Best Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya, the paradise of Sri Lanka is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Since it had been a British colony, the building architecture is closer to European style. Because of this typical English village view, it is also called as “little England”. This is a remarkable city still represents British architecture. The city planning method and scenic natural beauty and weather are inheritable qualities of Nuwara Eliya.

Nuwara Eliya

Weather in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is the coolest region in Sri Lanka due to the high-altitude level. The average temperature is 16°C, typically varies between 10°C to 23°C (50°F to 73°F), rarely it become below 10°C (50°F) and above 23°C (73°F). The average rain is 2050mm. Hottest is May and coolest is January. The month of October reports the highest raining and July is windier according to the weather forecasting reports. Many local visitors usually visit during the period of April to May to avoid the hard sun in Colombo.

Biodiversity and Geographical Features

Nuwara Eliya is the most diversified area in Sri Lanka. The city is located in the hill country where is at an altitude of 1,868m (6,128ft). because of this vast diversification, most tourists attracted here to see its beauty.

Nuwara Eliya is enriched with restricted species not only to Sri Lanka but also to this region. Different species of animals, especially deer, insects, flowers and plants are living in this paradise. Horton Plains is one of the most breathtaking natural creations where you can most of them. Famous World’s End and deer are the initial recognitions of Horton Plain.

In addition to forests, waterfalls bring the speculate view to Nuwara Eliya. Most of the world-famous water cascading is located close to the city. Devon, Lover’s Leap, St. Clair’s and Bomburu Ella are several of them.

Not only waterfalls but also Lake Gregory is also a most attractive place among visitors in Nuwara Eliya. Walking along the lake bank, riding cycles or sitting on the floor gives relaxation to the mind.

Also, Nuwara Eliya is famous for dairy farms. Ambewela farms are one of the largest dairy farms in Sri Lanka located in Nuwara Eliya district. World’s best cattle breeds are living there and open for visitors to take a tour of farms.

Talking about the mountains, Moon Plains (Sandathenna) and Sri Padaya (Adam’s peak) is initially for you who love hiking. Moon Plains give you a 360-degree view of the city and speculate view. Sri Padaya is the most sacred mountain where all Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslim respect in the same level.

Flowers and plants are the most beautiful natural creation when considering biodiversity. Beautiful roses, Orchids and many of the flowers are blooming Hakgala Botanical Garden to welcome you.

These biodiversity and geographical features bring breathtaking beauty to Nuwara Eliya.

Seasons and Festivals

Due to the vast tourist attraction, a number of fun activities and festivals are held in Nuwara Eliya City. March to May and August to September are the most popular seasons. Most of the people gather in this period to enjoy the cool climate. During this variety of food, stalls are opened in the street. Spicy and sweet foods, Ceylon tea and coffee, a large variety of fruits and vegetables gives the original taste of Sri Lanka. April, the month of Spring and Sinhala Tamil New Year season is the most entertaining season Nuwara Eliya. Horse racing, motor racing, golf tournaments, and inheritable Sinhala new sports are most entertaining festivals during this period.

Reaching to Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya can be reached approximately within six hours from Colombo. It gives an awesome and adventurous experience to travelers. When traveling on vehicles, you can get experience in driving through mountains, curves, and slopes. Most enjoyable travel method is by train. Traveling through the tunnels, coming through the darkness to lighting and vice versa is a wonderful experience. you can the view of the train route, climbing mountains and going down is one of the most beautiful trips in the world. Running through the green forests, tea bushes and passing the nine acres bridge will give you the remarkable traveling experience.

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Check out the places we recommend you to visit on your trip to Nuwara Eliya

Lake Gregory

Would you like to get an experience of cold air blowing through a lake? Do you like to taste an original hot tea while sitting on a corner of the bench? If you like, visit Lake Gregory. This is the place where you are searching. Lake Gregory is one of the most attractive natural places in Nuwara Eliya. It was built by Governor Sir William Gregory in the Britain colony era in 1873. In this era, lake was built with the purpose of electricity generating. After, lake and the park recreate on leisure and tourism purpose. Park is recreated with beautiful flowers, trees, and green grass. The total surface area is 91.2ha (225 acres) and surface elevation 1,874m (6,184 ft). The lake is surrounded by mountains, that gives scenic natural view to the visitors.

Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya

There are three phases, you can enter the Lake Gregory. Phase one is where you need to buy a ticket. It is located alongside the Nuwara Eliya city. Second is entrance free, close to Anicut of Gregory’s lake. The third is also entrance free at the other side of the Nuwara Eliya city.

At the movement, Lake Gregory is one of the prominent places among foreign and local tourists. Usually, the park is open from 8.30 AM to 6.00 PM and you need to buy a ticket to a small fee for entrance (Phase I). Lake Gregory is one of the most beautiful destinations for seaplanes. This domestic air taxi service provides from Colombo (Ratmalana) to Lake Gregory. You can reach within 30 minutes from Colombo if you use this service. In addition to that, there are a number of adventure and fun games at the park. Boat rides (Swan, Speed and Dinky boats), Pony rides, Cycle rides are available for affordable prices.

While enjoying the beauty of nature free of charge, you can try these budget-friendly games. In addition to that, there are several restaurants in an aside to the park. Enjoy the Ceylon tea and hot foods in there to the cheapest price.

Lake Gregory Location on the Map

Moon Plains (Sandathenna)

Are you a nature lover, hiker, or would you like to practical observation on geographical diversity? Moon Plains, broken name to Sinhala, “Sandathenna” is the ideal place for you. Moon Plains is one of the best places to take the experience of 360-degree view in hill country. The specialty of this place is, it gives a panoramic view of the cities and mountains. And Sandathenna is the border of the Central and Uva province in Sri Lanka. In addition to that, more than 100 species of birds, wild boars, deer, and castles are living there.

Moon Plains (Sandathenna) in Nuwara Eliya

When you reach there, you will be able to see nine peak points of famous mountains in Sri Lanka. Piduruthalagala, Kikiliyamana, Great Western, Konical hill, Kirigalpoththa, Thotupala, Haggala, and Namunukula are them. Famous Piduruthalagala is the highest mountain and Kirigalpoththa and Thotupala are 2nd and 6th highest peaks in respectively.

Due to the unpredictable mist condition, the scenic view of the mountains’ peak will be depended. Therefore, the best time to view is Morning time and sunset. The average temperature of the area is usually 17 Celsius and minimum goes to 14 Celsius. The month of March is warmth and December show the coolest (around 14 Celsius) weather. You can plan your trip as per your preference to the climate and rainy seasons. Mostly July and October are the driest months in this neighborhood.

Moon Plains is located in 2.4 Km away from the Nuwara Eliya city and you can reach within the 9 minutes by vehicle. From the City, you need to head to the Peradeniya – Badulla – Chenkaladi road and turn left from the Magasthota Junction. At Seetha Eliya Seed potato farm, you can meet entrance to the Moon Plains.

Opening hours are 07.00AM to 03.30PM from Sunday to Saturday. And small entrance fee will be charged from you.

Using four-wheel jeep can reach the Moon Plains easily. You can hire a jeep to an affordable amount from the entrance ticket counter. The road across the potato farm in Jeep will give you the mini safari experience. Do not forget your cameras and ask clarification from your guide while you heading there.

Moon Plains Location on the Map

Lover’s Leap Waterfall

Lover’s Leap Waterfall enhances the natural beauty of Nuwara Eliya. The waterfall is located 2km away from the city which is called “Hawaeliya” (Nuwaraeliya – Kandapola road). This the nearest waterfalls to Nuwara Eliya and enjoy the stunning beauty of the hill country with an adventure. You can reach half away via tuk-tuk and need to walk ahead via a small pebbles footpath. Or else, after walking across the tea estate for 400m you can reach this beautiful place. If you do not want to miss natural beauty, it is recommended to walk. It will be a wonderful experience for your travel book walking on a wavy road among beautiful tea trees. After passing tea estate and a bungalow, you can see the Lover’s Leap.

Lover’s Leap Waterfall in Nuwara Eliya

The fall is 30 meters high and bombastic during the rainy season. Lover’s Leap falling down among granite ledges is an awesome scene, that steel visitor’s heart. This fall emerges from the streams and brooks of Piduruthalagala (2524M).

