Seethawaka odyssey – the new tourist train in Sri Lanka

Beautiful train rides

When you were doing your homework about your next trip to Sri Lanka, I’m sure you got so many articles about Sigiriya, Kandy, Ella, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna, Galle, and so many more destinations in Sri Lanka to visit. But there’s a slim chance that you’ve heard of Seethawaka. So let’s hop on the Seethawaka Odyssey to find out more about this lesser-known piece of paradise in Sri Lanka.

What is the Seethawaka Odyssey?

The Seethawaka Odyssey is the new tourist train that started based on the concept of the Ella Odyssey to promote tourists to visit the beautiful Seethawakapura (aka Avissawella), which is a region that is situated very close to Colombo.

You won’t be expecting to see this much greenery, waterfalls, botanical gardens, and reservoirs right on the outskirts of busy and noisy Colombo.

By the way, if you missed the article on “Ella Odyssey: The Sri Lankan Hogwarts Express,” you can read it here.

Seethawaka Odyssey offers a full-day travel package that allows you to leave from Colombo in the morning on the Seethawaka Odyssey train, board a tourist bus that is waiting for you in Seethawaka (Waga station), visit all the attractions, take in an interesting cultural event at the end of the day, and then depart from Seethawaka for Colombo in the evening on the same Seethawaka Odyssey train.

And the best thing is that almost all the places (except for one) that you visit during this excursion are free if you buy the Seethawaka Odyssey package. The exception here is the Botanical gardens, for which you’ll have to buy tickets. But that’s the only place where you will have to buy an extra ticket. Now that’s a pretty good deal. Isn’t it?

Seethawaka Odyssey - Beautiful scenery- Seethawaka Botanical Garden
Photo credits: Sanoja Darshani Photography

The timetable of Seethawaka Odyssey train

The Seethawaka Odyssey starts its journey from Colombo Fort Station every Sunday at 7:15 a.m., towards Avissawella.


Reach at

Leave at

Colombo fort


07:15 am


07:20 am

07:21 am


07:25 am

07:26 am

Cotta road

07:30 am

07:31 am


07:37 am

07:38 am


07:45 am

07:46 am


07:58 am

07:59 am


08:10 am

08:11 am


08:13 am

08:14 am


08:24 am

08:25 am


08:34 am

08:35 am


08:45 am

08:46 am


09:02 am

09:07 am


09:17 am

09:18 am


09:35 am

Seethawaka Odyssey - Beautiful scenery- Seethawaka Botanical Garden
Photo credits: Sanoja Darshani Photography

The reverse journey starts at 5:25 p.m. from Awissawella every Sunday.


Reach at

Leave at



05:25 pm


05:32 pm

05:37 pm


05:50 pm

05:55 pm


06:05 pm

06:14 pm


06:30 pm

06:31 pm


06:44 pm

06:45 pm


06:57 pm

06:58 pm


07:08 pm

07:09 pm


07:11 pm

07:12 pm


07:22 pm

07:23 pm


07:34 pm

07:35 pm


07:42 pm

07:43 pm


07:47 pm

07:48 pm

Cotta road

07:52 pm

07:53 pm


07:57 pm

07:58 pm

Colombo fort

08:03 pm


Places to see and how to get there

Beautiful Scenary - Seethawaka odyssey
Photo credits: Sanoja Darshani Photography

Wak Oya 

Time: from 10:00 am to 10:45 am

No extra fees

Labugama reservoir and Kalatuwawa reservoir

Time: from 11:10 am to 11:50 am

No extra fees

Ran Mudu Ella

Time: from 12:15 pm to 12:45 pm

No extra fees

Kumari Ella

Time: from 02:00 pm to 02:45 pm

No extra fees

Seethawaka wet zone botanical garden

Time: from 03:00 to 04:45 pm

Need to buy tickets at the entrance

Seethawaka Odyssey - Beautiful scenery- Seethawaka Botanical Garden
Photo credits: Sanoja Darshani Photography

Local tickets

Tourist ticket


Rs 100.00

Rs 2000.00 (5 USD)

(The price in USD is subject to change depending on the currency exchange rate at the time of reading. You can check the current price in USD using this calculator.)

Kids (below 12 years) 

Rs 20.00

Senior citizens 

Rs 20.00

Cultural event

Time from: 05:00 pm to 05:30 pm

No extra fees

How to get tickets?

Seats for Seethawaka Odyssey need to be reserved beforehand.

Seat reservation fares for The Seethawaka Odyssey are as follows.


