Nuwara Eliya, known as ‘Little England’
The hill station of Nuwara Eliya (City of Light), known as ‘Little England’ since its adoption by colonial British tea planters in the 19th C, is celebrated for its fresh climate and wonderful scenery.
The town and surrounding countryside offer many activities for tourists including visits to tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus.
An 18-hole golf course, considered one of the finest and most picturesque in Asia, attracts golfers year round. Local tourists flock to this town in their ‘season’ from March to May.
A visual treat is Devon Falls, a spectacular 300ft waterfall, named after a pioneer English coffee planter. This, and a chain of lesser falls, are fed by a river that was dammed upstream to create the Kotmale hydro-electric project.
Hakgala Botanic Gardens. More than 10,000 plant species are found in one of Sri Lanka’s best-known botanical gardens, originally created to cultivate cinchona, the bark of which yields quinine, once the only treatment for malaria.
Lovers Leap. Legend has it that the 100ft high Lovers’ Leap is so named because it was here that a Sinhala prince and the love of his life, a beautiful but lowly-born village girl, committed suicide after she was rejected by the prince’s parents.
Pedro Tea Estate. Of the many tea plantations surrounding Nuwara Eliya, the Pedro estate is perhaps the best known. They are more than happy to give guided tours to parties or individuals, and will proudly show of the factory, built in 1885 and still packed with 19th-century engineering.