On My Way to Nuwara Eliya (The Little England of Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean or known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is a tropical country consists of dry and wet seasons. Though given the same time of the year, places in Sri Lanka varies its temperature.

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka has an average temperature of 30 *C last March. And Kandy has an average temperature of 27 * C. While most places in Sri Lanka are experiencing this sultry weather, there is this one place that I’d been to that aside from the weather, the charm of the place is undeniably exceptional.

Let me take you through this journey to Nuwara Eliya which its name means City of Light.

 

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Houses in the heart of the tea country hill city

 

As a girl who is trying to find my place in exploring this magnificent universe, I would have to do it with extra care. I would have to give in to my fears and ask for help and guidance from the locals and patiently gain the confidence to go around. I hope I can manage next time to explore without paying a guide.

We left the hostel, Charlton Kandy Rest at around 7:30 am. With me are the guide and the driver arranged by my host.

It was Sunday morning. Few minutes after we left, the driver slowed down and stopped the car in a nearby Buddhist Temple.

There was a Sunday School going on, where children are wearing a white Sunday School uniform with their hands clasped together in a praying position.

The driver unbuckled his seatbelt and went out. I thought he will go for a prayer, but he went to drop some coin at the temple as an offering to the gods for safe travels.

It was a long travel from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. The car went for another stop same with others. Few meters away, I saw a train crossing the road. Oops!  It was a railroad.  After the train passed by, we crossed the railway.

Nuwara Eliya is around 77km from Kandy where I stayed. Few minutes had passed; we are already traversing a winding concrete road ascending to the mountainous area.

 

Tea Plantations

It was on this road that I started learning regarding the tea that we drink. The mountains are green like it is landscaped with very well trimmed shrubs.

The car continued its ascent to a road built in the middle of a mountain.

These vast tea plantation covered mountains are living symbol how a previous generation has left something for the next generation.

 

The lush tea plantations

The lush tea plantations

 

The tea trees had been planted there for hundred years since the British regime and keep on producing the pure Ceylon tea until today.

So they’re not actually shrubs but they’re 100 year old trees that have been deeply rooted in the mountains of Sri Lanka.

 

If you’re a tea lover, the tea that you are drinking might have been handpicked by one of these ladies

If you’re a tea lover, the tea that you are drinking might have been handpicked by one of these ladies

 

Glenloch Tea Factory

Taking a walk through the vast tea plantation is an awesome experience to do in Sri Lanka. But having a stop to a tea factory is more interesting. We visited the Glenloch Tea Factory and a young lady guided me through the machineries and explained the journey from the leaf to a cup.

Every 1-2 weeks harvest is being done by picking the buds usually the first three leaves and process them in the factory.

 

The tea leaves on their journey to a cup at Glenloch Tea Factory

The tea leaves on their journey to a cup at Glenloch Tea Factory

 

After following the journey of how teas are being processed, we went back to a place to have a sit and feel refreshed overlooking the tea plantation while they offered free tea drinks.

 

Ramboda Falls

It requires an extra effort to see a better view of the nature. Ramboda Falls is just one of them. In order to have a good picture, we had to pass by the Ramboda Falls Hotel then followed the pathway to get closer to the falls.

But its beauty is for the eyes only. For safety measures, it isn’t allowed to go at the base.

Ramboda Waterfalls. The 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka

Ramboda Waterfalls. The 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka

 

Somehow, your mind will get relaxed with the beauty of Ramboda Falls from a distance. There is a shed wherein you can just sit, feel the nature and watch the cascading waters. The gentle wind, the sound of gushing water and the green surroundings will only add to your desire to stay longer.

There are cabanas and hotels around the area which are perfect to spend the night with.

 

Nuwara Eliya

From these few stops along the way, Sri Lanka will never fail to amaze you. From the lush tea plantations, wide vegetable gardens and rich foliage I thought that’s all I have for that day. And as the journey goes on, a signboard welcomes you to Nuwara Eliya and this place is within the elevation of 1,868m.

And who would have thought that in this highland is the very charming city of Nuwara Eliya, the Little England of Sri Lanka.

Sitting on top of a mountain are houses which Architectural designs are similar to England. During British Regime in Sri Lanka, this place is where the British built their homes that are well-preserved until now making the scenery and ambiance reminiscent of England.

Nuwara Eliya, The City of Light

Nuwara Eliya, The City of Light

 

Nuwara Eliya Post Office

The post office of Nuwara Eliya is eye-catching because of its Architectural style made of red-bricks. It is one of the oldest post offices in Sri Lanka.