One-way ticket

Return ticket

1st Class (88 seats)

Rs 500.00

Rs 800.00

2nd Class (88 seats)

Rs 300.00

Rs 500.00

3rd Class (66 seats)

Rs 200.00

Rs 350.00

Seethawaka Odyssey - Beautiful scenery- Seethawaka Botanical Garden
Photo credits: Sanoja Darshani Photography

Travelers who wish to visit the attractions in Seethawaka will be directed to special tourist buses from Waga station. The excursion will start at the Waga Station, visit all the attractions, and reach Puwakpitiya station in time for the Seethawaka Odyssey’s return from Avissawella to Colombo Fort. The seat reservation fares for buses on this excursion are as follows:

Type of package



Rs 630.00

Normal (Non A/C)

Rs 430.00

Tickets can be booked through the following methods:

  • By visiting
  • Through Sri Lanka Railways Reservation Mobile App
  • By calling 365 by a Mobitel number
  • By calling 1265 by an SLT land phone
  • Or by visiting any railway station in this link which has seat reservation facility
  • Don’t forget to print your tickets if you booked seats online. You can print your ticket from any Mobitel arcade (which you can find in any town; it’s very easy to find one anywhere in the country) or from one of the above stations in the link.
Seethawaka Odyssey - Beautiful scenery- Seethawaka Botanical Garden
Photo credits: Sanoja Darshani Photography

Some trivia about Seethawaka

Seethawaka is one of Sri Lanka’s Ancient Kingdoms…

Seethawaka Kingdom, which originated in 1521 as a separate division from the Kingdom of Kotte, showed impressive resistance to the Portuguese colonization of Sri Lanka at that time.

Starting as a rather small territory, Seethawaka became one of the biggest power fortresses under the rule of King Rajasinghe Ⅰ and appeared as the main rival to the Kingdom of Kandy.

The remarkable history of the Seethwaka kingdom abruptly came to an end after King Rajasinghe‘s death in 1593 and the devastating defeat by the Kandyan kingdom the same year.

Yet, the ruins of its former glory can still be seen today as monuments to recall a time when Sri Lanka saw a significant transformation, largely as a result of the Portuguese, who were attempting to settle in their newly discovered cinnamon paradise.

Anuradhapura - Ancient Kingdoms in Sri Lanka
Unlike other Ancient Kingdoms in Sri Lanka like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the Seethawaka kingdom has a little amount of preserved ruins. - Photo by Isuru Ranasinha on Unsplash

King Seethawaka Rajasinghe and the Bamboo spike that killed him…

King Mayadunne’s son, Prince Tikiri Bandara, succeeded to the throne as King Rajasinghe I in 1581 after the death of his father.

When he overthrew the Kandyan Kingdom in 1582, his popularity, which had already grown as a result of his win over the Portuguese in the fight of Mulleriyawa, soared as people looked to him as their last hope against the expanding Portuguese influence in the nation.

As his power grew bigger and bigger, King Rajasinghe’s fear of losing power also grew bigger and bigger.

He was very suspicious about treason in his courthouse, and many nobles were executed. When the King discovered that some Buddhist monks had relations with the Portuguese, he became ruthless towards the Buddhist monks, destroyed temples, handed over Sri Pada to Hindu priests, and converted to Hinduism himself. 

The king’s impulsive actions caused him to lose popularity, and at that point, King Vimaladharmasuriya, who had the assistance of the Portuguese and the Buddhist monks who were escaping the Seethawaka kingdom, came to power in the Kandyan Kingdom.

Kandyan Kingdom was a major rival to the power of Seethawaka Kingdom aka Seethawakapura - The destination of Seethawaka Odyssey
Kandyan Kingdom was a major rival to the power of Seethawaka Kingdom, aka Seethawakapura, the destination of the Seethawaka Odyssey. - Photo by Pix Ninty Four on Unsplash

In 1593, King Vimaladharmasuriya successfully defeated King Rajasinghe at Balane and Mawela and once again reinstated Kandy as an independent kingdom.

According to legend, while defeated King Rajasinghe was returning from the battles in Balana and Mawela to his kingdom in Seethawaka, he stepped on a bamboo spike in Pethangoda, and a person named “Dompe Ganithaya” cursed the wound, and the King died as a result. 

As much as I enjoy the element of mystery in that tale, today it is thought that the king’s demise was likely caused by tetanus or another infection that deteriorated the king’s health.

These are just a few of the fascinating facts about Seethawaka. I just wanted to give you an idea of how Seethawaka came to be, as well as some important historical events and historical figures in Seethawaka, because it is less well-known than its rival at the time, Kandy. 

And I sincerely hope I could make you more interested in exploring Seethawakapura on your next trip to Sri Lanka.

I’ll meet you with another “Letter” from Ceylon. Until then… 

නැවත හමුවෙමු😉 (Newatha hamuwemu = Let’s meet again)


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