Nuwara Eliya | Hill Country City | Central Province
- Stopover Destination -
Distance: 66 km
Nuwara Eliya is a city, in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city name meaning is "city on the plain (table land)" or "city of light". The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It is located at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is considered to be the most important location for Tea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.
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'.
The city was founded by Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile in 1846. Nuwara Eliya's climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. Nuwara Eliya, called Little England then, was also a hill country retreat where the British colonialists could immerse in their pastimes such as fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket. Although the town was founded in the 19th century by the British, the whole district is today visited by native travelers, specially during the month of April, the season of flowers, pony races, go cart races and auto rally. Many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen's Cottage, General's House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, Town Post Office and even new hotels are often built and furnished in the colonial style. Anyone who visits the city can wallow in its nostalgia of bygone days by visiting these landmark buildings. Many private homes still maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.
Due to its highland location, Nuwara Eliya has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), with a mean annual temperature of 16 °C (61 °F). In the winter months it is quite cold at night, and there can even be frost. However, it rapidly warms up as the tropical sun climbs higher during the day.