Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is located 168 km off Colombo, Sri Lanka, 77 km off Kandy with an elevation of 6200 ft above sea level in the central mountains.

Nuwara Eliya is located 168 km off Colombo, Sri Lanka, 77 km off Kandy with an elevation of 6200 ft above sea level in the central mountains. This is the premier hill resort with splendid scenery and fine bracing mountain climate. The average temperature is 60 F.

Nuwara Eliya is decidedly English in some ways (houses gardens and place names) and owes much to a pioneering Englishman, Sir Samuel Baker. This is also the heart of the tea country with scenic tea estates. Nuwara Eliya Teas are some of the very best with a fine bouquet and colour. Many of the Island’s high mountain peaks including the highest Mt. Pidurutalagala 8,281 ft are located in this district. It is also the home for the beautiful Ramboda Falls (329 ft). It is an ideal place for excellent walks, drives, riding and hiking and for exceptionally good Golf with adventurous boating on picturesque Lake Gregory. The town is known for many seasonal (March/April) events, Horse Racing, Horticultural Shows, Fun fairs and Motor Racing at Mahagastota.

Tourists Attractions in Nuwara Eliya

  • Horton Plains

The Horton Plains National Park is the only National Park situated in the hill country and the highest plateau in the island consisting of grassland interspersed with patches of forest. Horton Plains is a treasure of flora and fauna. Few major rivers of Sri Lanka start from this place. Horton Plains is most of the time covered with mist. This is an excellent excursion and a paradise for nature lovers and hikers. This has become a very popular attraction among local and foreign visitors. The best season to visit Horton plains is March to May. Early morning visits are essential if you want to see the breath taking views of “World’s End”. Visitors have to travel by foot throughout the journey and you will come across many more attractive locations. Among them are grasslands, patches of forest, sparkling streams, water pools and endemic highland birds. The Baker’s fall is also one of the stunning places that one should go near and feel the coldness of the water.

  • Golf

Nuwara Eliya is located 168 km off Colombo, 77 km off Kandy with an elevation of 6200 ft above sea level in the central mountains. This is the premier hill resort with splendid scenery and fine bracing mountain climate. The average temperature is 60 F. The Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest golf clubs in Asia and probably the world and is enriched with a tradition and an ambience which is hard to equal. The Club is situated at the foot of Mount Piduruthalagala (Mount Pedro) and is surrounded by some of the finest tea gardens in Sri Lanka.

  • Boat Riding

Lake Gregory is one of the most significant tourist attractions in Nuwara Eliya. With recent upliftment in the Nuwara Eliya area, many recreation facilities were introduced around the lake Gregory area. You can buy a ticket and visit the Lake Park and enjoy your evening by the lake. Should you need a boat ride, they are there for you to offer a ride and get an unforgettable experience. Swan Boats are there to hire if you need a ride on your own.

Sri Lankan air taxis are available for you to reach up to Nuwara Eliya in about 45 minutes from Colombo. All those sea planes land on the Lake Gregory.

  • Botanical Gardens

The Victoria Park of Nuwara Eliya said to be named to commemorate the 60th Jubilee Coronation of Queen Victoria in the year 1897. Originally the park was used as the research field of Hakgala Botanical Garden. The park is 27 acres in extent and about 90% of the tree species available are those of foreign plants. The park is within the city limits and it has become a must see location for anyone who visits Nuwara Eliya. During the summer, the park is filled with colourful roses and various flowers not seen in any other cities of Sri Lanka.

Hakgala Gardens was started as a Botanical garden. Here you can find all the flowers of an English cottage garden in spring and summer. With the cool climate of Nuwara Eliya, many different kinds of plants from different parts of the world can be seen. For example, conifers and cedars from Australia, Bermuda cypresses from the Himalayas English oak are some of the highlights. This is located along the Nuwara Eliya - Badulla road (along Kandy-Ramboda) It is said that the King “Rawana” used this place as an herbal garden.

  • Hindu Temples

Enroute from Nuwara Eliya to the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, one will find the Sita Eliya Hindu Temple on the left. It is free to go into the temple but it is customary to give a donation. As with many Sri Lankan Hindu Temples, there are a lot of colourful statues. Some need a new coat of paint. One has to take the hats and shoes off and should not be wearing revealing clothing as it is disrespectful. The temple is on the side of the road.

Sri Lanka features in the Hindu Epic story called Ramayana. It tells of how Sita, the wife of the god Rama, was kidnapped by the ten-headed demon king called Ravana. He transported her to the island of Lanka where she was held captive. Local legend will have one believe that the place of her incarceration was where the Sita Eliya Temple now stands.

  • Tea Plantation

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 retreat of the European planters, the town is still very much an English town popularly called little England with many cottage type English style bungalows and buildings. 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.

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, one will find acres and acres of tea plantations. Infact, nothing but tea estates. There are many factories open for visitors which also have tea sales outlets.

  • Milk Farm

The New Zealand farm also known as Ambewela Farm is based in Nuwara Eliya. Actually there are two parts in Ambewela Farm. They are “Ambewela Farm” and “New Zealand Farm”. The area where these farms are located is also called as "Little New Zealand". Ambewela is the country’s Dairy capital and home to several local producers like the government owned Highland Factory and the Ambewela Cattle Farms. These farms are located approximately 17 km (11 mi) away from the Nuwara Eliya town to the south-east of Nuwara Eliya.

  • Trekking – Piduruthalagala

Piduruthalagala Mountain and the Forest Reserve are situated almost next to the heart of Nuwara Eliya town. Nuwara Eliya being a mountain valley consists of a plateau that is shaped elliptically. The mountains situated on this plateau rise upto 2000 feet making some ridges. The plateau being 6240 feet above sea level makes the highest mountain peak, that is Pidurutalagala to attain a height of 8292 feet (2527 mts) above sea level. During 1897, there had been a path made to climb Pidurutalagala Mountain. The four mile track to the top could have been made by walking for two and half hours or could be made on horseback. The ladies of that time also had the choice of being carried on a chair which was tied to two Bamboo poles and carried by four bearers all the way up and back. The British preferred to call this mountain “Pedro” as pronouncing the mountain as "Pidurutalagala" was not an easy task for them. The meaning of the word Pidurutalagala can be likened as "Straw laden rock".

Nuwara Eliya on map

Sri Lanka Tourism Activities around Nuwara Eliya