Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka.

Nuwara Eliya is located 150 km away from Colombo in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka.

Reaching Nuwara Eliya


Nuwara Eliya can be reached from Colombo via Kandy, the gateway to Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Colombo-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya is the most scenic highland motor road of Sri Lanka. Though the city of Nuwara Eliya has no Railway station, the highland railway line of dramatic scenery that winds past the city of Nanu Oya makes the journey by train possible. The journey to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy by train as well as by car is equally spectacular.The alternative route to Nuwara Eliya from Colombo is via Hatton located in the southern area of the Central Highlands.

The Climate, terrain and vegetation of Nuwara Eliya


Nuwara Eliya at an elevation of 1890 meters above the sea level, the highest city in Sri Lanka lies beneath the tallest peak of the island, Pidurutalagala or Mount Pedro (2555 meters).

Spring in Nuwara Eliya


The salubrious climate has made Nuwara Eliya into a sanatorium that attracts Sri Lankan tourists as well as the foreign tourists to the seasonal event during February to April. Golf tournaments, horse racing, motor cross, clay pigeon shooting and carnival features high in the festivities. The downside of the season is the accommodation rates that shoot up above all. With thousands of local tourists flocking to Nuwara Eliya filling up hotels and guest houses that provide budget accommodation in the season, narrowing the accommodation options, foreign tourists would find it necessary to have the hotel bookings well in advance.

The establishment of the city of Nuwara Eliya.


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. However it took another decade for the British to realize the potential. Governor Edward Barnes converted Nuwara Eliya into a commercial and a coffee –planting center during the 1830s. In the year 1847 the great colonial explorer Samuel Baker introduced the gardening of English vegetable at Nuwara-Eliya. To date Nuwara Eliya, the leading producer of European vegetables in Sri Lanka, distribute its all vegetable products to the rest of the island.

Following the Coffee Blight in Sri Lanka during the 1870s, the plantation of tea was introduced by Sir James Taylor resulting in development of Nuwara Eliya district into the heart of the tea growing central highlands of Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon. The first plantation on experimental stages was established in 1867 at the Loolakandara 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.

Victoria Park at Nuwara Eliya


In the center of the town is local Central Market. South of the market is Victoria Park spreading to an expanse of 27 acres with well maintained shrubs and trees. The cluster of exceedingly tall eucalyptuses is a main feature therein. Victoria Park, though in close proximity to the city center, is an ornithological hot spot where the birders would spend long hours. River Nanu Oya that runs through the Victoria park and a number of lakes within it supports the endemic birds of Sri Lanka as well as migrant birds from Himalayan are seen at the park. Among the birds are Kashmir flycatcher, Indian blue robin, pied thrush, dull-blue flycatcher, yellow-eared bulbul and dull-blue flycatcher.

Race Course and Golf Course at Nuwara Eliya


To the south of the park is racecourse. Behind the race course is Lake Gregory. Nuwara Eliya’s all green sylvan golf course is located just opposite the Victoria Park. Built in 1891 by the British colonialists in Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon, 18-hole golf course is well maintained by Nuwara Eliya golf club. The club rents golf equipment and charges a fee for playing at its golf course.

Single Tree Mountain


A path from the race course leads to Single Tree Mountain that affords a bird eye-view of the surrounding hills. Single Tree Mountain unravels the spectacular sceneries of the entire town of Nuwara Eliya including Pidurutalagala Mountain, Haggala Mountain, Lake Gregory as well as Northern section of Horton Plains.

Pedro and Labookelle tea estates at Nuwara Eliya


Pedro and Labookelle tea estates afford the opportunities to get on-site knowledge on tea industry of Sri Lanka.
Located 3 km east of Nuwara Eliya, beneath a flank of Mount Pedro is the Pedro Tea estate. The resident guide at the estate explains and elaborates on the process of growing and manufacturing Ceylon Tea. Labookelle Tea Estate located 20 km north of Nuwara Eliya, is set at an elevation of 2000 meters. The expansive estate is fully geared to host the visitors with a tour around property. The café is a fine place to enjoy a cup of Ceylon tea while having a slice of cake.

Soft adventure at Nuwara Eliya


Nuwara Eliya’s scenic mountainous terrain affords hiking possibilities. Mount Pedro or Pidurutalgala rising to a height of 2555meters above the sea level, though the summit isn’t open to the public, offers hiking opportunities. Waterfalls around Nuwara Eliya make the hiking and trekking all the more pleasant: Ramboda fall; Devon Falls; Lakshapna Falls. Turf club also located within the city affords all horse riding and pony riding. Boating opportunities are made possible by the boat house at Lake Gregory.

