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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.