About Nuwara Eliya

Country: India | State: Sri Lanka

Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest City to Nuwara Eliya: Colombo (168 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Nuwara Eliya: December to May

Peak Season: January to April

At a distance of 53 km from Ella, 72 km from Kandy, 182 km from Sigiriya, 150 km from Dambulla, 168 km from Colombo, 188 km from Polonnaruwa, 227 km from Anuradhapura, 230 km from Mirissa, 267 km from Galle, 274 km from Trincomalee, and 412 km from Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful hill town in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya district and among the must-include places in Sri Lanka Packages.

Often called the mini London, Nuwara Eliya is known for its picturesque landscape and temperate climate. The literal meaning of Nuwara Eliya is the 'city on the plain (table land)' or 'city of lights'. It is a perfect place to relax and escape the oppressive heat and humidity that surrounds the rest of the country as this is the highest town in Sri Lanka situated at an altitude of 1868 m. Overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka.

Though Nuwara Eliya had been inhabited during the early period of the kingdom of Kandy, the existence of the spectacular 'Eliya' valley wasn't known to the Colonial British until the accidental discovery by the colonial civil servant John Davy in the year 1819. Governor Edward Barnes converted Nuwara Eliya into a commercial and a coffee planting center during the 1830s. In the year 1847, the great colonial explorer Samuel Baker introduced the gardening of English vegetables in Nuwara Eliya. To date, Nuwara Eliya is the leading producer of European vegetables in Sri Lanka and it distributes all vegetables to the rest of the island. During the 1870s, the plantation of tea was introduced by Sir James Taylor resulting in the development of the Nuwara Eliya district as the heart of the tea-growing region of the Central Highlands of Ceylon. The town was later the ultimate destination for English pastimes such as golf, fox hunting, polo, etc.

With a multitude of gorgeous attractions ranging from waterfalls and tea plantations to gardens and lakes, Nuwara Eliya is a quiet place with great scenic beauty. The most notable tourist attraction in Nuwara Eliya is Lake Gregory, a stunning reservoir constructed in 1873. One can take a boat ride, jet skis and pony rides at this typically tranquil lake. Besides, Lover's Leap Falls, Bomburu Ella Falls, Victoria Park, St. Clair's Falls, Devon Falls, Labukelle Tea Factory, Rambada Falls, Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Galway's Land National Park and Seetha Eliya Temple are the places to visit in Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is a start point for visiting the Horton Plains National Park.

The town comes alive in April for the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. It is difficult to find accommodation as Sri Lankans holiday in the region during this period. The festive season starts on April 1 annually in a ceremonial manner that consists mainly of a band show in which all the local school bands participate. One can also witness motor racing, horse racing, golf tournament, and flower show during this time.

Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is the nearest airport which is about 161 km from Nuwara Eliya. It has well flight connectivity with India and other parts of Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the United States. Nanuoya Railway Station, about 9 km from Nuwara Eliya, is the nearest railhead and has well train connectivity with Colombo, Kandy, Ella, and Badulla. Traveling by train is a safe, inexpensive and scenic way to get to Nuwara Eliya. There are a number of public and private buses that travel from Nuwara Eliya to Colombo, Ella, and Kandy on a daily basis. However, road transport between Colombo and Nuwara Eliya is very slow and the journey will typically take 5-6 hours.

Being a hill station, Nuwara Eliya experiences pleasant weather for most of the year. December to May is the best time to visit Nuwara Eliya when the city witnesses little rainfall and quite low temperatures making it the perfect time for exploring the picturesque sights. However, April is quite a busy month in Nuwara Eliya, as this is the time of the Sinhalese New Year, with flower shows, horse races and car races happening across the city and inevitably, the hotel prices are very high. Better to avoid the months of June to November, as the rainfall is generally high during this time, hindering sightseeing.

...read more

Other Info
Internet Availability: Average
STD Code: 0094-052
Languages Spoken: Sinhalese, Tamil, & English
Major Festivals: Sinhalese New Year & Tamil New Year

How to Reach Nuwara Eliya

By Air

Nearest Airport: Colombo - Bandaranaike Airport (161 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Nanu Oya (9 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya


#1 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 15 km from Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand, Mackwood Tea Factory is located at Labookellie near Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka. Also known as Labookellie Tea Factory, it is one of the finest tea centers in Sri Lanka and among the popular places to visit in Nuwara Eliya.