This stunning waterfall named as “Lover’s Leap with an old legend. According to the legend, once upon a time, a prince went hunting. During the hunting in the forest, he lost his way to the palace. A pretty Eliya girl in this village met this prince and rescue him. The prince had fallen in love with this girl. They loved deeply but Eliya king and queen opposed to their relationship. Finally, they decided to immortalize their relationship. They ended up their lives while leaping down from this waterfall. After this tragic death, to memorize their love, the falls were named as “Lover’s Leap waterfall”.

Climbing up to the fall is a bit of adventure but your effort will give an attractive view. Even Lake Gregory can be seen from this top. The climb is recommended for beginners in hiking. But be careful with the slippery rocks and do not jump from those rocks and stones.

It is an advice, do not visit this place after using alcohol since it may dangerous for hiking. And make sure to apply lime before you start the journey since leeches are mostly living in this neighborhood.

Lover’s Leap Waterfall Location on the Map

Devon Falls

Devon Falls is one of the stunning natural creations which enhances the beauty of Sri Lanka. The fall is located in the Thalawakele town in Nuwara Eliya district. Waterfall named from Mr. Devon who is the British coffee cultivator who lived close to the fall. Devon waterfall is 97m high which is the 19th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Further, it is 1159m above from the sea level. If you drive on the main road of Thalawakele to Hatton, you can enjoy the beauty of this, even from the road.

Devon Falls in Nuwara Eliya

Devon waterfall is originated from Kotmale Oya and downside to the Mahaweli river. During the rainy season, Devon’s behavior is quite aggressive. While enhancing the natural beauty, fall provides the service to the upper Kotmale hydropower project. The project executes with another five waterfalls in Sri Lankan. However, even the project also unable to reduce the water capacity of this fall.

Devon’s beauty can be observed from two observation points if you desire to visit it from far. One is the A7 road of Thalawakele and another one is Watagoda railway station.

Perhaps, the close view gives the awesome experience to your travel life. From the 20th milepost of Thalawakele to Hatton road, walk 1km ahead through the green tea estate. Then you will be to reach the falling Devon. It is not only Devon waterfall, but also St Clairs Falls is located close to it. you can enjoy the fresh air coming through the falls and observe the beauty of this scenic view. If you are a nature lover or bird, this is the place you definitely go in your lifetime.

If you could reach the top of the Devon Falls, the view of the downside is quite stunning. Don’t forget to take a photo of your travel album when you reach there. like to advise you to, not take a bath or swim since it will be dangerous. Especially on months of March and December due to the high-speed water floating. And not to forget to visit the famous Mlesna castle while your journey to Devon Falls. You can enjoy the natural beauty of the neighborhood while tasting an original cup of Ceylon tea.

Devon Falls Location on the Map

Ambewela Farm

Ambewela farm is one of the most tourists attracted dairy farms in Nuwara Eliya district. Further, this the largest farms in Sri Lanka. This scenic beauty gives you the European nature’s experience. Beautiful green grass ground, cows and cattle, and the blue sky make you relax from your busy life. The average temperature of this neighborhood normally 17.5 Celsius and located in 6,000ft above from the sea level. This the border of Uva province and Central province.

Ambewela Farm

Ambewela farm has been established since 1978 and initially operated with milk. After they started butter production from 1989 and today it has grown until 33,000 per day. Farms spread for 1500 acres and shelter to world’s best breed cattle over 2000 heads.

With the brand name of Ambewela, the farm produces variety of milk products. Ambelwela fresh milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter are produced within the farms. Ambewela farm is upgraded to a packing plant in 2003 where produce 30,000 packs per day. It gives a considerable contribution to the Sri Lankan gross domestic product.

Ambewela farm is located in 17.6km away from Nuwara Eliya. With a private vehicle, you can reach within about 45 minutes. Though it takes a little bit of time to reach, you won’t be regretting the consumed time once you visit there. The fastest route is heading to the southeast on Peradeniya – Badulla – Chenkaladi A5 road. After heading there, turn right at Magasthota police post on to Blackpool (Magasthota road). Then turn left to Abmewela – Pattipola – Horton plain road. After turning left, turn right to World’s end road. Turning right at Ambewela wine store to Newzeland farm road you can reach to Ambewela farms.

The farm is opened to visit from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and it will take 1.30 hours for visiting. During the visit, you can cuddle Cattle and Goats and improve knowledge on dairy farm productions. If you are interesting on agriculture, this is the best place to visit.

