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Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka means “city on the plain” or “city of light” and is a town in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is one of the most important tea-producing areas in the world. Pidurutalagala, the highest mountain in Sri Lanka, oversees this beautiful town. It is the most visited hill country. This genteel highland neighbourhood is often referred to as ‘Little England,’ with its colonial-era bungalows, Tudor-style Nuwara Eliya hotels, well-tended hedgerows, and lush gardens, it has a rose-tinted, distinctly British-country-village look. Yes, for the hard-working and hard-drinking English and Scottish founders of Sri Lanka’s tea industry, Nuwara Eliya was once the preferred cool-climate escape.
An artificially created area, even the festivals here are believed not to be focused on religious values but planned activities. This city’s most impressive celebration is the Sinhalese New Year held in April with races, public presentations by school children, and flower displays marking the event. It has a mixed community of Christians, Muslims, and Tamils celebrating their respective festivals such as Christmas, Mahashivratri, and Ramzan. You would love to eat food just as it is served on a lotus leaf at Nuwara Eliya.
Location: North Matale District
Nearest Airport: Colombo
How to reach: by air/road
Famous for: Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Best time to visit: June to September
WHAT TO SEE
Hakgala Garden, Tea Estates
Seetha Amman Temple
Horton Plains National Park
It is said that Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka was created by a couple of British officers who simply got lost while hunting for elephants. The British Governor Sir Edward Barnes was informed of the city, and he chose to live at Nuwara Eliya and then establish an internationally renowned health resort. The area eventually became the prime destination for English pastimes like golf, fox hunting, polo, etc. Nuwara Eliya also has archaeological importance in which remains of ancient human beings are found. The city is a strong representation of the colonial period, even furnishing new Nuwara Eliya hotels according to the colonial era.
With department stores, fast food chains, Nuwara Eliya is now a new, busy area. But, the farther away you’re from the bustling city, the further you’re going to replay the past. Tourists can consider a range of leisure activities to do in this beautiful area. Nuwara Eliya is considered to have the best 18-hole golf course in Asia and that’s not all, horse-riding, boating, bird watching, and hiking are just a few of the other enjoyable things you can do.
Places of Interest:
Hakgala Garden: It is believed that the Hakgala Botanical Gardens are the best botanical gardens in the world. Stop at the green gates on the path to Badulla and explore the perfectly manicured gardens filled with roses and orchids and other plant species.
Tea Estates: Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka is home to hundreds of acres of tea plantations and there are plenty of tea factories to visit in the city. A little farther from the town is St. Clair’s Falls, one of Sri Lanka’s most comprehensive falls and surely worth a visit.
Seetha Amman Temple: Seetha Eliya is a village on the road to Badulla where the Seetha Kovil (Hanuman Kovil) is located and is built. The Temple is said to be built where Seeta, wife of Rama, was concealed by King Ravana.
Victoria Park: The main park in Nuwara Eliya is called Victoria Park, in memory of the 60th Jubilee Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1897. The park extends over 27 acres of land and is replete with international trees and flowers. It’s the best spot to take a nice fresh stroll. Children will enjoy a little train with a park too. Many native birds swarm the trees at peaceful hours, and birdwatchers come to see them.
Horton Plains National Park: The Horton Plains National Park, which includes World’s End, is farther south after Ambewela and further up the mountains. The Horton Plains hiking trails are top-notch and a must if you want to go biking. World’s End is a drop-off at the bottom of a massive cliff at the top of the plateau at Horton Plains.
If you are a waterfall enthusiast, there’s no better spot to use than Spring Acre as your base station to see some of Mother Nature’s most stunning creations. The Nuwara Eliya district includes more than 30 recorded waterfalls.
Aberdeen Falls– Location: Aberdeen, Height-98 m (322 feet). Journey time from Spring Acre: 2 hours by car + 1⁄2 hour by foot. The waterfall at Norton Bridge is visible from the main road. Take the Norton Bridge-Kalawadiya-Aberdeen road to meet the waterfall, and after around 5 km take the woodland footpath, and steep slope for about 2 km.
Baker Falls-Location: Horton Plains Approx. Height-22 m (66 feet). Journey time from Spring Acre: 1 hour by car + 1⁄2 hour by foot. Obtain instructions to the site from the Office of Forest Ranger. Hiking track at the bungalow.
Niagara Falls of Sri Lanka– Location: Hatton Approx. Height-80 m (262 feet). Cruising time from Spring Acre: 1 hour by motorcycle. The key Hatton-Nuwara Eliya road (A7) past Talawakele can be seen from here. A further 2 km away from St. Clair’s Falls is the Devon Fall.
Private Tea Plucking & Tea Factory Tour– Discover an authentic experience of tea plucking with the estate staff and enjoy a guided tour to the Tea Factory where the world’s finest tea is made. You can taste Ceylon Tea at the Factory. What’s included: Hotel pickup and drop-off, English speaking driver-guide, Tea Plucking with Estate Staff, Guided tours in the Tea Factory, All Government Taxes, Bottled Water, Entry / Admission-Pedro Tea Factory.
Take a boat ride on Gregory Lake– Gregory Lake is a large lake situated in the center of the Eliya Nuwara. Next to it is a peaceful park with walkways and benches on which to sit. There are wandering horses that are available for walks, plus for a few hundred rupees, visitors can take a 20-minute speedboat cruise on the lake. The fresh breeze on the river is wonderful and the views are unbeatable. Gregory Lake was built between 1872 and 1877 by Governor William Gregory. This was used during the British Empire era for water activities.
Where To Stay: Nuwara Eliya Hotels
Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka has exquisite hotels offering true colonial style views like the Heritance Tea FactoryandThe Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya which also offer hunting and trekking facilities. Almost all stays offer spacious rooms, bars, free-Wifi, etc. Amaya Langdale is known for its hospitality and Ayurvedic Spa massage. The Golden Ridge offers a picturesque location with an indoor swimming pool and a continental buffet. Renowned for its onsite vegetable gardenJetwing St Andrews boasts of 5-star comfort and a tour desk that plans and delivers custom itineraries.