Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful hamlet situated in the central hills of Sri Lanka. Known as “Little England” due to its colonial architecture and cool climate, it’s a popular destination among local and international tourists. Nuwara Eliya is one of Sri Lanka’s most vibrant locations where you may spend some time amidst lush beauty. It is the ideal getaway for everyone, especially for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Here is the detailed travel guide to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka to have a stress-free and relaxing trip.
The city’s name “Nuwara Eliya” means “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light” in Sinhala. It is located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, and it is known for its cool climate, scenic beauty, and tea plantations.
Nuwara Eliya was discovered by British colonialists in the early 19th century, who were attracted to the cool and salubrious climate of the region. The city was founded in 1846, during the British colonial period, and it was initially used as a retreat for British officials who wanted to escape the heat and humidity of the lowlands. During the colonial period, Nuwara Eliya became a popular destination for British tea planters who established large tea estates in the region. Tea production became the main industry of the area, and it still remains an important industry today.
Nuwara Eliya has located approximately 180km from Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo. The easiest way to get there is by car, either by hiring a taxi or a self-drive car. The journey takes around 4-5 hours, depending on traffic.
Alternatively, you can take a train from Colombo to Nanu Oya, which is the nearest railway station to Nuwara Eliya. The train journey takes around 6-7 hours, but it’s a scenic route that passes through lush green tea plantations and misty mountains.
Nuwara Eliya is known for its tea plantations, so a visit to one is a must-do. You can take a tour of the plantation to learn about the tea-making process and taste some of the finest teas in the world.
There are many hiking trails in and around Nuwara Eliya, offering stunning views of the mountains and waterfalls. Horton Plains National Park is a popular destination for hikers, where you can see the famous World’s End cliff and Baker’s Falls.
Nuwara Eliya town has many colonial-style buildings, including the Post Office, the Grand Hotel and the Hill Club. You can take a leisurely stroll around the town to see these beautiful buildings and take in the cool climate.
Nuwara Eliya is also known for its strawberry farms, where you can pick your own strawberries and enjoy them fresh.
Nuwara Eliya has a range of accommodation options, including luxury hotels, budget guesthouses, and homestays. Some of the popular hotels in the area include The Grand Hotel, Jetwing St. Andrew’s, and Araliya Green Hills Hotel. I stayed at Jetwing St. Andrew’s and I loved the property.
With its colonial-style decor and mouth-wateringly delicious food, St. Andrew’s invites guests with its old heritage.
Nuwara Eliya is known for its fresh produce, including strawberries, vegetables, and dairy products. Some of the popular dishes to try in Nuwara Eliya include:
Creamy vegetable soup: Made with fresh vegetables and cream, this soup is a warming comfort food perfect for the cool climate.
Strawberry dessert: Nuwara Eliya’s strawberries are famous for their sweetness and juicy texture. You can try a range of strawberry desserts, including strawberry ice cream, strawberry tart, and strawberry milkshake.
Sri Lankan curry: While not a speciality of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lankan curry is a must-try dish when in Sri Lanka. Made with a range of spices and fresh ingredients, it’s a flavorful and aromatic dish.
Nuwara Eliya has a cool climate throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 12°C to 24°C. The best time to visit is from March to May and from August to November when the weather is dry and sunny.
Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful destination with a unique blend of colonial architecture, stunning landscapes, and mythological places. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation or some mythological places to explore, Nuwara Eliya has something to offer for everyone.
Sita Eliya is a small village located approximately 5km from Nuwara Eliya town in the central hills of Sri Lanka. It’s a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus, as it’s believed to be the place where Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, was held captive by the demon king Ravana in the Indian epic, Ramayana.
Here are some details about Sita Eliya:
According to the Ramayana, Sita was abducted by Ravana and taken to his kingdom in Sri Lanka. He held her captive in a garden, which is believed to be Sita Eliya. Lord Rama, with the help of his army and Hanuman, the monkey god, fought against Ravana and rescued Sita.
The place where Sita was held captive is believed to have been a beautiful garden with lush greenery, flowers, and fruits. It’s said that Sita used to spend her days in meditation and prayer while in captivity.
