tv Doc Film - By Train across Sri Lanka Deutsche Welle September 23, 2017 9:15am-10:01am CEST
well as old as can be your eyes it makes. the loudest noises on long going to still come from the wind and the birds. from that brass ramón get cars park. in there what will change here after the blunders talk elections this burning question has already been answered on the and s. . probably nothing. that. anyone might it was made by you as millie. was devalued towards china when you read over four seasons was stories that mean they heard them in mexico and always with this you tell us about what you should check it out yourself
very it's of like getting such a scenic beauty you cannot get this type of beauty anywhere in the but. to. be at the pearl of the indian ocean or the teardrop in the sea both are true on sri lanka. the entire island nation including its capital colombo is caught up in an atmosphere of change. the civil war that lasted more than a quarter of a century ended in two thousand and nine at the beginning of two thousand and
fifteen the people of. lanka voted for more democracy in the form of a new president. the island formerly known as ceylon is an idyllic holiday destination for tourists it's best explored by train. a train journey here is always also a journey into the country's colonial past that much becomes clear before we start our journey at the central station in colombo fort in the heart of the city. we buy our tickets at a counter that has a nostalgic air they can then be checked by a friendly conductor. the station building was modeled on victoria station in manchester the traces of the british colonial rulers are everywhere.
the british ruled between seventeen ninety six and nine hundred forty eight things were different back then. the many problems we have now and i and problems. in time they are not into the will for their jobs. and there is no workshop people saw. they're doing the problem. we're in luck our train bound for by dula is waiting already. we set off a tough past eight. we're about to go on a train journey that's been described as one of the most picturesque in asia.
they will take us from colombo to ella in the highlands via candy a journey of around two hundred and seventy kilometers. a special trip on special tracks it was the island's first railway routes and it's still known as main line. in. the first fifty four kilometer stretch to amber is celebrating its hundred fiftieth birthday this year maybe that's where this train journey gets its charm and atmosphere it's a train journey that's always been significant to the people of sri lanka originally it was all transport of goods but they had to have many months yet
carried years as well very few by then just better but of course if they're feeling a very less very many in our country and yes they all live later guarded by greenpeace the going to see the sea the beach where sometime in life for them to go and see the sea beach they're cowed by pain group. we cross the colony. one of sri lanka's largest rivers and leave colombo behind. the entire trip costs between one euro fifty and third class and eight euros in first class. sri lankans a very proud of the railway. so. what did you think it was that i was putting. at that time you know no one expects
a long. time i've taken the train ever since i was little it feels good you can breathe fresh air and see many things out the window such as mountains rivers and lakes i like that. the train is better than the best you feel. three year. and the bus cost around twice as much there's even a television in first class. those who don't like that can travel in third class for less money and with a little bit of luck experience some live music. t.v. news. the
musician the shanta is actually a teacher but it's often the case in sri lanka that young well educated people don't find a suitable job. please help me please. make us our country fourth but as a country where. you. extend beyond i extend. that. i'm in. an effort to do. that and the meeting of the full. sir lanka is classed as a developing country. many people live by agriculture often fifty euros a month must suffice for an entire family that's not
a lot here either twenty percent of the children on malnourished. the gaps between town and country rich and poor a huge third class is correspondingly crowded some passengers aren't happy about the status quo at all. and i think that we want. you know what it's like in first class with the television. we want to have the same services and thirdly. we want improved comfort and greater security. dockside. the people are dissatisfied with their economic situation that caused president rajapaksa to be voted out at the last election. we're stopping in rumble khana is just a few minutes by took took to sri lanka's biggest tourist attraction. the
pinto whale an elephant often age. the daily bath in the maya or yellow river is a sensation. baby elephants and injured adults are nursed back to health here in pin a well known. this is a needle out on the far found the members he's now about sixty years old. brought. in one thousand nine hundred seventy five so in nineteen seventy five. this organization it started off with five baby elephants and he was brought here as
a baby now he's a very big one and he has fathered about five babies for us. right now. so and he said when. there are four baby elephant. making the tourists happy here at the moment they are bottle fed six times a day getting up to seven liters of milk the animals are clearly happy. some of them have been brought from the jungle some of them have been born in kenya the sikh elephants are separated there have become sick because of accidents like train accidents and sometimes fight with in the jungle so we keep them here to eat them and give them a good life. we start ascending the plateau an ox cart takes
