the hill country SIGHTS

Nuwara Eliya

a multitude of breathtaking wonders 

Nuwara Eliya (City of Lights) is a city, in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. 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, with its picturesque landscape and temperate climate. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.

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.


Hakgala Botanical Garden
Hakgala Botanical Garden is the second largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka and is famous for a number of species of Orchids and Roses. The garden has a cool temperate climate because of altitude, the annual temperature ranges between 16 °C to 30 °C during the course of the year. 

The garden was established in 1861, as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. In 1884 it was transformed into a garden. Since then many sub tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens. There are over 10,000 species of flora planted and during the Spring season in Nuwara Eliya, thousands of visitors come to see the blooms. 

Gregory Lake
Lake Gregory is one of the significant tourist attractions in Nuwara Eliya. It was built by the Governor William Gregory during 1872 – 1877 and is about 91.2 hectares in extent. It was said to be used for water sports during the British rule. Visitors can go boating and rowing, today.

Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
Spread over 90 acres, over a hundred years old (built in 1891), the 18 holes golf course is one of Nuwara Eliya’s biggest attractions. It is reputed to be the only Golf Course where all the holes are visible from the Club House or accessible by car. In the old British cemetery at the rear of the Club House is the memorial to Major Rogers, the elephant hunter credited with killing around 1500 elephants.

Laxapana Falls (Lakshapana Falls)
Laksapana Falls rise from the Laksapana estate and plunges into the Maskeliya Oya. The Nuwara Eliya beer is brewed from the water of the stream.

Lover’s Leap Waterfall
There is a famous legend behind the name of this waterfall. It says that a Prince who lived in Nuwara Eliya had met a beautiful girl in a nearby village and fallen love with her. But the king did not allow the Prince to carry on with his love affair. The Prince suffered by his father’s ruling and later on one full moon day he had climbed up the top of the rock with his fiancée and jumped on the fall. Since then it was known as the lovers leap. 

People can see this wonderful lovers leap falls when looking at Pidurutalagala Mountain. It is about 30 meters high and falls off from a huge rock. 

Devon Falls
Devon Falls drops 97 meters and is named after Devon, a pioneer coffee planter, whose plantation is situated nearby the falls.

St. Clair Falls
These falls are unusual type consisting of a double cascade derived from different water sources. The bigger waterfall, the Mahal Ella is 80m high, flowing over a rock ledge then divides into three cascades plunging into a big pool. The smaller one of these two falls, the Kuda Ella is only 50m high.