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Tourist Places To Visit In Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya caught the eyes of the British because of its breath taking beauty and its refreshingly cool climate. Luckily for us, the modern residents of this hill town have maintained it so that it remains just as beautiful today as it was over 100 years ago, when it was first established. Most of the tourist places to visit in Nuwara Eliya therefore, are natural sites of tremendous scenic beauty. These places include waterfalls, tea plantations, hill side meadows and so on. While you are here, it is also recommended to keep an eye out for the impressive colonial architecture that defines Nuwara Eliya's charm.
Horton Plains National Park
About 30 km away from Nuwara Eliya lays the Horton Plains high up on a plateau that is over 7000 ft. above sea level. If you are planning a trip to Nuwara Eliya then this national park is a must visit. Cabs can be hired from Nuwara Eliya or you can even take a train to Pattipola that has one of the entrances to the park. Though the park is home to leopards, you may never encounter one during daytime. The park has three trails, the most common one being the ‘Main Trail’ that has the Mini World’s End and World’s end view points and also passes through Bakers Falls and Chimney Pool. There are other more difficult treks that summit to Totupolakanda and Kirigalpoththa Peaks.
St. Clair's Waterfalls
Located in Talawakele, a town in the district of Nuwara Eliya, St. Clair’s Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka with its water cascading over three gigantic rocks. The falls is about 250 ft. high and over 150 ft. wide and is situated in the midst of acres of tea plantations. The best part about the falls is that you will need to hike about half a kilometre through the fragrant tea estates before you can see it. There are a few trails near the falls that one can take to further explore the area.
The Lake is almost as old as the town of Nuwara Eliya, itself. The original settlers had it constructed to supply electricity to their new home. Today the lake is one of the most popular tourist sites in Nuwara Eliya. The lawns around the lake are frequented by people on a stroll, joggers, tourists and most importantly street food vendors. There are swan shaped paddle boats neatly arranged at one end of the lake to take enthusiastic visitors around for what can only be described as a 'surreal' ride.
Like most other important places in Nuwara Eliya, Victoria Park is also over a hundred years old. It is interesting to note that many of the trees standing in the park today were imported from abroad, mostly from Scandinavian countries. Beside the exotic trees, the park is also known for the many rare bird species that visit the park. The park is fairly large and you could easily spend an entire afternoon casually walking, picnicking, bird watching, reading or doing whatever else you would want to do in such a spectacular place. The park also has a dedicated kids' section with playgrounds and other facilities to entertain its young visitors.
Just 12 km away from the main city of Nuwara Eliya is what is commonly called ‘The Second World’s end’. The moon plains opened up to tourist in the recent past and it boasts of its 360° view from the mini world’s end point. Almost all of Sri Lanka’s important peaks are visible from here, including Piduruthalagala, Kirigalpoththa and Single Tree Mountain. The hike to the worlds end passes through the Potato Seed Farm and meadows that are frequented by herds of grazing elks, wild buffaloes and deer.
Hakgala Botanical Garden
About 10 km away from the city, in Badulla is Sri Lanka’s second largest botanic garden with an astounding collection of trees. It is also known for being one of the few gardens to be built at an altitude as high as 5000 ft. It boasts of having thousands of different species residing in the vast area that encompasses the garden. The garden is most popular for its orchids and other flower gardens, and it sees a large numbers of tourists arriving during the flowering season.
A collection of streams travel all the way from the peak of Piduruthalagala to form this 150 ft. high waterfall. It is not quite far from the city and is nestled amidst tea plantations. Like most places in Nuwara Eliya, the route to the falls includes a light trek through the gorgeous tea plantations. There are routes near the falls steep enough to make for an adventurous trek. The falls has some interesting folklore associated with it, making it all the more fascinating.
The Pedro Tea Estate
There are quite a few tea estates in Nuwara Eliya, as one would expect after seeing the vast hillsides draped in plantations of tea. There are many old establishments worth mentioning and Pedro’s Tea Estate is one of them. This is one of the most beautiful tea estates that offer a complete tea tour which include hiking through the plantations, watching the leaves being picked, the drying, the processing and to top it off, a tea tasting. Pedro’s has the additional advantage of being close enough to the city so getting there is no hassle at all. Should this particular tea estate be inaccessible then a trip to another tea estate is advised. After all, this is the tea capital we are talking about.
