As one of the country’s best holiday destinations, Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka, is loved and embraced by thousands of visitors each year. The beauty of this place is simply unparalleled, making it one of the most unique places on earth.
Located in the south-central of Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya is a stunning area with an average-sized town. Lined with beautiful mountains, luscious tea estates, cascading waterfalls, gorgeous hillside flowers, etc., this place is filled with plenty of places to explore. It also has many important landmarks in the country with a climate everyone loves to stay in.
Let us unveil the charm of Nuwara Eliya, taking on a sweet escapade among the lush mountains!
A Few Important Things About Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka To Start With…
Nuwara Eliya, which translates to “city of light,” is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka. Gracefully lying on the southern-central hills of the country, it is the capital of Nuwara Eliya District of the Central Province.
Nuwara Eliya is situated about 6000 feet above sea level and is considered the main hub of world-renowned Ceylon tea production. The beautiful city of Nuwara Eliya is overlooked by Pidurutalagala Hill, which is the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. Moreover, Nuwara Eliya also has the highest point in Sri Lanka, which is known as a village named “Shanthi Pura.”
Most places of this magical city are often covered in a thick layer of mist, creating a stunning picture as if we are lost in a fairy tale. It is also the coolest area in Sri Lanka, so the locals have pseudonymized it as “Little England.”
Nuwara Eliya boasts picturesque landscapes with luscious tea estates, flower gardens, rich vegetation, diverse mountains, pouring waterfalls, fresh air, and many more! All sides of beautiful Nuwara Eliya are covered with mountains, making it one of the most iconic places on the island, which certainly stands out from the rest of the places.
The Inspirational History Of Nuwara Eliya…
The rich history of Nuwara Eliya dates back to the early 1800s when Dr. John David, a British surgeon, discovered this place as similar to the climate of England. Historical sources also say that earlier, this place was rich in Asoka Trees, elephants, and wild animals for hunting. The British had settled in the Kotmale area during the time that the Uwa Wellassa battle was raging.
It is also believed that originally Nuwara Eliya was merely a plateau with no trees or greenery. It is said that the reason was written in the Ramayana as Hanuman set fire to the region during Rama / Rawana war. Seetha Amman Hindu Temple in Seetha Eliya (a region in Nuwara Eliya) is still evidence that the area had been a part of the historical legend Ramayana.
Later in 1800, British explorers made Nuwara Eliya a retreat for the British colonists to relax and spend their leisure time. Most estates, places, landmarks, and even waterfalls are named after the British colonists because it is them who developed the area.
The famous Lake Gregory is named after the governor Sir William Gregory who governed Nuwara Eliya in 1872. Later the area was highly developed under every government, and now it has become one of Sri Lanka’s top attractions of tourism.
The Wonderful Experiences You Can Have In Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka
Breathtakingly beautiful Nuwara Eliya is one of the most blessed regions in Sri Lanka, with a multitude of captivating landmarks to see. You will sense the climatic change running in your veins as soon as you enter this region. You will find that the entire area is covered with verdant mountains rising to the sky and luscious tea gardens running to infinity.
Most locations are ideal for capturing some excellent photographs to adorn your social media gallery. You’ll see some grand-looking colonial buildings in the city of Nuwara Eliya that boast its rich colonial heritage. The cool and pristine breeze throughout the region will help you to unwind and refresh, giving you a break from the urban lifestyle.
You’ll find a majority of Tamil and Hindu people in this area since most of them are the tea-plucking population around the tea estates. Therefore, many cafes and restaurants serve fresh and hot Dosa, Masala Vadai, and many other authentic Tamil food items. Do not forget to check them out when you roam around the city.
The central market of Nuwara Eliya sells all sorts of upcountry fruits and vegetables, brought to the stalls straight from the fields. Most houses at least occupy a small amount of land from their garden to grow something such as unique hillside flowers, carrots, leeks, lettuce, strawberries, etc.
Away From The Town…
If you visit Nuwara Eliya during April, it is when the area is getting ready for the season. Many locals around the country visit Nuwara Eliya during this time of the year, and celebrations and festivities go until late at night.
The seasonal festival popularly known as the “Wasantha Sanakeliya” is an annual event hosted in Nuwara Eliya. And the space around Gregory Lake is becoming eventful with all sorts of activities during this time. Nuwara Eliya is also famous for a variety of roses and inherent hillside florals.
You can visit Victoria Park or Hakgala Garden to see beautiful flowers and trees. You must also explore the tea plantations and have a guided tour to one or more tea factories to feel the actual sensation of Ceylon tea.
Most of the factories offer visitors a free cup of delicious Ceylon tea as a reward! There are also many waterfalls around, boasting their cascading beauty. Moreover, you can hike to the highest mountain in Sri Lanka- Pidurutalagala, and go sightseeing in Shanthi Pura, which is the highest village in the country.
This is just a summarized version of what you can do in Nuwara Eliya, while the detailed article awaits you right in this link! Click here and discover the most exciting things you will experience in Little England of Sri Lanka.
