Moragalla Tunnel

Moragalla Railway Tunnel or Lion's Mouth Tunnel is the second longest railway tunnel in Sri Lanka.[1]

Moragalla Tunnel
Official nameTunnel No. 9
Other name(s)Lion's Mouth (සිoහ කට)
LocationMoragolla, Sri Lanka
Coordinates7°15′19.5″N 80°30′7.8″E
RouteMain Line
Work begunJuly 1863
ConstructedF. W. Faviell
OpenedJuly 1866
OwnerSri Lanka Railways
Design engineerGuilford Lindsey Molesworth
Length334 m (1,096 ft)
Highest elevation400 m (1,300 ft)

The tunnel was designed by Sir Guilford Lindsey Molesworth, the first Director-General of Railways in Ceylon (1865–1871) and constructed by F. W. Faviell.[2] It is the last climb of the Kadugannawa Pass, and is considered to be one of the most dangerous and difficult construction projects along the railway line. The tunnel was bored from both ends meeting in the middle. Construction commenced from the Kandy end in July 1863 and the Colombo side in September 1863 and the works were completed on 22 March 1866,[3] with over 7,894 m3 (10,325 cu yd) of rock excavated. The tunnel is 334 m (1,096 ft) long and contains a double curve.[1][4]

The tunnel gains its name from the overhanging rock, immediately proceeding the tunnel on the Kadugannawa end, which appears to resemble the open mouth of a roaring lion.[5]


  1. Perera, G. F. (1925). The Ceylon Railway: The Story of Its Inception and Progress. The Ceylon Observer. p. 98.
  2. Ratnasinghe, Aryadasa (3 January 1999). "A historic journey in 1864". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  3. Souvenirs of Ceylon: a Series of 120 Illustrations of the Varied Coast, River and Mountain Scenery of the Beautiful 'Eden of the Eastern Wave'. National Library of the Netherlands. 1869. pp. 220–221.
  4. Ceylon. Commission, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago (1893). Official Handbook & Catalogue of the Ceylon Courts: With Map and Illustrations. H.C. Cottle. p. 83.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. "The entrance to tunnel called the Lion's Mouth going to Kandy". British Library. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
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