A restaurant and sales center relating to the Ambewela products is located in, on the way to the world’s end. You can taste and enjoy fresh products from there. Take a rest from there after you visiting farms. It will make you feel refreshed and enthusiastic about your next visit where the world’s end.

Ambewela Farm Location on the Map

Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National park is a state-protected area which enhances the beauty of Nuwara Eliya. The park is categorized in two as wet patana and sub-tropical mountain evergreen forest. Wet patana consists of 2000 hectares and sub-tropical mountain evergreen forest with 1,160 hectares. Horton plains are one of the most important watersheds in Sri Lanka. It is the headwater of three main rivers, Mahaweli, Kelani and Walawe rivers.

Horton Plains National Park

This is the most diversified park in Sri Lanka. Sambar deer, bird species and many other restricted species live in this park. There are 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, 09 species of reptiles and 08 species of amphibians. Around 750 species of plants belonging to 20 families are beautified the park. In addition, World’s End and Baker’s falls add more stunning view to the park. Further, it has a long history which provides the evidence of stone tools belongings to Balangoda era.

Another legend “Ramayana” falk story also a binder with Hortain Plains. There is a belief that King Rawana landed his aircraft to Thotupala mountain in Hortain plains. According to the story, King Rawana abducted Rama’s wife Seetha to take revenge for cutting his sitter’s nose. Then Rama came with an army and monkey human (Hanuman). Rawana’s army caught Hanuman and set fire to his tail. He ran and set fire to Horton Plain with his tail and it lasted for a long time.

Because of this historical value and scenic beauty of nature, it was named as a national park in 1988. Its evaluation range is between 1,200 and 2,300m. Temperature is highly versatile in the day, will be raced up to 27 Celsius and 5 Celsius at night. Usually, the average temperature is recorded as 13 degrees Celsius. During the monsoon period, wind speed is gale face.

Due to these unique features, it is the most popular destination for both local and international tourists. The park is located in 32km away from Nuwara Eliya, 8km away from Ohiya. Further, the world-famous Ohiya gap is located in 6km away from the park.

After arriving at the hill country, you can reach Hortain plains from several routes. You can access the park via Nuwara Eliya – Ambewela – Pattipola and Haputale – Boralanda roads. And for unique experience use the trains to Ohiya and Ambewela. Park is opened for Sunday to Saturday from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Horton Plains National Park Location on the Map

Hakgala Botanical Garden

Hakgala Botanical Garden is a kind of fairyland you need to visit in your lifetime. This is one of five botanical gardens in Sri Lanka as well as the second largest garden. Further believed as the highest set botanical gardens in the world.

Hakgala Botanical Garden

Hakgala botanical garden is located on the main road which you can easily find. It is 16 km away from Nuwara Eliya. Garden always have cold temperature due to the high-altitude level. It is 5,400 feet above sea level. The mean annual temperature is 16 to 30 Celsius. Usually, December to February is cold and warmth during the period of April to August.

The garden is own to a long history. Legend says, after abducting Seetha, was hidden in this area. Further says, this area was gifted to Seetha as a pleasure garden. That area called “Seetha Eliya”. Though legend says above, as per written history, the garden was established by George Henry in 1861. In that period, it was used for experimentations on Cinchona cultivation. After, it had been used for tea cultivation experiments. In 1884, it was officially reformed as a garden.

Hakgala Botanical Garden has been sectored to 08 gardens. They are Central pond and bulb, lower flower, upper flower, rose, glass, fernery, arboretum and rock garden. When you visit these gardens, you can observe the diversification of flowers and trees. And improve your knowledge of gardening and plant science. There are 10,000 species of flowers are blooming in the garden. The large variety of roses and orchids are well famous in this garden. Beautiful flowers and buds in different colors bring you a scenic view. Landscaping and well maintained large and small trees and green grassland enhance natural beauty. Therefore, thousands of local and foreign visitors annually come to see this beauty.

It is opened for visitors daily from 7.30 am to 5.00 pm. But plant nursery closes at 3.00 pm. A wheelchair facility is available at the entrance for disable person to an affordable price. Further, light motor vehicles are allowed to enter the garden. But walking is the best way to enjoy the natural beauty and explore the plant’s diversity.

