Nuwara Eliya is a mountain station at 1,868 m (6,128 ft) of altitude, in a splendid landscape. The city pretends to be particularly well-kept and neat, and the always green grass gives to the locality an aspect of â€œcolonial British style".
Nuwara Eliya was built entirely during the 19th century and its architecture mimics that of an English country town, with red-brick walls, country house like hill club and mock-Tudor half-timbering.
Blessed with salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery; it's hard to imagine that Nuwara Eliya is only 180 Km from the hot and humid Colombo. Temperatures are 14C-21C (Jan- April) 16C-18C (May-Aug) 15C- 18C (Sept-Dec).
Nuwara Eliya, the "city of lights," 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.
Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations. Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Once a pleasure retreats of the European planters the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings.
Nuwara Eliya is a good escape for those who miss cool breeze in tropical Sri Lanka at any time of the year. Local tourists flock to this town in their 'season' from March to May when it is the hottest duration for the town, April being the busiest.
Nuwara Eliya offers many activities for tourists including visits to tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and of course exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus.
Hemmed in by three of the highest mountains in the country; Piduruthalagala, the Great Western and Haggala, the city looks very isolated. Yet it's just a four hour drive from Colombo.
Excellent walks and drives, exceptionally good golf on the 18 Hole Course, one of the best in Asia. Trout hatchery, market, gardens of flowers, fruits and vegetables, not commonly associated with Sri Lanka, Haggala Botanical Garden famous for its collection of roses and the rare fernery.
Thanks to the cool climes this is one city where you can never work up a sweat.
Nuwara Eliya in Pictures
Nuwara Eliya Tea Estates
Nuwara Eliya Attraction
Haggala Botanical Garden
The Garden was first established in 1860 under the curatorship of three Britishers of the same name - William Nock, JK Nocl and JJ Nock. It lies under the Hakgala Peak, between 5000-6000 feet in elevation - the highest set Botanical Gardens in the world. It boasts 100 year old Monetary Cypress trees from California, Japanese Cedars, Himalayan Pines and English Oak.
The Botanical Garden is first as a cinchona plantation and then adapted to an experimental garden for the acclimatization of plants from temperate zones in the tropics. Here can be found all the flowers of an English cottage garden in spring and summer, and much else besides - such as the oldest tea-bush in the island, an ornamental pond and quaint summerhouse. Hakgala (Jaw Rock) rises a sheet 1500 ft/460 meters and offers one of the most stunning views ever. Legend says it was part of the Himalayas carried here by the Monkey God - Hanuman in his quest to help God-Rama rescue Goddess - Sita from the demon king - Ravana. Sita-Eliya, site of Sita's imprisonment, stands a mere mile away, with the 'Sita Amman Kovil' close by.
Queen Victoria Park
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. NanuOya 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 journey from Nuwara-Eliya to Horton Plains only takes an hour. Horton Plains National Park is the only Nations Park situated in the hill country and the highest plateau in the island consisting of grassland interspersed with patches of forest, with some unusual high altitude vegetation and an excellent excursion and a paradise for nature lovers, hikers and bird watching.
The grassy plains still host many other wild lives. Species found here include Leopard, Sambar and the endemic Purple-faced Langur. Endemic highland birds include Dull-blue Flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye, and Yellow-eared Bulbul.
The most stunning place is the World's End, where the southern Horton Plains suddenly ends, and drops off to nearly 1050 meters, when is an awesome sight indeed. This shear drop offers a breathtaking view of the land below on clear days. This is a favorite place fro trekkers, as there are plenty of soft and hard trails.
Early morning visits are essential, both to see the wildlife and to view World's End before mists close in during the laterpart of the morning.
Flora - Trees & shrubs; up to now 744 species of flowering plants has been identified in the area out of which 112 species are endemic, and 78 species are identified to be endangered. Being a grassland more than 50 species of grass has been identified, majority of which are endemic.
Fauna - 460 species of birds are recorded to be found in Sri Lanka, out of which 33 species are endemic - out of this number more than 100 species are confined to Horton Plains. 12 endemic species of these birds can be seen in Horton Plains. Mammals - more than 10 species of mammals could be seen in the area, and apart from these, some species of reptiles, amphibians and butterflies could be seen in the area.
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. There are many factories open for visitors which also have tea sales outlets