Located at an altitude of over 2000m, Mackwoods is a historical tea factory covering over 27,000 acres of tea and rubber plantations. It was originally founded by Captain William Mackwood in 1841 during the inception of tea estates in Sri Lanka. This second oldest mercantile firm of the country has been a supplier of Royal black tea to the British Royal family. The company remained with the Mackwoods family until 1956, when it was passed on to Mr. N.S.O. Mendis, a visionary Sri Lankan entrepreneur. Mackwoods then experienced exponential growth as a brand and is now a pioneer in the management of tea estates with an employee count of over 10,200.

Mackwoods also provides factory guided visit with free of cost. .....

...read more


#2 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 2 km from Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand, Gregory Lake is a huge manmade lake situated in the middle of the Nuwara Eliya town in Sri Lanka. It is one of the popular places to visit in Nuwara Eliya as part of Sri Lanka Packages.

Lake Gregory, sometimes also called Gregory Lake or Gregory Reservoir was constructed during the period of British Governor Sir William Gregory in 1873. In 1913 the waters of the lake were directed into a tunnel that flows to a hydropower station at 'Blackpool' between the Nuwara Eliya and Nanu Oya. The power station continues to supply electricity to the town to this day. It was used for watersports during the British colonial period.

Thronged by tourists, this lake is perfect for picnics, and strolls as it has many recreational activities. Tourists can hire small boats, and go boating across the lake, or whizz across the lake in a speed boat. Tourists can also go for pony rides or bicycle around the lake. The park around it has a well-maintained .....

...read more


#3 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 6 km from Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand, Hakgala Botanical Garden is a well-maintained garden in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. Situated on the Nuwara Eliya-Badulla main road, it is the second-largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka and among the top places to visit in Nuwara Eliya as part of Sri Lanka Tour.

Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the five botanical gardens in Sri Lanka while the other four are Peradeniya Botanical Garden, Henarathgoda Botanical Garden, Mirijjawila Botanical Garden, and Seetawaka Botanical Garden. The garden is contiguous to Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve. It was established in 1861 by Dr. G.H.K. Thwaites, for experimenting with the growth of Cinchona. Later, it was used for Tea cultivation and then changed into a garden with many subtropical and tropical plants in 1884.

Situated at an altitude is 5,400 feet, the Hakgala Botanical Garden is believed to be the highest altitude botanical gardens in the world. The legendary Indian epic 'Ramayana' .....

...read more


#4 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 2 km from Hagkala Botanical Gardens and 4 km from Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand, Seeta Amman Temple is a Hindu temple located at Seeta Eliya. Also known as Seeta Eliya Temple, it is one of the popular places related to Hindu epic Ramayana in Sri Lanka and among the must-visit places in Nuwara Eliya.

The temple is dedicated to Goddess Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. This is the most famous temple in Nuwara Eliya owing to its beautiful architecture and the place where it has been built. This is believed to be the place where Sita Devi was held captive by King Ravana and where she prayed daily for Rama to come and rescue her.

The Seeta Amman Temple has idols of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Goddess Sita along with the idol of Lord Hanuman. The temple premises also have Lord Hanuman's footprints as this is also the spot where Lord Hanuman came to deliver a message to Sita Devi. The prints vary in size, indicating Lord Hanuman's ability to transform himself into any size. There .....

...read more


#5 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 4 km from Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand, Victoria Park is a public park located in the hill town of Nuwara Eliya. This is one of the most attractive parks in Sri Lanka and among the prime places to visit in Nuwara Eliya.

Touted as one of the best-maintained town parks in South Asia, the Victoria Park lies at the center of Nuwara Eliya town. Originally the park was the research field of Hakgala Botanical Garden but was renamed to honor the 60th Jubilee Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1897. This is the perfect place for family outings where the tourists can enjoy watching exotic birds, and some rare flowering plants.

Spread over 27 acres of land, the park was established with the planting of its first tree, an Oak, by a visiting German Princess. Now it is home to numerous species of trees and plants. The most distinct thing about this place is that 90% of the plants found here are of foreign variety. The Nanu Oya River runs through the park, creating a number of small .....

...read more


#6 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 5 km from Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand, Moon Plains is a picturesque landscape in Nuwara Eliya. Also known as Sandatenna, it is one of the beautiful places to visit in Nuwara Eliya while holidaying in Sri Lanka.

