Nuwara Eliya: Highlights of the High Life
Nuwaraeliya meaning "city of light" is Sri Lanka’s tea plantation hub located at an elevation of 1900m in the island’s central highlands. Due to its colonial history and European-esque weather, the Nuwaraeliya attractions are unique and a welcome break from the tropical heat of the island’s lowlands.
Let us take a look at the numerous places to visit in Nuwaraeliya. The placid Gregory Lake is the soul of Nuwareliya and offers a calming stroll in the park by the lake, including boat rides for the prefect relaxation.
The Victoria Park of Nuwaraeliya is 27 acres and host to foreign plants and about 90% of Sri Lanka’s tree species. The Nanu Oya lake and a number of other streams flow through the area, enhancing its beauty. There are also a number of bird species speckling the park.
Galway’s Land Bird Sanctuary is an enchanting vast expanse of 57.6 hectares of land. This bird sanctuary attracts a myriad of species of rare migratory birds and a large number of Sri Lankan birds.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens is home to many subtropical and tropical plants. The legendary Indian folktale ‘Ramayana’ surrounds the garden where Sita, the wife of Rama was allegedly imprisoned in the gardens by the Demon King Ravana. The surrounding area is known as Sita Eliya where the Sita Temple has been erected.
Horton Plains is an enchanting world with some breath-taking hikes in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second- and third-highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2357m). The plains are in the form of an undulating plateau over 2000m high and pitted with rocky outcrops, streams, and offshoots of forests. The plateau ends at World’s End or “Lover’s leap”, which offers a spell-binding 880m drop into oblivion and a tremendous panoramic view.
Nuwaraeliya is well-known for its dazzling waterfalls, namely the Devon Falls, 1140m above sea level is situated 6km west of Talawakele, which is formed by the Kothmale Oya, a tributary of the Mahaweli River. Similarly, St. Clair's Falls is one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka and also known as the "Little Niagara of Sri Lanka". The falls are situated 3km west of the town and it cascades over three rock outcrops into a large natural pool.
From Sri Lanka’s tropical heat and golden sand beaches, the Nuwaraeliya attractions are nothing short of stepping into another world of astonishing sites, soaked in history, cool mist and mystery. The places to visit in Nuwaraeliya are always a welcome change to savor and blissfully unwind.