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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 05 Quick Facts About Nuwara Eliya – The Garden City in the Mountains
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05 Quick Facts About Nuwara Eliya – The Garden City in the Mountains

Located at an altitude of 5,960 feet, Nuwara Eliya is dubbed Sri Lanka's 'Little England'. A beautiful town of colourful blooms and misty hills covered in tea bushes, this cool district is a treat to explore.


Nuwara Eliya Boasts a Cold Climate

Nuwara Eliya weather is cold and inviting, a direct contrast to the lowlands of Sri Lanka. The place has an average mean annual temperature of around 16 degrees Celsius, although on some days temperatures can drop to below 3 degrees Celsius; a typical hotel in Nuwara Eliya will boast the comforts of a cosy fireplace, which many guests find quite a thrill on a tropical island like Sri Lanka. But then, Nuwara Eliya is quite like an English village, and nights can be quite cold, with days warming up under the equatorial sun.


Nuwara Eliya is Best Loved as a Tea Country

Most parts of Nuwara Eliya's hills are covered in emerald green bushes of tea. A loved settlement by the British colonist, who turned the salubrious town into a home away from England, the place is steeped in colonial relics, starting from the bungalows which dot the town centre. The tea estates introduced in the 19th century by the British, are vast in Nuwara Eliya, with many offering tourists guided tours, on the process of preparing and packing the tea leaves once ready. The atmosphere inside the warm tea factories, especially on a cold misty day, smelling of fresh tea, is quite awesome and loved, with some even being turned into hotels, much like Heritance Tea Factory.


Nuwara Eliya Has a High Season

High season in Nuwara Eliya is from April to May, coinciding with the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, and a time when temperatures soar in other parts of the country. During this time it is difficult to book a room at a Nuwara Eliya hotel if you do not make reservations early. Just about everyone on holiday seems to head over to the hills during this time. The parks and lake district of the town is abuzz at this time, with a carnival-like atmosphere pervading there. Flower shows, car races across town and dirt bike racing around the lake are iconic activities which take place in Nuwara Eliya at this time; together with horse racing at the local track located within the town centre.


Key Attractions in Nuwara Eliya

One of the main attractions in town is the vintage golf course, set up by the British; this aristocratic green still continues on British traditions, with the on-site restaurant offering a traditional British dinner. Lake Gregory, also located in the centre of town, is another iconic attraction, where one can enjoy, boating tours, paddle boating and bird watching around its verdant banks. Birders love the quiet surroundings where a number of feathered beauties such as Indian Blue Robin, Kashmir Fly Catcher, and Scaly Thrush etc. can be spotted. Birders should explore the area during the off-season when times are quieter.


A Part of Sri Lankan History is Found There

The Seetha Kovil in the Seetha Eliya district of Nuwara Eliya is steeped in history. Related to tales from the Ramayana, it is believed the Indian Princess, Seetha, once abducted by the Sri Lankan king Elara was held prisoner at this spot. Today a colourful Hindu Kovil stands at this spot and is a lovely piece of culture to explore.