Nuwara Eliya is a hill country town in the Central Province of the well-known island Sri Lanka. Its name means “city of light” or “city on the plain.” The region is the administrative headquarters of the district of Nuwara Eliya, with its spectacular countryside and temperate atmosphere. It is at an elevation of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is regarded to be the most appropriate place for the cultivation of tea in Sri Lanka. The region is overshadowed by Pidurutalagala, the highest peak in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is renowned for its temperate, cool climate – the lowest temperature in Sri Lanka.
History of Nuwara Eliya
The town was founded in 1846 by Samuel Baker, the explorer of Lake Albert and the Upper Nile. Nuwara Eliya’s ecology has rendered it a prime haven for British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. Nuwara Eliya, nicknamed Little England, was a hill country escape where British colonialists could indulge themselves in their leisure activities, like fox hunting, elephant hunting, deer hunting, polo, golf, and cricket.
Many of the buildings have been restored from the colonial period, such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s Residence, Hill Club, Grand Hotel, St Andrew’s Hotel, and Town Post Office. Modern hotels are often designed and decorated in colonial style. Visitors to the city will wallow in their nostalgia for days gone by visiting the iconic structures. Many private residences retain old English-style lawns and gardens.
Nuwara Eliya Climate
The Nuwara Eliya sits at 1902 m above sea level The climate here is mild and usually warm and temperate. The amount of rain in Nuwara Eliya is significant, with rainfall also during the driest month. As per Köppen and Geiger, the climate is graded as Cfb. The average annual temperature at Nuwara Eliya is 16.3 ° C 61.4 ° F. The precipitation here is about 2050 mm / 80.7 inches per year. Owing to its highland position, Nuwara Eliya has a subtropical highland climate with no defined dry season, a monsoon-like cloudy season.
There might be frost at night in the winter months, but it warms up easily throughout the day thanks to the high angle of sunlight.
Nuwara Eliya Attractions
The highlights of the town include a golf course, Victoria Park trout streams, and canoeing or fishing on Lake Gregory. Victoria Park is a beautiful, well-used oasis. It is famous among birdwatchers at quiet periods because of the excellent chances to see species, especially the Indian blue robin. The Kashmir fly-catcher is another enticing bird species in the park.
The gravestone of Major Thomas William Rogers (Government Representative for the District of Badulla) is situated at the corner of the golf course. He is notorious for having fired at the lowest estimate of 1,400 wild elephants. Folklore in Nuwara Eliya states that every year his gravestone is hit by lightning because of his great sin. This location is not accessible to tourists.
The Hindu temple named Seetha Kovil (Hanuman Kovil) is another location linked to folklore. It is located on the road to Badulla from Nuwara Eliya until approaching the Botanical Garden of Hakgala. The temple is in the village of Seetha Eliya. The region is connected to the tale of Ramayana in Hinduism. Folktales say that King Ravana captured Princess Seeta, who was the princess of Rama, and concealed her where the temple is now.
People and Languages in Nuwara Eliya
Appreciate the hospitality and the happy faces of the Nuwara Eliya people. A special characteristic is that everybody wears some form of warm clothes while the men have a hat or a circular cap on their heads. Relating to various races and religions, the inhabitants of Nuwara Eliya are a mixture of Eastern and Western traditions, old and modern.
Sinhalese and Tamil are the two main languages spoken in Nuwara Eliya. English is also commonly used by local residents.
The Best Season
The most famous season is from March to May and from August to September when travelers flock to Nuwara Eliya in favor of cool weather and enjoyment. During the season, several casual dining stalls line the streets, ladies line the streets in dress, and many enjoyable activities are arranged by the officials to accommodate all ages and classes.
Festivals in Nuwara Eliya
The city truly comes to life for the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year in April. Lodging is difficult to find as Sri Lankan holidays in the region during this time. The festive period begins on 1 April each year in a ceremonial fashion. The ceremony comprises primarily a band performance witnessed by all the local school bands.
Primary attractions throughout April include auto racing and horse racing activities. Motor racing comes to life with the Mahagastota and Radella Hill Climbs, the former operating since 1934. The Nuwara Eliya Road Race and the 4X4 Lake Cross on the shores of Lake Gregory draw a decent number of fans. The parties will be organized at the hotels every night and the season will ultimately end in the nine furlongs (1811 m) Governor’s Cup at the city’s Racecourse, the Golf Tournaments at the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, and the floral show by the month-end.
Nuwara Eliya Summary: Nuwara Eliya is a hill country town situated in the central province of Sri Lanka. Samuel Baker, the explorer of Lake Albert and the Upper Nile, founded the town in 1846. The region is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the highest peak in the country. The average annual temperature is 16.3°C (61.4°F). The Sinhalese and Tamil languages are the two major languages spoken in Nuwara Eliya. English is still widely used by locals. The attractions of the town include the golf course, the Victoria Park trough streams, and canoeing or fishing on Lake Gregory.
The Hindu temple called Seetha Kovil is another place connected to folklore. The city really comes to life for the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year in April. Motorsports and motor racing are coming to life with the Mahagastota and Radella Hill Climbs. The perfect time to come is from March to May and from August to September, as visitors flock to experience the cool weather and pleasure. The residents of Nuwara Eliya are a blend of Western and Eastern cultures.