Nestled 6,200 feet above mean sea level, Moon Plains is the most recently opened attraction which was once the dumpsite of the tons of garbage used by the dwellers of the nearby city. It was cleaned and reconditioned in 2010 and is now classified as an Agricultural and Environmental Tourism Zone by the Municipality of Nuwara Eliya.

These plains are famous for the Mini World's End viewpoint which offers surprisingly a spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain range such as Pidurutalaga, Single Tree Mountain, Kikiliyamana Mountain, Great Western Mountain, Konical Hill Mountain, Kirigalpoththa Mountain, Thotupola Mountain, Hakgala Mountain, and Namunukula Mountain. It is a wide-open area with the chances of seeing wild boars, cows, buffaloes, deer .....

...read more


#7 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 10 km from Ohiya, 29 km from Nuwara Eliya and 48 km from Ella, Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is one of the most beautiful World Heritage Sites in the world and among the prime places to visit in Nuwara Eliya during Sri Lanka Tour.

The great Horton Plains was discovered by the planter Thomas Farr in the early 19th century. The original name of the plains was Maha Eliya, meaning 'great open plains,' but it was renamed in 1834 after Robert Wilmot-Horton, the then Governor of Ceylon. Horton Plains was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1969 and was elevated to a national park in 1988. The Peak Wilderness Sanctuary which lies in the west is contiguous with the park. And, in 2010, the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka which incorporates Horton Plains National Park, Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and the Knuckles Mountain Range was inscribed on the World .....

...read more


#8 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 25 km from Nuwara Eliya, Ramboda Falls is a spectacular waterfall situated at Ramboda near Nuwara Eliya town of Sri Lanka. It is one of the beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka and among the must-visit places in Nuwara Eliya.

Also known as Ramboda Ella or Puna Ella, Ramboda Falls is originally two separate waterfalls that have two different sources and combines at the base to form a Y shape. One cascade is the Puna Falls or Ramboda Falls that has its source from the Puna Oya and the second cascade is called the Dunsinane Falls that has its source from the Pundalu Oya, the tributaries of Kothmale River. Cascades down from a height of about 358 feet, it is the 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 729th highest waterfall in the world.

It is situated in the Pussellawa area on the A5 highway at Ramboda Pass. There are three recognizable falls very close to each other. Middle falls lies right by the side of the A5 highway. The upper part and bottom parts are on .....

...read more


#9 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 10 km from Nuwara Eliya Bus Stand, Strawberry Farms can be reached via Hakgala - Ambewela Road. This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Nuwara Eliya as part of Sri Lanka Packages.

These fields are a great backdrop for the photographers who are trying to capture the scenic beauty of Nuwara Eliya. During the strawberry season, the visitors can go around the plantation and pick up their own strawberries. It is also possible to arrange a tractor tour around the premises. Some of these fields also have an attached shop where freshly picked strawberries along with jams, juices, and other strawberry-based products are readily available.

Two of the most popular plantations are located in Ambewela and Ragala, both approximately 30 minutes' drive from Nuwara Eliya town. Here, strawberries are grown in open fields and poly tunnels. The prominent Sun grown Strawberries hoarding displayed on the Nanu Oya - Radella shortcut road is the brand name of Jagro .....

...read more


#10 of 17 Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

At a distance of 25 km from Nuwara Eliya, St. Clair's Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated at Talawakele town in Nuwara Eliya district of Sri Lanka. It is one of the popular waterfalls in Sri Lanka and among the prime places to visit in Nuwara Eliya.

The falls are formed over the Kotmale Oya, a tributary of the Mahaweli River. This majestic waterfall cascades over three rocky outcrops into a large pool. It runs through Saint Clair Tea Estate, from which the falls got the name. The waterfall consist of two falls called 'Maha Ella' means 'The Greater Fall', and 'Kuda Ella', means 'The Lesser Fall'. The Maha Ella is about 260 feet high and 160 feet wide while the Kuda Ella is about 160 feet high and is located immediately downstream of the main fall. St Clair's falls is the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka and is commonly known as the 'Little Niagara of Sri Lanka'.

It is one of six waterfalls affected by the Upper Kotmale Hydropower Project. The falls are located 2.2 km downstream .....

...read more