Nuwara-Eliya the 'heart' of the tea country located at an elevation of 1980 meters in the central highlands of a tropical island, it offers the best both worlds advantages, of tropical abundance and pleasant cool mountain climate. While the time climate is sub-tropical, night temperature plunge low enough to produce frost.
Nuwara-Eliya was found by a group of British officers during the earlier part of the 19th Century, who as a story goes, had gotten lost while elephant hunting. The British Governor at the time, Sri Edward Barnes, was told about this little town and subsequently decided to take residence there, soon creating a health resort, which soon became internationally renown.
Blessed with a salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery; It's hard to imagine that Nuwara-Eliya is only 180Km from the hot and humid Colombo (The Capital City of Sri Lanka).
Covering 129Km3 land space, Nuwara-Eliya is the highest town in Sri Lanka and that means a break from the oppressive heat and humidity that surrounds the rest of the Country.
Nuwara-Eliya is surrounded by mountain chains covered by dense, moss-covered cloud-forests and tea plantations; its perpetual English spring weather, seasonal mists and dry winds provide ideal weather conditions for the production of one of the choicest grades of high grown tea, to which it gives its name. The city's southern end is adorned by Lake Gregory; high waterfalls add to its scenic beauty.
Nuwara-Eliya is very reminiscent of the colonial days and still has a British feel to it. It is also the center of the tea-growing industry ad agriculture in Sri lanka.
Nuwara-Eliya is also called as "Little England". The old brick Post Office, Country house like Hill Club, with it's hunting pictures, mounted hunting trophies and fish, and it's strict formal dinner attire, the 18 hole Golf course, Race course etc., all remind you of 'England'.
Sri Lanka is one of the world's largest exporters of tea. Since the introduction of tea to Sri Lanka in mid 19th century Nuwara-Eliya has been the capital of the tea industry. For many miles prior to reaching Nuwara-Eliya from either direction you will find acres and acres of tea plantations, in fact nothing but tea estates.
Nuwara-Eliya is home to both Sinhalese and Tamils, as well as Muslims and Christians.
One of the distinctive features of Nuwara-Eliya's countryside is the widespread growing of vegetables, fruit and flowers usually associated with temperate Europe. "Little England" has a somewhat incongruous conjunction of terraces growing leeks, beetroot and roses, interspersed with tea bushes on the steeper slopes.
UNIQUE FEATURES OF NUWARA-ELIYA
One of the unique features is that this town still maintains the characteristics of its English beginnings, and provide practically all modern amenities expected of a Municipal Administration. The 18 hole golf-course of 1900 has been improved to rank as one of the most scenic golf beyond its territorial bounds. In this city sport in the form of fishing is available throughout the year and tennis is available during the season.
Nuwara-Eliya embraces a dozen of climatic conditions special characteristics of animal and vegetable life, the lofty palms and gorgeous flower shrubs of the lower elevation to the hardwood trees and English flowers of the highest elevation are noteworthy features. There are choice of climate and choice of scenery to suit any and to gratify varying taste and a new world for those who need a complete change from scenes.
In the 'Colombo Journal' of 1933, a writer had said that he was struck by its beauty and the health in this city. He had further said that the climate would bear a comparison with the lower rank of the Himalayas, beside the peculiar advantage of possessing a spacious plain intersected by a running brook of pure waters. The fact that Sri Lanka is endowed with such a beautiful place is a proud achievement.
THE BEAUTY & PRIDE OF NUWARA-ELIYA
The city of Nuwara Eliya is rich in natural beauty and has a pleasant climatic condition throughout the year. It has a so many places of attractions. Followings are some specials features.
GREGORY LAKE, NUWARA-ELIYA
Lake Gregory is one of the significant tourist attraction in Nuwara Eliya. It was built by the Governor William Gregory during 1872 – 1877 period by utilizing the water from the Nanuoya which runs across the town. It is about 91.2 hectares in extent. It was said to be used for water sports and for re-recreational activities during the British rule. A boat yard now allows visitors to go boating and rowing.
QUEEN VICTORIA PARK , NUWARA-ELIYA
The Victoria Park of Nuwara Eliya said to be named to comorate the 60th Jubilee Coronation of Queen Victoria in the year 1897. Originally the park was used as the research field of Haggala Botanical Garden which is located about 04 km away from the city centre. It is known that this park was established by planting an Oak tree by a German Princes who visited Nuwara Eliya at the latter part of the 19th Century. The park is 27 acres in extent and about 90% of the tree species available are those of foreign plants. Nanu Oya which flows through the park and a number of lakes within it enhances its beauty. A large number of rare bird species can be found in the park. The park is a great tourist attraction in Nuwara Eliya. It was estimated that over 100,000 local visitors as well as around 4000 – 5000 foreign tourists visit the Victoria Park every year.