twelve days for this laborious journey by train it's around nine hours. building the railway line took place under severe conditions many of the three thousand workers died of malaria and cholera. man line go through very rough country might go through the remains and georges and cuts cutting cutting than a feeling them in marrying one then. tunneling that are harder to go down on the from a number of other look. at other career tedious work in the back of the day i'm a constructor and the labor was not to cover it you and me had no me can i sit at home or in iraq no i'm not an organ or modern a moderate equipment for drilling. or name the director or by human labor. utah devika. however the soil that proved
so tiresome during the construction of the railway line harbors treasures to. there are lots of different gemstones in the ground. they adorn the crowns of monarchs and the jewelry of adored women as a result sri lanka has a long and lucrative tradition of goldsmith three these days it's mostly for tourists that brings in good money but goldsmith earns around two hundred euros a month gentz came into the limelight of human life because every game carries. a follow through here a certain disease this was in many cases many medications at the beginning even though now it does we've done a fashionable thing or in this one they. saw fires in many different
colors the design is also made in sri lanka. we're about to reach candy we traveled a hundred and thirty kilometers in three and a half hours. the climate is significantly more pleasant at five hundred meters. candy was once the capital of the single ladies kings and the epitome of single e.'s culture. the kings were able to defend their independence from the colonial powers for centuries here. the station
was opened as far back as eight hundred sixty seven. the blue water lily sri lanka's national flower is sold here it's often used as a sacrificial gifted buddhist temples. one of the most significant in the whole of sri lanka is sri dollar dhamaal igawa the temple of the sacred tooth. the most important buddhist relic in sri lanka is kept here the buddha's upper left coast bid a significant symbol of national pride. people come from all around the world to attend the daily services they donate and they pray.
the ninety minute puja starts at half past nine the word means something like worship and is an important ritual in every day buddhist life. according to legend the sacred tooth is said to store the buddhist spiritual strength this belief also turned this religious relic into a political instrument of power for the single these pills. by the danny how that three long ago it was ruled by kings with me. in death there were seven royal drooling periods thing going to go on landed on you in these in the in eighteen fifteen the british conquered candy and with it the temple of the sacred
tooth with the as an important symbol of power and stray lanka for the on. budget you have been is it. patiently waiting outside the chamber where the relic is housed. visitors only get to see a container the tooth isn't on display it's said to be housed in an ivory capsule which is in turn encased in six further containers. it's thanks to the temple that candy is on unesco's list of world heritage sites the. a further spectacle worth watching right next to the temple in the late afternoon serato new batters box otherwise known as flying foxes are getting comfortable. with. the law and. order. candy is also known for its
dance performances these men and women are just getting ready for one the tradition dates back to the time of the last kings of candy. and is. this dance troupe has performed since one nine hundred thirty two in the past the dance was for the entertainment of the king. if the king was sick the dance was used to cure him we even had healing festivals. today the dances a mostly for the tourists. why do you know what comes from a long line of dances the dancing tradition is passed on from generation to generation. the training is
tough and starts every day of five in the morning performances take place all year round with very little time off. the performances consist of up to eleven different items. balancing these discs is called the rub on don it's. the performance last spring about an hour. we've left candy behind. the mountain landscape has some visual treats in store for us other treats await us
on the train. may sell small snacks in the carriages. and. he's done this for many years it provides a living for his family and. he has three children. so that was what i'd prepare the food at home and bring into the training and all who said you know you're letting me. down about often doing this for twenty years to get that money vod it is a small snack among if you take two or three basis points i make a living doing this but i let my regulars like my p.o.v. do it again and that's why i always bring freshly baked goods you know i have a permit and i'm allowed to sell it on the train that's going to. the side of the house like. the passengers like it to we're gradually getting used to the gentle
with wages at just fifty euros a month manual labor is no luxury and it's cheap compared to purchasing a loom the women get to pick the colors. that's no overhead making we tend to use strong bright colors in a day you can relieve a serang that's around two metres long. the thread is spun on the spindle they've made themselves. the thin yarn of the sarong is very water absorbent it's made of cotton and very pleasant on the skin silk is less practical in the mountains when it rains a lot a cotton sarong is better.
