Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Nuwara Eliya

by Dulanjaya mahagamage
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nuwara eliya sri lanka

Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful town located in a valley in the central hills of Sri Lanka. Perched at an elevation of 1868 m (6128 ft) above sea level, this town belongs to the Nuwara Eliya District. Nuwara Eliya is known as the City of Light, City on the Plain, Little England. Piduruthalagala mountain, the highest mountain in Sri Lanka, is also located close to this city. 

Another specialty of Nuwara Eliya is the variety of European fruits and flowers found there. The inhabitants of the city cultivate these as the main source of income, as an additional source of income, or as a hobby. Throughout the Little England paradigm, vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, leeks, roses, daisies, asteroids, and delicious strawberries appear. The Orange Pekoe Tea, one of the world’s finest teas, is produced by tea trees that grow slowly in this mountainous region. Also, several tea factories around Nuwara Eliya offer samples or tea products buying opportunities to the tourists.

Nuwara Eliya was discovered by Samuel Baker during the British colonial period in 1846. The town was used that day for fox hunting, polo, cricket, and other hobbies by British colonialists. Though the town was discovered by the British in the 19th century, it was frequented by native Sinhalese tourists. Archaeological findings testify to the fact that the area was inhabited by prehistoric humans.

Most of the buildings here were built during the British colonial era, in keeping with European architecture. The architects also follow the construction of new buildings (hotels, tourist houses) in the city. A little walk through the town shows that many private homes still maintain their British-style lawns and gardens.

Because of the high altitude of this area, Nuwara Eliya has a colder climate than the lowlands of Sri Lanka. Its mean annual temperature is 16 degrees Celsius. During the monsoon months (January to March), there is extremely cold weather during the night, and early morning flowering can sometimes be seen. On this day, the minimum temperature falls below 4 degrees Celsius. There is also warmth around sunset. This value exceeds 26 degrees Celsius someday.

The first inter monsoon is active in March and April, and the southwest monsoon is active from May to September. During this time, the torrential rain is accompanied by strong southwesterly winds, with occasional bitterly wet weather. The average number of days of sunlight is approximately 5-6 days per month. The second monsoon is active in October and November and the northeast monsoon from December to February. Rainfall is generally higher than in other seasons.

With the Sinhala and Tamil New Year coming up in April, the city is getting even tenser. This is because of the spring carnival held here in April. The inaugural event of the Spring Carnival will be held annually on April 01 under the patronage of the Mayor of Yin and will feature a ballet show featuring the city’s schools. Among the highlights of the festival are motor racing, race events, spring flower shows, night carnivals, photo exhibitions. Motor racing takes place at Magastota and Radella mountain. What attracts the most is the Red Rose Model Nuwara Eliya and the 4×4 ‘Lake Cross’ competition held on the banks of the Gregory Lake. The climax of this event is the Governor’s Cup. In addition, there are many shops and food stalls available throughout the city this season. 

Tourist destinations in Nuwara Eliya are uncountable. Below are some of the most attractive destinations among them.

Lake Gregory 

Anyone who enters Nuwara Eliya town should not miss Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya. Gregory Lake is abundant not only in the spring but also in the rest of the seasons. It does not apply day and night. So much so that it is a beautiful ecological monument. Gregory Lake was built during the British colonial period. Lake Gregory can identify as the heart of the Nuwara Eliya town. Gregory Lake was built in 1873 by Sir William Gregory, who was the Governor of Ceylon during the British rule in Sri Lanka.

The landscape around Gregory Lake is beautifully landscaped and the surrounding hillsides enhance the beauty of Lake Gregory Lake. A ticket is required to enter Gregory Lake park and there is ample space for parking. Here you can enjoy leisure activities such as boat riding on the lake, riding horses and shooting air rifles. There are places for eating and other sanitary facilities. Shop at the park where you can buy food, ornaments and telephone cards. Gregory Lake & Garden is a must-visit when visiting Nuwara Eliya.

Victoria Park


This is a public park in Nuwara Eliya town. The park has been named Victoria Park to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Anniversary in 1987. The Nanu Oya River runs through the park, creating a number of small lakes. A number of rare bird species can be found in the park. At the far end of the park are a small children’s playground and miniature rideable railway.

Hakgala Botanical Garden


Hakgala Botanic Gardens, situated in the Nuwara Eliya District, are renowned as a beautiful garden. Hakgala Botanic Gardens, established in 1961, is the second-largest Botanic Gardens in Sri Lanka. Situated at an altitude of 5400 m above sea level, the park has a cooler climate. The temperature ranges from 16 to 30 degrees Celsius, with winters from December to February and hot weather from April to August.

The Hakgala Botanical Garden is about 16 km along the Nuwara Eliya – Badulla road. A ticket to enter the park needs to be bought and vehicles can be parked on the road outside the car park. 

The Hakgala Botanic Gardens are rich in landscaping and the variety of flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, and buildings adds to the beauty of the garden. The Rose Garden is one of the unique attractions of the place, which is filled with beautiful roses of different colors and shapes.

Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains is one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka, attracting the attention of both local and foreign. It is a unique national park with biodiversity and archaeological value. One who seeks the world-famous World’s End will find a beautiful plain with a unique solitude not found in any other ecosystem of our country. Horton Plains is the most breathtaking biodiversity hotspot in cold Nuwara Eliya. This is the only national park in the wet zone of Sri Lanka, this is the tallest flat land in Sri Lanka. This is situated in the central hills, at an altitude of 1200-2300 m above sea level.

In the Horton Plains you will find two great slopes, the Great World’s End, the Mini World’s End, and the waterfalls such as the Chimney Falls and Baker’s Falls, and also the rich biodiversity. There are about 101 species of plants here. 49 of them are unique to Sri Lanka. The majority are endemic to the Horton Plains. Some people refer to the common plant as Innamounonalifolium, while others say it is Syzygium Ravolutum. The plant density of Horton Plains is 2.861 plants per hectare. There are 98 species of birds, 14 mammals, 16-20 species of amphibians, and 40 species of butterflies. 

The Horton Plains can be reached via,

  • Ambewela-Pattipola. 
  • Lidula-Agarapathana. 
  • Ohiya

These 03 routes are located in the Central Province and can be reached by vehicle to the entrance of the Wildlife Office at the Horton Plains National Park.

You can find out more about this beautiful place by our main article on Horton Plains National Park.

Galway’s Land National Park 

Galway’s Land National Park is a forest reserve named after the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance introduced in 1937 to protect the flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. This is a sanctuary. The Galway’s Land National Park, above Gregory Lake near Nuwara Eliya town, was officially declared a sanctuary on May 27, 1938. Galway’s Land National Park is a mix of reeds, ferns, low-lying plants, elevators, and weed plants. Strobilanthesapp is widely distributed in the open areas of the forest as a substitute. Eucalyptus, which is a secondary plant community, can be seen as an indigenous plant species. It has preserved the natural beauty of Galway’s Land National Park.

Although small in size, Galway’s Land National Park is home to a large number of animal species. Although small in size, Galway’s Land National Park is home to a large number of animal species. There are about 20 rare migrant bird species and 30 native species can be seen at The Galway’s Land National Park. Apart from the birdlife, the park is renowned for different mammals such as the wild boar, buffalo and barking deer, and also beautiful floral and butterfly species, again both native and of foreign origin.

Moon Plains (Sandathenna)

This recently opened attraction was once used by locals to dump the garbage. It was landfilled and renovated in 2010 and is now classified by the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council as an Agricultural and Environmental Tourism Area. Covered with a healthy lawn; The Moon Plains are home to many wildlife, wild buffaloes, occasionally leopards, and a variety of birds. The main point of interest, however, is the perspective of the Mini Worlds Endeavor. Situated on a steeply descending hilltop, you can get a 360º view from the center of the Moon Plains. 

Only a safari jeep can go inside. It will take about 2000 LKR (11 USD).

Piduruthalagala Mountain

Piduruthalagala is the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. The height is 2524 m (8281 ft). Located in the Nuwara Eliya District in the Central Hills near the city of Nuwara Eliya. Apart from being Sri Lanka’s tallest peak, it is also the site of four maps of the 92 maps that divide Sri Lanka. Also, Greenwich Lines 0 “. 0 “The location is also this mountain top. There are Army, Air, and Navy bases and the main transmission hubs of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Telecom. Entry for the tour is completely free and is administered by the Army.

This mountain range is home to many leopards. Therefore, it is not possible to walk to the mountaintop and have to travel in a covered vehicle.

Single Tree Hill

Single Tree Hill, Sri Lanka’s ninth highest mountain peak, is located in Nuwara Eliya. The beauty of Nuwara Eliya can be seen here and other scenic views of Piduruthalagala Mountain Range, Sripada, Haggala, Gregory Lake, Nuwara Eliya Town, and Horton Plains can be seen on a clear day. Beginning in front of the racecourse, the “Single Tree” can be reached in less than an hour by walking the road. Also, you can visit the Buddhist Temple there.

Dunsinane Falls

Dunsinane Falls (or Pundaluoya Falls) is found after passing about two and a half kilometers along the Pundaluoya-Nuwara Eliya road in the Kotmale Division of the Nuwara Eliya District. It is situated in Pundaluoya village and between the Tea estates known as Dunsinan and Shin. It flows in two parts and measures 328 feet (100 m). The waterfall is created by the river called Pundaluoya which is a tributary of Kotmale Oya.  

When you are visiting Dunsinane Falls, you can travel across beautiful Kotmale with its lush greenery, tea estates, paddy fields, mountains, and also Kotmale Dam is a really beautiful and memorable place. View of Kotmale Reservoir from the dam is breathtaking.

Aadishakti Seeta Amman Temple

On the Nuwara Eliya Badulla main road, you come across a junction with the Haggala reserve. Due to many legends, beliefs, and the natural environment, the area around Seetha Eliya Junction is popular among both locals and foreigners. Haggala Botanic Gardens and Seetha Amman Kovil are the main contributors to this popularity. According to folklore, the origin of Seetha Eliya dates back to the Ravana Dynasty.

