Flying Ravana Adventures
By Sadira Sittampalam
We started our journey at around 10 p.m. and got straight onto the highway. It was my first time driving right until the end of the highway, which felt quite significant to me. It was a long and tedious drive, zooming past all the other cars that were on their journeys while feeling the harsh midday sun on my skin. When we finally got to the base of the mountain we were relieved at the change of scenery and pace as we looped through the curvy mountain roads. However, by the time we got to the hotel, slightly nauseous and dizzy, we were more than glad that we decided not to take the mountain route the entire way.
We decided to go to Ella to try out the Flying Ravana Mega Zipline, which is marketed as the longest zipline in South Asia, however, a quick Google search will have you know that the longest zipline in South Asia is actually in Pakistan. Nevertheless, Flying Ravana has a two-wire zip-line that stretches for more than half a kilometre and slides at around 80 kilometres per hour.
Flying Ravana also has several other activities for the adventure junkie in you with things like driving an ATV on a designated off-road area which covers various terrain types through the hills, slopes, tea fields, and jungles; abseiling down a huge boulder with views of the Ella rock and the Ravana waterfall; mountain biking through hills and slopes; air rifling and archery. They offer two or more of these activities in packages so that you can enjoy everything they have to offer.
To get to Flying Ravana you will have to walk around a kilometre to the landing site. You could also opt to get a tuk from the entrance. When we got there, we got a package for the mega zipline, archery, and a GoPro to film the zipline experience. They suited us up and gave us a quick overview of what not to do while checking on the safety of our equipment. Then they sent us off. It was exhilarating to be pushed off a ledge with nothing but a rope holding you to a long line but you quickly get over that when you see how gorgeous the views are from up there. My only complaint about this zipline is that I wanted more. They even have a discount for repeat rides though, so I guess it is a common complaint. They have a truck at the bottom of the zipline which then escorts you back up to the landing site.
We videoed the experience on the GoPro’s and while it doesn’t quite capture exactly how fast you are going, it is nice to see the scenery from up there. Once you finish with your zipline, they take the GoPros back and transfer the video onto your phone. Personally, I wouldn’t get the GoPro again as it wasn’t worth the price. I wish they would have some sort of facility where they could capture you on the zipline from ground view instead as that would make for better pictures.
We then went for our archery session, which was a little disappointing. There was a small practice session where our instructor ran us through the basics and then for the real session we were only given 20 shots each. It was pretty underwhelming as we didn’t really get a chance to have fun with it as I kept thinking about how many shots I had left.
In terms of safety and following health guidelines, they had everything under control. We had to wash our hands at the entrance and masks were strictly enforced everywhere except on the actual zipline itself. Once you get off the zipline, they remind you to put your mask back on again.
Overall, while the Mega Zipline is definitely something you will want to experience at least once in your life, I can’t say the same about their archery activity. However, the ATV drive and the mountain biking both offer 1-hour sessions, so perhaps that is a better option for the next time.