we're apparently really lucky with the weather today we're told on the train that there hasn't been a single day without rain up here in two and a half years. the british originally built the railway line to transport tea from the mountains to the port of colombo at first he was merely a substitute. the coffee which had been affected by a fungus coffee rust. the british recruited highland tunnels from southern india as cheap labor.
to this day tea is harvested on the unimaginably large area of two thousand two hundred and ten square kilometers a safe job for many. americans obviously work on the plantations picking tea leaves. we thank our president for that and it's good work. and. the income from the tea plantation made the fullness alone the favorite colony of the british in those days the tea pick is only got rice as wages today they get a bit more than three euros a day working from sunrise to sunset but that's not something they like to talk about.
this is where the famous comes from. we're in one of the countless t. factories and wear proudly told what makes it special. young tend to leave maybe the better portion of the leaf and the gold stocks and make you at least can be the substandard mighty view where you have this chemical compound bad the young ladies can say they had the better quality and the flavor by then the alchemic a couple of the caffeine anyway i see well if you know or and some aromatics and essential oil rich when they leave the. one hundred people work in the helper t. factory which is around one hundred years old after the tea leaves are dried they're broken up by being rolled and shaken.
after that the fermentation dried. the next step is to sort the t.p.i. size. sri lanka is one of the world's biggest exporters during the founding years the construction of the railway line how to keep up with the opening of new t. plantations in the highlands. the railway has long since lost the significance it had in those days. best bang for the mainland was. during the fame of the british endeavor. transporting the produce and the d.'s being produced or there with it in your good grounds for knocked up fallen off the he'd been transported by tram good.
these days only around one percent of goods are transported by rail. mr yarmulke has made sure for the past thirty three years that everything runs smoothly. i'm a fag on the i'm the senior conduct on the train during the whole trip. which makes me responsible for the lives of the passengers that i found and for the railway problem to be there with alex out for everything that happens on the way. i'm going on in the back like. a token is just being handed over it's in this brass ring covered in leather it ensure safety on the single track route and has done since nine hundred one. is making the love when i
pass on the token the train driver has the permission to travel to the next station . i have to ring four times to get this token economy. and that's how they know when the next station that a train is coming. that. they ring four times in response and block that token. that unlocks my token i can get it out and give it to the next train which can then travel safely to the next station. yes. the token is unlocked and given to the train driver on the next train.
unfortunately there are no longer any train tracks from the new oil station to the famous hill station of new water. the writer herman hesse of steppenwolf fame had an enjoyable stay here in one thousand nine hundred eleven it's pleasantly fresh at a height of one thousand eight hundred metres. the british called the small town little england and indeed we can picture miss marple posting a letter here time seems to have stood still since eight hundred seventy six in the time honored hill club in those days the plantation owners relaxed here over a game of billiards. the laundry might be drawing that today but in those days that's where the colonial rulers watched horse races everything was to be like
a home away from home it's rare for horse races to take place here these days. and. things follow a slower pace on the race tracks these days. another relic from the british period treeline because most sophisticated golf club. actually this was started by the british planters. and they kept on looking after it very easy it was not mainly for commercial activity to maintain leg a mere members club because the because it was maintained like a member of the club it was not so much in the oriented people said leaving this
place so it's more than the tourists is actually the members who used to come to the baby and also to play golf and he say the survey was i mean immediate and also the people around this place they start loving this place. visitors need temporary club membership to play the eighteen hole course the club has shapes the life of a sri lanka's highest town for the past one hundred and twenty five years entire families used to live here even children would born on club premises. for the many white gentlemen lived on the plantations back then. they came here to pass their time. when i was between ten and fifteen i worked for them as a candidate and was allowed to play. that's how i started in one thousand nine hundred eighty one i became free golf champion of sri lanka.
