Nuwara Eliya The mountain resort
Blessed a 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.
Nuwara Eliya (City of Lights), also known as 'Little' England', was the favourite hill station of the British who tried to create Nuwara Eliya into a typical English Village. 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'.
Places of interest in and around Nuwara Eliya
This lake was fashioned under orders of British Governor Sir William Gregory in 1873. A boat yard now allows visitors to go boating and rowing.
The Gardens was firs established in 1861 under the curatorship of three British of the same name - William Nock, JK Nock and JJ Nock. It lies under the Hakgala Peak, between 5000 - 6000 feet in elevation - the highest set Botanic Gardens in the world. It boasts 100 year old Monetary Cypress trees from California, Japanese Cedars, Himalayan Pines and English Oak.
Horton Plains is a National Park and the highest plateau in the island consisting of grassland interspersed with patches of forest, with some unusual high altitude vegetation. The Plains are a beautiful, silent, strange world with some excellent walks.
The most stunning place is the World's End, where the southern Horton Plains suddenly ends, and drops off to nearly 700 Metres, which is an awesome sight indeed. This is a favourite place for trekkers, as there are plenty of soft and hard trails.
Laksapana Falls rise from the Laksapana estate and plunges into the Maskeliya Oya via Maoussakelle. Viewing this fall is easy if you camp down at Upper Glencairn, Dick oya.
This is off the Nuwara Eliya - Kandapola Road. The waters are taken to brew the famous Nuwara Eliya Beer. It is said how an eloping couple, pursued by an irate father, threw themselves over the falls.
Devon Falls drops 97 metres and is named after Devon, a pioneer coffee planter. It is 6 Km west of Thalawakelle and there is a special parking and viewing spot at the 20th mile post.
A visit to this estate, entrance from the road at the Ramboda end of Nuwara Eliya, is significant because it was here that the first thirty tea plants sent from China to Sri Lanka were planted by Mr. Laurence Oliphant, increasing his tea acreage to 100 acres.
The brewing of beer was started in Nuwara Eliya by Sir Samuel Baker in 1881 at Lover's Leap. It is an interesting visit, for the brewery is one of the finest in the island. It's been in business since 1884.
This is through Gampola and Ginigathhena and you will find the story of this old path carved on two rocks off the 28th milestone on the Nawalapitiya - Ambagamuwa road. The spot is called Akuruketupana and the inscription dates to around 1100AD. Today there are four other roads to the peak, the shortest being via Maskeliya and the most popular. Other roads are on the Sabaragamuwa side.
This is believed the cave in the mountainside, where King Keerthi Sri Nissanka buried a great treasure, including his regalia. It is only after one passes this cave and enters the forest that one comes to the Sita Gangula, a holy river of ice cold water, where pilgrims bathe and put on white garments, before continuing their journey to the peak.