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Travel Guide To Nuwara Eliya

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Unsplash

Nuwara Eliya is a city in the tea country. It is located in the central hill. It is often referred to as ‘Little England’. It has a vague British-country-village feel to it because of the colonial-era bungalows. Indeed, Nuwara Eliya was once was the favoured cool-climate escape for the hard-working and hard-drinking English and Scottish inventors of Sri Lanka’s tea industry. Nuwara Eliya which is at an elevation of 1890 meters above the sea level is one of the highest cities in Sri Lanka and it lies beneath the tallest peak of the island, Pidurutalagala or Mount Pedro (2555 meters).

Image by Nina Butts from Pixabay

  • Stay at the Grand Hotel
  • Take a boat ride on Gregory Lake
  • Enjoy a stroll in Victoria Park
  • Visit Ambewela Farm
  • Visit one of the many tea plantations
  • Sample some Ceylon tea
  • Visit Kande-ela Reservoir
  • See St. Clair’s Falls
  • See Lover's Leap Falls
  • See Devon Falls
  • Take a hike on the Moon Plains
  • Smell the flowers at Hakgala Botanical Gardens
  • Trek Horton Plains to World’s End
  • Visit Galway's Land National Park
  • Visit Piduruthalagala Mountain Entrance

Image by Koczot from Pixabay

Though Nuwara Eliya had been inhabited during the early period of the kingdom of Kandy, the existence of the spectacular “Eliya” (Sinhala: opening or clearing) valley set amidst the wooded green mountains wasn’t known to the Colonial British until the accidental discovery by the colonial civil servant John Davy in the year 1819.

Governor Edward Barnes converted Nuwara Eliya into a commercial and a coffee planting centre during the 1830s. In the year 1847 the great colonial explorer Samuel Baker introduced the gardening of English vegetables in Nuwara Eliya. Following the Coffee Blight in Sri Lanka during the 1870s, the plantation of tea was introduced by Sir James Taylor resulting in the development of the Nuwara Eliya district as the heart of the tea growing region of the central highlands of Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon. The first plantation on experimental stages was established in 1867 at the Loolecondera Estate situated between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. In the year 1885 the highland railway track was extended to Nanu Oya, a town 5km south of Nuwara Eliya. This is where you catch the train to Ella.