we're back at nine zero station we'll listen to the music of clarence of a governor this real lankan king of pop now long dead. a change of vehicle we participate in an inspection on a trolley. of course the token is a must on this trip to maintaining the railway is quite elaborate work in sri lanka particularly up here in the mountains. i generally help the senior railway staff in their monitoring work. rather than.
the trolley is used for maintenance. and if there's been a direct helmand or a landslide it takes railway staff to the city. the heavy rainfall during the wet season causes a lot of damage to the track then it has to be fixed. we visit a british manor house at a slightly higher altitude it houses a monastery these days sent benedict's father michael has run it for twenty two years he runs the school for the novices and takes care of the property to.
the fruit being chopped up here ready to make jam it's called an elephant apple or wood apple. or the nose of the house in the beginning. and. so this. started in the beginning but later we developed into deeper and. continuing what we started in the beginning. for almost fifty years now a longstanding tradition. lunches being prepared at the same time the fruits are also used as medicine before
they ripen sixty year old chandra is a master of his field he has stirred and stirred and stirred ever since he was thirteen. but if i take the jam off the fiat the right time it will last for years you can keep it for up to six years there's a big demand for it the spike the large quantity i make there's nothing left over. to do and gamble. it's the gems consistency that determines the right time here to everything's done by hand chandra produces up to a thousand jars every season.
the train heads into the mountains on the main line twice a day. unfortunately the weather is becoming increasingly british. and. the total length of sri lanka's rail network is around fifteen hundred kilometers the gauge is wider than the regular standard gauge. piece of your good greenery. these three thousand six hundred seventy six and made me dizzy gauge all five feet
six inches in feet any chance you know one of the broad getting away if i said that the idea that you can walk around quarter would be. broadest against gardening and green morning. so that they had delayed that particular. rod good hearing your last year on india or your time bangladesh. it's ideal for transporting t. . the token is ready. the next station is potty pola. at one thousand eight hundred ninety one meets has its ruling because highest station time has a different dimension. they
were game of the employees have to expect a number of difficulties up here roads can wash away it can rain but it was a good hour at the water sometimes we have jus frost in the morning and saw animals get in the way of the train such as the sri lankan time go wild boar or did some us . they can cause problems. that. we haven't seen any animals and it's no surprise in this weather but at last we reach the highlight of our trip quite literally. there is thousand eight hundred eighty one me tonight here at that airless i mean people are really supposed to be a guinness world records you do you want to join my girls book. of records.
facts and figures of really read you did you are now the highest point reached on a broad gauge raillery. it's also quite inhospitable. with two hundred and twenty four kilometers from colombo now. the further away we are from the islands capital the fewer passengers there are on the train. towards the afternoon our limbs become tired we notice the altitude we deserve a bit of relaxation. the region around ella is known for its facilities the
hardworking tea pickers can only dream of visiting them. you have to bring some time with you when you come here a relaxing ayurvedic masange takes eighty minutes. he says it's a special massage all one hundred and seven vital spots. we get on. making that improves blood flow. which influences the organs. and. when started i go. it gives you a lot of energy. but then i like to have leisure and.
the indian art of healing has a long standing tradition on sri lanka to. the holistic approach of io veda and a calming view of nature. the steam bath with healing herds is also good for relaxation it reduces cholesterol levels cuts weight and cleanses the skin. it's paradise. we are completely relaxed on our final leg to ella.
this stretch is definitely one of the most attractive in the whole of asia that's why it's best to think about its future. for the. mainline for the better known as a great great. as you can be and by that it could be handed over to the us. my can as a day to day and day and then again add up throughout history but. i am saying i don't say that it should be father. just look i think it could be me and dan rather than to. limit his but it. was a good idea because that would secure the continued existence of the main line allowing travel as from all over to discover a new world in just nine i was. hooked
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