Often referred to as ‘City of Light’ or the ‘Little England’, the city of NuwaraEliya is blessed with a pleasant climate, green valleys, plantations of tea and coffee and abundant scenic beauty.
Interestingly, NuwaraEliya was discovered accidently by the Colonial British in the eighteenth century and it took them almost a decade to realize the real potential of this city. In the eighteenth century, the British Governor established a coffee planting centre in this region and in the later years, gardening of English vegetables was introduced making NuwaraEliya the leading producer and local distributors of European vegetables in this country till today. In the late eighteenth century, after the success of coffee centre, the plantation of tea was introduced which further resulted in the development of this region. Since most of the building structures and architecture like Queen's Cottage, General's House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, St Andrew's Hotel and Town Post Office are from the colonial period, this city is popularly known as ‘Little England’. The influence of colonial times is so high that even the new constructed hotels, building & gardens are built in colonial style.
What to See
The city has many attractions like the Hakgala Botanical Gardens which second largest botanic garden in Sri Lanka, Lake Gregory – an artificial lake built to generate electricity for this town, several waterfalls like Laxapana, Lover’s leap & Devon Falls, tea & coffee plantations and estates such as Oliphant Tea Estate &The Ceylon Breweries. Further, this city is also the gateway to visit the most popular destination - Horton Plains which is primarily known for the top cliff point - World’s End.
Apart from these point of interests, NuwaraEliya also houses a Golf course. Every year in the month of April, this city comes alive to celebrate the festive season. During this month the city hosts a number of events like Golf tournaments, motor cross, horse racing, clay pigeon shooting, carnival etc. Thousands of local tourist flock this city during this month and often find difficulty in finding hotels or accommodation to stay as every hotel is booked upto capacity.
Best Time to visit
April is a festive season and good to visit but bookings need to be made in advance as there is much tourist rush. Moderate climate in the months of February to April are a good time to visit this destination. This place is mostly cooler throughout the year and average temperatures are around thirty degrees Celsius. Winter months are pleasant too with temperatures between thirteen to thirty degrees.