Galway's Land National Park
Galway's Land National Park is a small little wildlife sanctuary in Nuwara Eliya, formed as recently as 1938 for birds and flowers especially. The unique part of this park is that it is located inside the city arena, and still manages to keep its natural aura intact. While Galway’s Land protects as many as ten endemic species of Sri Lanka, it also boasts of large packs of barking deer, wild boars and local and exotic birds. You can visit Galway's Land National Park on any day of the week, it is always open.
Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
In the hilly terrain of Nuawara Eliya, why not visit Asia’s oldest golf clubs — the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club! It is as old as 1889 and owes its existence to the colonial British rulers of the time who enjoyed the tea gardens of Nuwara Eliya so much that they started to build a holiday atmosphere around them. Even today the grounds are very well maintained and you can get to play a game or two with your friends.
Strolling down the town of Nuwara Eliya is one of the most beautiful parts of its experience. The Town Walk invites you to do just that, taking you through the Little England charm of its colonial bungalows, streets, Tudor buildings and churches and temples. You will also walk by tea gardens, and jungles upon jungles over hills, as the town weaves beautifully with the nature here.
About 16 km away from the town centre lies the Ramboda Falls, all high ridges and heavy streams, hills popping upon plains and highlands that remind you of Scotland. Ramboda Falls are 358 ft high and bring bunches of cold winds with them as they flow like a cascade down dark rocks. You will have to hike up a 2 km hilly track to reach here, and then let all your fatigue vanish in the refreshing cold environment of the surroundings.
Laxapana Falls lie in Hatton town. The height from which they flow make it silvery, almost foamy in texture and appearance. The natural pool cut beneath the falls is another breathtaking place where you get to sit and enjoy a quiet afternoon. With a height of 413 ft, Laxapana Falls break apart from Kelani river’s tributary, hence are so heavy and forceful. A treat for your eyes and some local knowledge, as there are two hydroelectric projects nearby too for a visit, Laxapana is a must visit.
Aberdeen Falls are like a cascade of white in an emerald world of green mountains and fields. They derive their name from the Aberdeen tea plantations nearby, making for a coveted trip on the side. The trek up to Aberdeen is not a simple uphill hike, so go prepared. But then the best part about reaching is that you can dive right into the pool that is deep enough to enjoy a noon under the streaming water.
The tall 7000+ ft mountain named Adam’s Peak is a local pilgrimage in Sri Lanka. The peak is so revered for its large foot-shaped imprint that all religions in the town have a legend for. Some say it is Lord Buddha’s footprint, others claim it as Adam’s, while the Hindus believe that Lord Shiva stepped and left his imprint on the mountain. Pilgrims come here, hike up and pray. The 5000 stairs up the mountain are another great form of trek.
Seeta Amman Temple
Nuwara Eliya’s Seeta Amman Temple, in the small village named Seetha Eliya reveres the daughter of mother Earth — Sita. In addition to being the wife of Lord Ram, Devi Sita was a celestial lady born not from a mother’s womb but from the earth itself when a field was broken to plough. This unique temple reveres Sita in that form, a woman born of the earth and mud, who was kidnapped and brought to the land of Sri Lanka before her husband brought a whole army to fight for her. You will also find the footprints of Hanumanji here at this temple and the place of this temple is said to be Ashok Vatika, where Ravan had held Sita captive.
Ambewela Farm is popular as the New Zealand Farm because of its lush green farmlands and bright blue skies, tall mountains and organic harvest in Nuwara Eliya’s country-side. The famous cliff called ‘World’s End’ is also a tourist haunt as it drops straight into a 1200 m valley. Ambewela is not too far from Nuwara Eliya, only about 20 km. It is hence a good day picnic with its line of cafes, misty landscapes and farm animals where families are found enjoying a happy day.
Bomburu Falls are the widest in the country of Sri Lanka, dropping from a 2000 m high cliff into a pool. You can reach here after a 14 km long drive from Nuwara Eliya and a short hike that leaves from the well-paved road to the interiors of this waterfall. The place is pretty famous hence you will find quite a few stalls selling beverages and street food on your hike too.
Bluefield Tea Gardens
Nuwara Eliya, among its many boons, is known for its tea gardens and estates. Bluefield Tea Gardens is definitely one of the best ones around. Emerald fields, the heady fragrance of fresh nascent tea leaves and the English countryside charm — it all adds up to the beauty of being here. As local women pick leaves, you can enjoy a tour of the tea factory where these raw tea leaves are processed into the packaged tea that you drink in your homes. Ceylon tea is their best and most loved, with tea connoisseurs also helping you sample more kinds in their tea gardens.