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, was 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.
Many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, St Andrew’s Hotel and Town Post Office. New hotels are often built and furnished in the colonial style. Visitors the city can wallow in its nostalgia of bygone days by visiting the landmark buildings. Many private homes maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.
Nuwara Eliya town
Called Little England, Nuwara Eliya was founded by Samuel Baker in the 19th century. Its name come from Sinhalese, it means city on the plain and city of light. Located in central Sri Lanka, at an altitude of 1 900 meters, the town will surprise you with its colonial architecture, so far from what Sri Lankan cities usually look like.
In Asia, you’ll often find town looking like that, especially in the highlands, the European colons weren’t used to the hot weather so they always built cities in the mountains where it’s cooler. In those type of cities I’ve always felt like if I was back in Europe.
Pedro Tea Estate Factory
There are a lot of other tea factories in the area you can visit, just as nice, it’s just that Pedro is the most organized when it comes to receiving tourists. If you want to take picture of the women picking tea, be careful, they often ask for money and they only tell you once you took their pictures. Some will even come to you and ask you to take a picture with them.
Lover’s Leap Waterfall
Just after visiting the tea factory, you can trek through the tea plantations to Lover’s Leap Waterfall. The fall is really high but pretty thin, there’s a couple of spots where you can enter the water in between the rocks.
It’s called Lover’s Leap because legend says that two young people fell in love, but being from two rival clans, they couldn’t be together, so they climbed on top of this waterfall and jumped.
Horton Plains National Park
Only an hour drive away from Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains is a nice 3 hours trek in the highlands. The area of the park is a plateau so the trek is easy and the views are spectacular. There’s a viewpoint, near cliffs, where you have an amazing view over the surrounding mountains, on clear days you can even see the ocean. It’s really worth a trip if you have time.
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