Nuwara Eliya Post Office with its Tudor Revival Architecture

Nuwara Eliya Post Office with its Tudor Revival Architecture

 

Passing by is not enough it is better to stop by to drop some postcards to our dear friends in such a way we can connect with them and share the beauty and wonders of Sri Lanka.

It is such a fun experience buying the stamps and you will personally glue it to the postcards, let it dry for few minutes and drop them to the drop box. And wait for few days till the recipients are saying their thank you’s which means they have received the postcards from this alluring post office.

 

Grand Hotel

It is a very well preserved hotel which architectural design is based on Elizabethan Era structures. It became also the mansion of the former Governor of Sri Lanka during 1830’s. Out of curiosity and being amazed with exterior view, I requested my guide if we can have a look inside the hotel.

 

Grand Hotel is a luxury hotel with style of Elizabethan era manor house in Nuwara Eliya

Grand Hotel is a luxury hotel with style of Elizabethan era manor house in Nuwara Eliya

 

I passed by at the hotel reception. The staffs are friendly and nice. I asked one of them if how old is Grand Hotel and the reply was around 125 years old. It is old and yet it offers a luxurious ambiance. How I wish I can stay there for a night.

Just to ease the curiosity, I asked the price for a standard room for a night as if I will book. Though it was a reasonable price, I can only dream at that time. I went to the lobby area, cherished the moment to roam around which is free, sit and take a selfie.

 

Gregory Lake

To be honest with, I haven’t been to England. But then, if Nuwara Eliya is a Little England then how lucky I am to experience a piece of England in Sri Lanka.

We passed by along horseracing ground and people were starting to gather around to watch. We haven’t had a stop though, but we went to Gregory Lake.

After exploring and experiencing the summer heat in Kandy and Sigiriya, Nuwara Eliya is a very good place to cool down. And right here in Gregory Lake, I enjoyed the averaging 17-20 * Celsius temperature.

Enjoying the cool temperature around Gregory Lake

Enjoying the cool temperature around Gregory Lake

The following are only few things to let time pass by; taking a walk around the lake, having some snacks from food stalls, or even just sit along the benches and feel the refreshing wind or be mesmerized with the view. It is a good place also to recall the wonderful adventures you had in Sri Lanka.

Paddle boating, motor boating and other leisure activities are available as well. You can even do horseback riding nearby the lake.

Gregory Lake area offering various leisure activities

Gregory Lake area offering various leisure activities

 

Though for a limited time I am thankful for these piece by piece experiences. It won’t always be enough, but there will always be next time and next opportunity.

I did it all in one day, I don’t know how but it seems I was favored by time. Time has moved slowly giving me enough paces to savor every moment. If I could only stretch the day, I could have walked a little more and be delighted in the nature out there.

If it happens that you are around Sri Lanka it’s a must to stay at least overnight in Nuwara Eliya and for sure, more surprising experience awaits you and you’ll be able to discover more places for another adventure.

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson

9 Comments

  • Hallie says:

    “Favored by time”, that is such a great combination of words. All in one day! That’s amazing. Sri Lanka seems to have so much to see. You’ll certainly have to go back.

  • Carmy says:

    I love that you stopped by to write postcards! I love it when friends send me postcards while aboard. It makes me feel so loved to know they are thinking of me.

  • Joanna says:

    I love the look of Nuwara Eliya, if I wouldn’t know it’s in Sri Lanka I would definitely not guess it. It’s so great that you got a chance to visit a tea plantation. One of my favorite tea brands comes from Sri Lanka, and I would love to visit them and see the entire process of making tea bags.

  • Renne says:

    Soooo jealous….I wanted to go here for my honeymoon, but it’s monsoon season. I’m a big tea lover so visiting one of those tea plantations would be such a treat. What time of year did you visit?

    • Louiela Ann says:

      Hi Renne, I visited Sri Lanka last March 2015… There are lots of surprises along the road, it’s just that I went there for a day trip only, I should’ve stayed there at least for a night…

  • Maggie says:

    Beautiful! I would love to visit the tea factory. I’ve been to coffee plantations, but never tea.

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  • Jamar Debarr says:

    What i don’t understood is if truth be told how you are not really a lot more smartly-liked than you might be now. You’re very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably on the subject of this subject, made me personally imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men are not interested until it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. Always take care of it up!

  • What took me to the place was your mention of the kids in Sunday white uniform and the driver paying a coin for prayers. These are our placeholders for a place. I loved Gregory lake, it is so relaxing to view that spreading your legs on the grass!

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