Seetha Amman Kovil is located in the Seetha Eliya area, about 1km from the Hakgala Botanic Gardens and 5 km from the town of Nuwara Eliya. According to Ramayana mythology, this temple is believed to have been built at the place where King Ravana of the kingdom of Lanka abducted and hid Sitha who was a wife of Indian king Rama.

Ambewela Farm and New Zealand Farm

Ambewela is a small hill area in the Nuwara Eliya District of Sri Lanka. This area is also known as “Little New Zealand”. The town is located about 17 km from the main town of Nuwara Eliya. Ambewela is also a service center for the new Galway Tea Planting District. Located on the road to the Horton Plains National Park, Ambewela, it offers a spectacular view of the Rhododendron arboreum flowers. The place is also popular for bird watching as it is an important birding area, similar to Horton Plains and Ohiya.

Due to the climatic and economic conditions in Ambewela, this area is ideal for dairy farming. Irish and Friesian cattle are raised in the local farms of Ambewela and New Zealand farms for decades. Ambewela station is the second highest railway station in Sri Lanka with an elevation of 1,827.77 m (5,996.6 feet) high.


Pattipola, located in the foothills of the Eastern Highlands of the central highlands of Sri Lanka, is one of the most popular tourist destinations for many reasons. Pattipola Railway Station is a special station. Pattipola is the highest railway station in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, one entry point to the Horton Plains Sanctuary is through Pattipola. Another reason is the herb garden which is rich in many herbs which are endemic to the high mountain forests of Sri Lanka. Depending on the number of visitors to this particular herb garden, it is clear that people are not aware of the land.

The climate of this land is subject to change from time to time. The lush green surroundings are a spectacular sight. And also the water is very clean.

Thotupola Mountain

The Thotupola Mountain is the third highest mountain in Sri Lanka with a height of 2,357m (7,733 ft) and it’s situated in the Horton Plains National Park. A short distance from the entrance from the Pattipola entrance, you will find the starting point on the left. This trail is less than 2 km and can be easily reached and catch the top of the hill.

Ramboda Falls

Ramboda Falls is a beautiful waterfall within the 15 main waterfalls in Sri Lanka. Also known as the 729th highest waterfall in the world. It is also located along the Peradeniya-Chenkaladi A5 road. After passing the famous Ramboda Tunnel you will see on the left, the middle part of the Ramboda Falls, or the middle Ramboda Falls. 109m – here refers to the uppermost part is the spectacular waterfall created by the Pana Oya which originates from the Dolosbage Mountain Range. It falls into three sections within a distance of 1km, the upper and middle parts of which are very popular with visitors.

Laxapana Falls

Laxapana Falls is the 8th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and the world’s 625th highest in the world. It is located in Hatton, Nuwara Eliya Administrative District. Laxapana Falls has been created by the Maskeliya Oya. If you are visiting the waterfall over Norton Bridge, you can go to the top of the waterfall and look down from the top of the waterfall before heading to the bottom of the waterfall. If you are visiting the waterfall over Norton Bridge, you can go to the top of the waterfall and look down from the top of the waterfall before heading to the bottom of the waterfall.

St. Clair’s Falls

One of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful waterfalls, St. Clair’s Falls is ranked 20th in height among waterfalls in Sri Lanka. It is 263 feet (80 m) high. St. Clair Falls is also called ‘Niagara Falls of Sri Lanka’. Because it is as beautiful as Niagara. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka and flows through the spectacular St. Clair Tea Garden with a large stream of water during the rainy season, falling over two platforms, creating a melodious sound and scattering smoke all over the environment. These two falls, flowing from one to the other in one of the two ghats, appear as a single stream. This falls, formerly known as the “bride’s wail”, is also prominent in its width. But due to the Upper Kotmale Hydroelectric Project, the beauty of St. Clair Falls will be diminished.

Mandaram Nuwara

Mandaram Nuwara is a beautiful village situated at the foot of the Piduruthalagala Mountain, the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. It is known as “Mandaram” town as it is surrounded by a mountain range and has a rainy and dark nature all day.

You can reach Rikillagaskada through Kandy and then cross over Padiyapelella to reach Mandaram Nuwara. This route is also considered the main route. Mandaram Nuwara has a very long history, as some say, to the Ravana period. Now it’s a village with a basic hospital, a school and all. Mandaram Nuwara is an ideal place for exploring and setting up camps.

Lover’s leap Waterfall

Lovers Leap waterfall is a beautiful waterfall near the town of Nuwara Eliya. It is not a huge waterfall but a beautiful waterfall. Lovers Leap Falls has become a travel attraction for local and international tourists. This waterfall is located about 2 kilometers from the town of Nuwara Eliya. One can access the waterfall by going up a stairway of 200m to 250m from the main road. This waterfall is about 30 meters and falls from the Piduruthalagala Mountain.

More than these destinations, there are a large number of tourist attractions to visit here.

Take a Tour! Enjoy the beauty of Nuwara Eliya. And be careful not to damage this valuable ecosystem.

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