Nuwara Eliya

Details

Mist capped mountains covered in blankets of green, pine trees, waterfalls and crisp cold mountain air, carrots and turnips, cabbages and beetroot these are a few of the bountiful blessings of nature found in Nuwara Eliya, the ‘light of the City’ when translated. ‘Nuwara’ is translated as ‘City’ with Kandy being the Hill Capital, but Nuwara Eliya is the more popular and brighter capital as it were.

English roses are in full bloom in Nuwara Eliya, and so are other flowers as the Dahlia, Barberton, Gerberas, Lilies, Carnations, Daisies and more. Every home has a beautiful flower garden which is always in bloom! There is also an annual flower show and horse races at the race course in Nuwara Eliya. Houses with good old log fire places, vegetable patches, colonial styled architecture, golf courses and endless tea estates and the favourite pastime of having a cup of tea, sounds so much like England. Hence, Nuwara Eliya is nick named as ‘little England’. It comes as no surprise, because the British founded this small town and introduced tea plantations here. Many estates and waterfalls here in Nuwara Eliya are named after British planters.

Nestled at 2000 feet above sea level, the climate is very chilly, with the nights being very cold, forming ground frost at times during winter months. The weather warms up towards the late mornings and early afternoons. Constant drizzles are experienced with occasional heavy showers. Nuwara Eliya is a small town and getting about is convenient by trishaw (tuk-tuk/3 wheeler). Post office, Super market, churches, shops, hospital, dispensaries, grocery stores and communication centres are all within easy reach. Many restaurants offer local, Indian, Chinese and Western cuisine while star class hotels offer international cuisine.

Places of Interest

Attractions in Nuwara Eliya :

April is considered the height of the ‘season’ in Nuwara Eliya, when every hotel, lodge and guest house gets filled due to the holiday season in Sri Lanka because of the ‘New Year’ celebrations falling in mid April as per the local traditions.

  • April starts off with an inter city, Nuwara Eliya district’s schools Band show.

  • Horse racing at the Nuwara Eliya Race Course

  • Motor racing – Nuwara Eliya Road race, 4X4 ‘Lake cross’ around Lake Gregory, Mahagastotta and Radella hill climbs.

  • Beer gardens and partying in every open space near restaurants

  • Governor’s cup Golf Tournament – held toward the end of April

  • Annual Flower Show is held in late April as an end to the ‘season’.

 

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya :

  • Visit a tea factory and learn and see how it is all done, the making of tea until it’s brewed.

  • Walk around the tea bushed mountains and enjoy the scenery.

  • Visit Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya – It was the British Governor’s mansion during the colonial reign.

  • Visit the oldest Beer brewery in the island – Ceylon Breweries, Nuwara Eliya has been in business since 1884.

  • Hiking / climbing

  • Take a bath at a water spout or small water fall during the afternoon – the spring water is fresh, invigorating and refreshing.

  • Hear your voice echo over the mountain tops.

  • Get a team together, join with friends or eager youth of the area and play your favourite match of cricket, football or any other.

  • Play golf at the 18 hole golf club, where equipment can be hired.

  • Go for pony /horse rides at the turf club.

  • Boating and/or fishing in Lake Gregory or trout fishing in any of the many streams

  • Bird watching and picnicking in Victoria Park

 

Places of interest around Nuwara Eliya :

Hakgala Botanical gardens – many species of flora in a picturesque setting

Hindu ‘Seetha Kovil’, near Hakgala – Folkloric site where Wicked 10 headed King Ravana kidnapped and hid ‘Sita’ the queen of king Rama of India.

Horton Plains – a high altitude plain and an endemic wildlife sanctuary where ‘world’s end’ is located has Nuwara Eliya as its closest city.

Travel Tips

How to get there –

Nuwara Eliya lies in the hill capital of Sri Lanka. There are many busses, intercity air conditioned busses and train as means of public transport. The observation compartment in the upcountry train offers scenic views as the train winds around mountains. Train travel is more comfortable and less tedious on this ascending uphill route which has many sharp bends. The closest railway station to Nuwara Eliya is ‘Naanu Oya.’ From here a bus has to be taken to Nuwara Eliya, which is only a 20 kilometres/ 20 minutes distance. The distance from Colombo is 180 kilometres while it is 76 kilometres from Kandy. There are two routes to reach Nuwara Eliya, both narrow with many bends. One route is from Kandy, while the other from Hatton is much closer and less crowded.

Where to Stay
  • Galway Forest Lodge - A cosy hideout, overlooking a nature reserve, with all comforts in Nuwara Eliya.

  • The Tea Factory – A unique 4 star hotel, converted from a tea factory of the colonial era, in Nuwara Eliya.

  • Windsor Hotel – Conveniently located in the city of Nuwara Eliya.

  • Jetwing St.Andrew's - Close to ‘Pidurutalagala’ the highest mountain’s cloud forest.

  • Grand Hotel – The oldest star class hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

  • The Hill Club – Founded in 1876, this luxury club hotel in Nuwara Eliya offers trappings of colonial living.

  • Glendower Hotel, Nuwara Eliya – 10 bedrooms, en suite with in-house restaurant /bar and value for money.

  • Silver Falls Hotel, Nuwara Eliya – A 2 star hotel with 18 comfortable rooms with restaurant.

  • Ramboda Falls Theme Resort, Nuwara Eliya – An ideal holiday resort with all facilities

  • Alpine Hotel, Nuwara Eliya – Overlooking the race course and Greggory’s Lake, 25 luxury rooms in colonial splendour.

images

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Please note the images in this section is from http://www.zeylanica.com and http://www.flickr.com

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