Eliya, most famous hill resort in Sri Lanka, is located at the altitude of
2000 metres. Land of the renowned Ceylon tea, the waving mountains of Nuwara
Eliya are carpeted by green tea plantations, punctuated with bublisng
streams and waterfalls. This picturesque town is overlooked by
Pidurutalagala, the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. It was once favorite hill
station of the British in Sri Lanka.
Places of Interest
Horton Plains, the highest plateau in the island, has been designated a
National Park. The park consists of grassland interspersed with patches of
forest. Some of the vegetation is unusual high altitude type. Touring the
Horton Plains you enter a beautiful, silent, strange world providing some
very good strolls. Species found in Horton Plains National Parks include
Leopard, Sambar, and the endemic Purple-faced Langur. Endemic highland birds
include Dull-blue Flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye, and Yellow-eared Bulbul.
One must-see visit place here is the World's End. The Horton Plains
shockingly ends here and drops off to nearly 700 metres, a thrilling sight.
Trekkers love to visit this place.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens
This garden was established in 1861 under the patronage of the British. It
is located under the Hakgala Peak. Lying in the bracket of 5000-6000 feet in
elevation, it is the highest set Botanic Gardens in the world. It has trees
like English Oak, Himalayan Pines, Japanese Cedars and Cypress trees from
British Governor Sir William Gregory built this lake in 1873. Visitors can
go for boating and rowing.
Origination from the Laksapana estate Laksapana Falls dives into the
Maskeliya Oya. Camp down at Upper Glencairn, Dick Oya for viewing this fall.
Devon Falls, named after a pioneer coffe planter, are known for sharply
dropping 97 metres. It is located 6 Km west of Thalawakelle. Vintage point
is located at the 20th mile post and parking facility is also there.
Victoria Park & Turf Club
Victoria Park, located within the town, is good for refreshing saunters and
birdwatching. Pony and Horse riding is available at the turf club.
Nuwara Eliya, developed in 1891, is at walking distance from the town
center. The club offers 18 hole golf course for a green fee of about Rs
1500. You can rent equipments here.
First tea plant sent from China to Sri Lanka were planted here by Lawrence
Oliphant which made his tea acreage soar to 100 acres. This fact alone makes
travel to Oliphant Estate significant.
Adam's Peak - The Pilgrim Path
Story of the old Pilgrim Path is carved on two rocks near the 28th
milestone on the Nawalapitiya - Ambagamuwa road. The inscription dates back
to around 1100AD.
The point of Lover's Leap is located off the Nuwara Eliya - Kandapola Road.
The waters are used to brew the famous Nuwara Eliya Beer. A story is
associated with the place. It tells about a boy and girl who ended their
life here when they were not allowed by their families to marry.
Trekking and Hiking
Nuwara Eliya offers right basics for thrilling games like trekking and
hiking. Pidurutalagala (2550m), highest mountain peak of Sri Lanka, is
located just north of the town. Hiking is allowed to the altitude of 7000ft.
One can enjoy several waterfalls along the track.
Sri Pada Trail
Sri Pada is not only a trail but a pilgrimage to a summit considered
sacrosanct the Sri Lankan people. This most popular hill trail in Sri Lanka
to 2200m above sea level. On way you can enjoy panoramic views. You are
advised to visit the summit between December and April.
Sir Samuel Baker commenced the brewing of beer in Nuwara Eliya in 1881.
Continuously in business since 1884, Ceylon Breweries is one of the finest
in the island.
Ceylon Tea Trails, located in the hills of in Central Sri Lanka, is more
than 4000 feet above sea level. Four colonial era bungalows, built for the
British tea estate managers, still boastfully exist there.
One can shop for souvenirs like silk, batiks, masks, figurines and tea. One
can also buy local music tapes and textile items. In April, temporary shops
mushroom tetween the bus stand and the racecourse. If you are good in
bartering good deals you can enjoy shopping here.
Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, falling in April, are celebrated in Nuwara
Eliya with plenty of zeal. All modes of accommodation are booked in advance
during this period. Variety of bands participate publicly on this occasion.
Motor racing and horse racing events are organised during this period. Other
Sri Lankan festivals, both national and religious, are also celebrated with
Nuwara Eliya, becaue of its high altitude, has cool climate with mean
annual temperature of 16C. In night in can be quite cold in winters. However
as the tropical sun climbs in the sky it fast becomes warm.
The British developed Nuwara Eliya as a hill retreat during the colonial
era. The English cooled themselves here and enjoyed games like polo, cricket
and fox hunting. Native Sinhalese travellers also frequently visited the
The town was founded by Samuel Baker as a hill retreat for the British
during the colonial era, where typical English pastimes including fox
hunting, polo and cricket were played. Several buildings and parks here
retain features from colonial period.
Reaching Nuwara Eliya
From Colombo you can reach Nuwara Eliya via Kandy or Hatton. Though both
the roads are narrow and bumpy you have lovely scenic views. Most public
buses take Kandy route. You could also travel by train but it takes longer
time than bus. However, then you would not have to face bumpy roads. The
train would go to Nanu Oya and then you would have to take a taxi or bus.
Everything in Nuwara Eliya falls in walking distance. However, you can also
use three-wheelers for getting around.
Travelling To Neighborhood
You can rent a car or take bus. You can find taxis parked on the left side
of road from the temple to the market area.
Distance to Major Cities
Plenty of hotels and guest houses are located in Nuwara Eliya. However in
the peak season of March to May you are advised to book in advance.