Victoria Park is an attractive and well-used oasis. It is popular with birdwatchers at quieter times because of the good opportunities it gives to see Indian Blue Robin, Pled Thrush or Scaly Thrush lurking in the denser undergrowth. Kashmir Flycatcher is another attractive bird species found in the park.
GLEN FALLS , NUWARA-ELIYA
Glen Fall is the second largest waterfall in the city. It is about 10 meters high and falls from the Single Tree Mountain which is at a walking distance from the city centre. It was said that in the past the water falls was so beautiful that it had carried large volume of water. But due to destruction of the forest cover by unauthorized development activities in the surrounding area its existence is being threatened.
LOVER'S LEAP , NUWARA-ELIYA
This is off the Nuwara-Eliya - Kandapola Road. the waters are taken to brew the famous Nuwara-Eliya Beer. There is a famous legend behind the name of this waterfall. It says that a Prince who lived in Nuwara Eliya had met a beautiful girl in a nearby village and fallen love with her. But the king did not allow the Prince to carry on with his love affair. The Prince suffered lot by his father’s ruling and later on one full moon day he had climbed up the top of the rock with his fiancée and jumped on the fall. Since then it was known as the lovers leap.
People can see this wonderful lovers leap fall when looking at Pidurutalagala Mountain at the second mile post on Hawa Eliya road. It is about 30 meters high and falls off from a huge rock. It is truly a wonderful gift of mother nature gifted to Nuwara Eliya.
THE CEYLON BREWERIES, NUWARA-ELIYA
The Beer Factory of Nuwara Eliya said to have been started by three British Entrepreneurs whose names begin with “B”. They were Braver, Bare, and Baker. They have identified a site where they could obtain clean water from the lover leap waterfall. They had imported most of the grains required for producing the beer from Europe. The historical records indicates that in the year 1887 the factory had exported 175,587 gallons of beer. The factory is currently managed by a private company.
GOLF COURSE, NUWARA-ELIYA
Nuwara-Eliya Golf ground is the best place to do golfing in Sri Lanka. The large course covers the length of the town. It is spread over 1000 areas of land area is one of the famous golf grounds in the South Asia. Due to its location within the town it has enhanced the attractiveness of the town. The ground is managed by the Golf Club of Nuwara Eliya. It is an important tourist attraction particularly those gold lovers.
The 18 holes finest Golf course in Asia has the history of beginning of year 1891, is at the base of Mount Pidurutalagala in the heart of the tea country. It features fir lined fairways, bunkers and scenic surroundings. The 9th is an island greet surrounded by bunkers. Water (rivers) come into play on 06 holes.
BRITISH TOMBS, NUWARA-ELIYA
Tombs of some distinguished Englishman who lived in Nuwara Eliya can be seen in front of the Golf Ground just few meters away from the existing bus stand of the town. A tomb has been erected in memory of a young person called Ebenisher Golder Manro (born 01st November 1814) and was killed by a wild buffalo on 24.01.1841 at Elephant Plain. He was identified as a son of Lt. John Manro who lived in Sri Lanka. There is another tomb erected in memory of Sir William Rock who served the country as a Judge. He died at the age of 64 on 19.05.1838 in Nuwara Eliya. There is also an important tomb erected for an Englishman called Major Thomas Rodger who had a habit of hunting white elephants. He was said to be killed by an elephant in the jungle. Legends say this tomb had been continuously damaged over every four years due to highlighting on it which people believe has a mysterious curse. The tomb is now seen as cracked stone pieces.
GALWAY'S LAND BIRD SANCTUARY
A beautiful land area covering an extent of 57.6 hectares of land in Nuwara Eliya had been gazetted as a Bird sanctuary in the year 1938. This bird sanctuary attracts about 20 species of very rare foreign birds and about 30 species of Sri Lankan birds. Most of the endemic bird species as well as migrant bird species could be seen at this sanctuary. In addition to the birds this park has valuable tree species of both foreign and local.
PEDRO TEA FACTORY
This factory is the only factory in such close proximity to the town of Nuwara-Eliya. One of the most modern factories, producing the highest priced tea that is popular all over the world, manufacture of which could be observed at Pedro Tea Factory.
SINGLE TREE HILL
Single tree is the best vantage point to observe the beauty of Nuwara-Eliya. Easily accessed by use of the road across the tea estate. This vantage point one could enjoy the panoramic view of Pidurutalagala mountain rang, Hakgala mountain, Lake Gregory, and the entire town of Nuwara-Eliya as well as Northern section of Horton Plains.
MOUNTAIN - PIDURUTHALAGALA
This is the highest point in Sri Lanka, overlooking the town to the north. You cannot walk to the top anymore but there is a small path off Water field Drive that leads to a waterfall. From there, the hikers can follow the river up via seven more waterfalls - a neat hike for adventurous folk! This journey goes as far as the 7000 foot marker.
CITY VIEWING POINT, SHANTHIPURA
This is marvelous point to view the entire Nuwara-Eliya city. Shanthipura is the village which is situated in highest spot of Sri Lanka.