How Can You Reach Nuwara Eliya?
The best thing about getting to Nuwara Eliya is that you will be rewarded with mesmerizing views no matter what mode of transportation you use! You won’t get this opportunity when you get to most other places in Sri Lanka, so we can take out one transportation method that is better than the others.
But here, we would say that whether you use public or private transport or you choose to travel by air, anything will become a real adventure. However, most travelers prefer traveling to Nuwara Eliya by train since it IS becoming a wonderful experience you rarely get in your life.
The train will ascend the mountains, taking you along the magical tea gardens and showing you a whole lot of fascinating sceneries. You can book your train tickets to the Nanu-Oya station and then take a tuk-tuk or a taxi from there to wherever you need to go.
Traveling by train will also be a budget-friendly option other than the beautiful experience. You can also directly take the bus to Nuwara Eliya town, but it couldn’t essentially be much of an experience taking the train.
Traveling by private vehicle is the most convenient method since you can stop by whenever you need. But it can be a little more expensive than public transport. Booking a domestic flight to Nuwara Eliya is also another next-level experience you can have. The panoramic views of the mystical hill city will be genuinely an exquisite taste of life!
Touring Around Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka…
Although most roads in Nuwara Eliya are in good condition, many of them can be risky as they are narrow and bendy. Therefore, we don’t find it a good option for you to wander the area on a motorbike or a push bike.
Nuwara Eliya is a big place, so you can find plenty of tuk-tuks and private vehicles to take you wherever needed. Thus, when you reach Nuwara Eliya by using any mode of transportation, you can hire a tuk-tuk or get a rented vehicle with a driver. Most drivers are residents, so they also have a good knowledge about the area and will guide you to see lovely places around, especially if you plan to have a one-day trip.
What Do You Need To Know About Safety And Security When Traveling To Nuwara Eliya?
Like most other places Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka is very safe to travel with your whole family. Almost every place is kid-friendly, while you may have to take safety precautions when sightseeing at waterfalls and hilly areas.
The Sri Lankan police and army protect the entire town. At the same time, most specific places, like the Gregory Lake area, Pidurutalagala, Hakgala Gardens, etc., are also patrolled by the forces. There could be sudden checkups, especially during the season when there is an excessive crowd. Therefore, make sure you carry the relevant identification documents.
When visiting sensitive areas like Pidurutalagala, you may have to undergo some extreme security measures. So, make sure that you are obliged to the country’s civil law, and you must obey the rules imposed. Do not attempt to pluck tea, flowers or pick vegetables from private gardens, as it will be recorded as theft.
But you can engage in these activities, particularly tea plucking, with guidelines. Pack the essentials if you’re planning to hike, along with the required sun protection gear and applications. Moreover, women are encouraged to carry sanitary items as it can be hard to find similar brands or items in most shops here.
Where Can You Stay And Eat In Nuwara Eliya?
Nuwara Eliya is a densely touristy area. Thus, you can find plenty of places to stay that suit your budget. This place is ample in some of the best star-grade hotels in the country, while you can also find some budget hotels, hostels, beautiful villas, and even Airbnb options.
As mentioned earlier, the town area has many cafes and restaurants serving authentic Sri Lankan foods, Tamil foods, and even international menus. Gregory Park is packed with little food stalls that sell all sorts of snacks and meals.
You can even find special tea boutiques and shops that sell strawberry-related food items. If you’re planning your next trip to Nuwara Eliya, here are some of our suggestions for arranging your stay:
- The Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya-Heritage Grand
- Oliphant Boutique Villa by Amaya
- Oatlands by Jetwin
- Jetwing St.Andrews
- The Little England Cottages
- Araliya Green Hills Hotel
Things To Enjoy And Other Attractions Nearby Nuwara Eliya
Once you are done traveling around Nuwara Eliya, seeing the most beautiful things you have seen in your life, there are a few places a little away from this place that you shouldn’t miss out on. And they are:
- Horton Plains
- Ramboda Falls
- Hanuman Temple- Ramboda
- Kotmale Reservoir
- Laxapana Falls
- Adam’s Peak
- Saptha Kanya (Seven Virgins) Mountain Range
If you have planned to spend a few more days in the hill country, do not forget to check out Ella. The train ride to Ella will undoubtedly become one of your best excursions.
You have more exciting things to do in Ella, which is certainly more than a mere mountainous area. You should also visit Kandy, which is another Heritage city in Sri Lanka that offers so many things to experience.
Unravel Your Soul By The Verdant Mountains and Breathe Fresh Air Enjoying The Blooming Beauty Of Mini England!
True to its dubbed name, Nuwara Eliya resembles the dazzling beauty and charm of England as it is with a soothing climate and scenic landscapes all around. This quaint, peaceful part of Sri Lanka should be on top of your travel bucket list as you’ll be exploring the most beautiful spots in the country. You will be able to collect so many memories to take back home with all it has to offer!