This temple is dedicated to Sita and is believed to be the place where she prayed during her captivity. The temple has a small shrine and a statue of Sita, along with other Hindu deities.
This is a small garden located near the Sita Amman Temple and is believed to be the garden where Sita was held captive.
It has a few trees and a pond, along with a small statue of Hanuman.
This temple is dedicated to Hanuman, the monkey god who played a significant role in the Ramayana. The temple has a large statue of Hanuman, and it’s believed that he landed in this area while searching for Sita.
Many visitors come to Sita Eliya to meditate and offer prayers at the Sita Amman Temple. The peaceful surroundings and the spiritual significance of the place make it an ideal spot for meditation and reflection.
Sita Eliya is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus and a place of historical and spiritual significance. The peaceful surroundings and the beautiful gardens make it a great spot for meditation and reflection, even if you’re not a religious person.
Gayatri Pitham is a Hindu temple located in Sri Lanka that is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Gayatri. It is believed to be a powerful spiritual centre where devotees can experience the divine presence of Goddess Gayatri and seek blessings for their well-being and prosperity. It is also believed that Ravan’s son Indrajit performed the Nikumbhila Yagna here, and this is the place where Laxman came with the help of Bhivisana and killed Indrajit on the last day of the yagna.
The temple is believed to have been established by Sri Kaleshwar in the 1990s. Sri Kaleshwar was a spiritual master who revived the ancient knowledge of Sri Vidya, a powerful form of tantra, and spread it across the world. He established Gayatri Pitham in Sri Lanka as a centre for spiritual practice and a place for devotees to connect with the divine.
The temple complex is built in the traditional South Indian style, with a gopuram (tower) at the entrance and a mandapam (pillared hall) for devotees to perform rituals and prayers. The main sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the idol of Goddess Gayatri, who is depicted as a divine mother with four arms holding a book, a lotus, a rosary, and a water pot. The idol is made of black granite and is adorned with gold ornaments and silk clothing.
Gayatri Pitham is a place for spiritual practice, and devotees can perform various rituals and prayers to seek the blessings of Goddess Gayatri. The temple offers daily poojas (worship services) and abhishekas (ritual baths of the idol) to the goddess. Devotees can also participate in homams (fire rituals) and receive blessings from the sacred fire.
Gayatri Pitham in Sri Lanka is a powerful spiritual centre where devotees can connect with the divine and seek blessings for their well-being and prosperity. The temple’s serene location, traditional architecture, and various rituals and festivals make it a popular destination for spiritual seekers from all over the world.
Ramboda Waterfalls is located in the town of Ramboda, which is approximately 24 kilometres away from the city of Nuwara Eliya. The waterfall is situated on the Pussellawa- Nuwara Eliya main road, and it is a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka.
You can take a walk around the waterfall and enjoy the beautiful scenery. You can also take a dip in the natural pool at the bottom of the waterfall, but be careful as the water can be quite deep.
Safety: Be careful when walking near the waterfall as the rocks can be slippery. Also, be aware that there have been reports of drowning incidents in the past, so be cautious when swimming in the pool.
There are several other attractions near Ramboda Waterfalls that you can visit, such as the Bluefield Tea Gardens and the Ramboda Ella Cave Temple.
Most tea estates offer guided tours of their factories, where you can learn about the tea-making process from picking the leaves to the final product. The tours usually take about 30 minutes to an hour, and they are very informative. You can also taste different types of teas during your visit. Most tea estates have tea rooms or shops where you can sample and purchase their products.
Dress code: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you may need to walk around the tea estate. It can get chilly in Nuwara Eliya, so bring a jacket or sweater.
Some popular tea estates to visit in Nuwara Eliya are Pedro Tea Estate, Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre, and Damro Labookellie Tea Centre. I went to Damro Tea estate and tasted their tea, visited the factory and trust me it was one of the best knowledgeable excursions I visited so far.
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I hope this detailed travel guide helps you plan your visit to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
In case you want a virtual Detailed trip to Nuwara Eliya, please check this video and you will get the vibe of this place :
Enjoy your trip!