The seat prices are Rs 800 for First Class, Rs 600 for Second Class and Rs 300 for Third class.

The Seethawaka Odyssey departs Colombo Fort Railway Station at 7:00 am every Sunday from February 26 with stops at major stations, reaching Waga Station at 9:35 am where you can take a shuttle bus service to various destinations in the region. The return train to Colombo departs Waga at 5:35 pm.

A family taking in the sights at the Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Garden

The Kalatuwawa reservoir

First class seating