Horton Plains


Horton Plains National Park, A UNESCO World Heritage perched on the edge of the Central Highlands midway between Nuwara Eliya and Haputale, another hill country retreat, the highest plateau of Sri Lanka at 2000 feet, is a paradise of birders, nature lovers and hikers. The escarpment that falls sheer for over 1050 meters in the park at the southern edge of the highlands to the lowlands below, called World’s End, is an excursion that wouldn’t be missed at all by the holiday makers at Nuwara Eliya.

Since the grand view from the World’s End is clouded with mist 10 am onwards, particularly during April to September, timing on arrival at the escarpment needs to be planned. Horton Plains can be reached from Haputale too.
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Nuwara Eliya Highlights

Tea Country

Sri Lanka is one of the world's largest exporters of tea. Since the introduction of tea to Sri Lanka in mid 19the 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, infact nothing but tea estates. There are many factories open for visitor's which also have tea sales outlets.

Tea Factory

An old tea factory turned into a fine hotel is about 30-45 minutes away at Kandapola. Managed by one of the largest hotel chains it offers good food and excellent accommodation.

Nuwara Eliya Golf Club

Walking distance from the town center, built in 1891 the club offers 18 hole course for a green fee of about Rs 1500. Could rent clubs, shoes and buy old balls.

Hakgala Botanical Gardens - Nuwara Eliya

10 km southeast of Nuwara Eliya, sprawling at the base of the Hakgala Rock at an elevation of 5000-6000 ft is Hakgala Botanical Gardens established in 1861 by Mr G.H.W. Thawaites then director of Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya.

Originally established to grow Cinchona, the source of Quinine, the anti-malarial drug, Hakgala soon became a host to a wide array of foreign species. The roses that bloom during April to August steal the limelight at Hakgala. The hill is wooded with a range of foreign trees: Cypresses from California; fine old ceders; enormous tree ferns; stands of Japanese camphor; and pines and eucalyptus; bark-shedding Australian melaleucas.

Hakgala Botanical Gardens is host to considerable flock of enedemic montane bird species including dull-blue flycatcher, Sri Lanka whistling thrush and Sri Lanka bush warbler.

Gregory Lake Nuwara Eliya

Lake Gregory spreading an area of 91.2 hectares was built British colonial governor Governor William Gregory for the purpose of making use of water from River Nanuoya that flows past Nuwara Eliya. Boating opportunities for the visitors are made possible by the boat house at Lake Gregory.

Victoria Park at Nuwara Eliya

In the center of the town is local Central Market. South of the market is Victoria Park spreading to an expanse of 27 acres with well maintained shrubs and trees. The cluster of exceedingly tall eucalyptuses is a main feature therein. Victoria Park, though in close proximity to the city center, is an ornithological hot spot where the birders would spend long hours. River Nanu Oya that runs through the Victoria park and a number of lakes within it supports the endemic birds of Sri Lanka as well as migrant birds from Himalayan are seen at the park. Among the birds are Kashmir flycatcher, Indian blue robin, pied thrush, dull-blue flycatcher, yellow-eared bulbul and dull-blue flycatcher.

Flowers in Victoria Park - Nuwara Eliya

Map of Nuwara Eliya

Hotels related to Nuwara Eliya

- Anilana Craigbank (0km from Nuwara Eliya) - White Monkey - Dias Rest (1km from Haputale)
- Rising Lion Hotel (2km from Nuwara Eliya) - Ella Jungle Resort (9km from Ella)
- Stafford Estate Bungalow (12km from Nuwara Eliya) - Penninton (0km from Nuwara Eliya)
- Ashley Resorts (1km from Nuwara Eliya) - Blackwood View Bungalow (0km from Haputale)
- Brockenhurst Nuwaraeliya (0km from Nuwara Eliya) - The Dutch House (0km from Bandarawela)
- Rosita Tea Plantation Bungalow (0km from Kotagala) - Thotalagala Tea Plantation Bungalow (0km from Haputale)
- Sherwood Tea Plantation Bungalow (0km from Haputale) - Rock House Bungalow (0km from Bandarawela)
- Kothmale Holiday Bungalow (0km from Kothmale) - Tientsin Bungalow (13km from Hatton)
- Jetwing Warwick Gardens (0km from Nuwara Eliya) - Grand Hotel (1km from Nuwara Eliya)
- Jetwing St. Andrews (0km from Nuwara Eliya) - Windsor Hotel (0km from Nuwara Eliya)
- Heritance Tea Factory (9km from Nuwara Eliya) - Galway Forest Lodge (2km from Nuwara Eliya)

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