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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 11, 2020
Headline for Top Attractions in the Hill Country - Main Highlights in Sri Lanka's Hill Country
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Attractions in the Hill Country - Main Highlights in Sri Lanka's Hill Country

As the coolest corner of the island, the hills of Sri Lanka are home to some of the island's most captivating highlights. Here are the area's top tourist attractions.

1

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Regarded as Sri Lanka's holiest UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of the Tooth is no ordinary landmark in the hill capital of Kandy. Overlooking the Kandy Lake, the former palace complex serves as the venue in which the tooth relic of Lord Buddha is contained. Buddhist pilgrims from far and wide head to the Temple of the Tooth each year to pay homage to this iconic spiritual epicentre and visit the museum located adjacent to the palatial compound. An architectural and historic highlight in its own right the vast complex and its many relics and artefacts are some of the island's most prized possessions.

2

Horton Plains National Park

Towering above the surrounding landscape at an altitude of 2000m, the Horton Plains National Park resembles the Scottish highlands more than a national park in a tropical island on the Indian Ocean. Home to the awe inspiring World's End precipice, the wildlife heritage and the scenic hiking trails alone make this dramatic sanctuary a must visit hotspots. Featured on many an itinerary by local operators the likes of Aitken Spence Travels that organize excursions and tours for Sri Lanka travellers, Horton Plains National Park is a picturesque part of the island that warrants exploration.

3

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Found en route to Kandy, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage remains Sri Lanka's conservation success story where the gentle giants are concerned. Serving as a verdant parkland and home for injured and disabled elephants, the care and love these abandoned and hurt elephants receive at the orphanage have won the institution many accolades over the years. Visitors can not only feed the park's baby elephants but also witness the daily bathing trip the inhabitants make to a nearby river.

4

Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya

Occupying pride of place in Kandy, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya holds the distinction of being one of the first botanical spaces in the island. Spread out across an impressive 147 acres, the venue boasts a collection of more than four thousand plant varieties and ten thousand trees. The orchid collection on display at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is another reason most visitors head to this idyllic park during a visit to Kandy.

5

Nuwara Eliya Tea Factory

Tea production is not only one of the main livelihoods of the hill country communities but a thriving industry that's responsible for earning the island one third of its GDP. Ceylon tea is a brand that's globally recognized for premium quality tea and visitors can catch a glimpse of how a perfect cup of tea is brewed by touring the Nuwara Eliya Tea Factory or any other local tea factory in the hills. In addition to exploring the means by which tea leaves are selected and harvested, a tour also includes a step by step demonstration of the various stages of tea production.

6

Nuwara Eliya Golf Club

Constructed by a Scottish soldier as early as 1889, the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club is a breathtaking course with captivating views and excellent conditions for avid golfers.