Hakgala Botanical Garden Location on the Map

St Clairs Falls

St Clairs Falls is one of the widest falls in Sri Lanka. Due to unique beauty, fall call as “Little Niagara”. This is the 20th highest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. The fall is built with twin falls, one is called as greater fall and other is lesser fall. Greater fall (Maha Ella) which is 80 meters (260ft) high and 50 meters (160ft) wide. Lesser fall (Kuda Ella) which is 50m (160ft). This fall is originated from Kotmale Oya and tributary of Mahaweli River. it is 1076.92m above from sea level. Also, the main fall is located 3km away from the Thalawakele.

St Clairs Falls

In addition to the scenic beauty, this fall assists to generate the electricity to the nation. Upper Kotmale hydro project is executed with five main waterfalls including St. Clair’s. Fall is maintaining a continuous flow of 47,250 m3 of water. It is approximately 10.30 hours daily. Therefore St. Clair’s service is not limited to beautify the Sri Lanka.

The beauty of little Niagara, enhance the value of Nuwara Eliya district. Floating down blue water from three levels combining with two falls gives you a unique scenic view.

Falls are floating down over three rocks bluffs into a large pool. Because of this twin falls, St Clairs Falls has unique beauty which steals the viewer’s eyes. The fall is located 500m away from the main road. If you need a close view of fall, you can reach it among bushes. St. Clair’s fall gives a far view to the curve near 90km post. For this point fall gives a full view of it. Further, fall is close to the Mlesna tea castle st. Claire’s. You can enjoy the beauty of falling St. Clair’s while tasting original Ceylon hot tea.

St Clairs Falls lies close to the main route of Nuwar Eliya – Colombo. After passing Hatton, this beautiful natural creature can be visible to your eyes. Fall surrounded by green, will cure your stress and relax your mind. If your next plan to visit the Nuwara Eliya, do not forget to visit little Niagara since it is the prettiest creature of nature gifted to Sri Lanka.

St Clairs Falls Location on the Map

Sri Pada

Sri Padaya (Adam’s Peak) is the most sacred mountain which is situated in Nuwara Eliya. It was respected for centuries and Sri Lankans, stab to visit at least one time during their lifetime. Sri Padaya is 2243m high and there are about 5000 stairs to climb. If you reach the peak before sunrise you will be surprised after seeing a wonderful view of the sun.

Adams Peak (Sri Pada)

The rising sun is the most attracted view at the top. You do not need to miss this, you have to climb all night and reach the peak before morning. Sri Lankans believes sun worship to this sacred mountain three times before it rises. At the top of the peak, there is a large footprint. Sri Lankan Buddhists believe it as the left footprint of Lord Buddha. Hindu believes that is Shiva’s footprint. Christians and Muslims, believe, Adam’s set his foot after leaving heaven. However, all these religions respect this mountain and worship it respect it as same.

The best period to visit this sacred mountain is from November to May. Usually, most of the Sri Lankans climb this mountain as a pilgrimage during this period. If you visit this period you can hear Sri Lankan poems specially made for this pilgrimage. Further, can observe different Sri Lankan cultural activities they do on this visit.

On the top of the mountain, there is Buddhists’ temple which does the rituals for the Buddha’s foot. Every morning during the open season you can participate for these rituals. The rituals start after Sun rising in Sinhala called it as “Ira Sewaya”.

June to October is the off-season for the Sri Pada pilgrimages. Due to the heavy rain mist, people avoid climbing this mountain. If you are an adventure this is the ideal time to visit. Be prepared with suitable clothes if you climb in offseason. This will give you a remarkable experience in your travel life.

There are six routes to reach Sri Padaya (Adams Peak). One is Hatton – Nallathanni road. Second is Rathnapura – Palabaddala road. The third is Kuruwita – Erathna. Others are Murraywatte, Mookuwatte, and Malimboda. Using one of these trails you can access the Sri Padaya mountain.

Sri Pada Location on the Map

Bomburu Ella Waterfall

Bomburu Ella is one of the amazing art of nature in Sri Lanka. It is also called as Perewella Ella and locates in Uva Paranagama in Nuwara Eliya district. This is the widest waterfall in Sri Lanka. According to calculations, it is 50m high and it’s a combination of several waterfalls. The fall is enriched with upper tributary of Uma River which is located in the central highlands.

Bomburu Ella Waterfall

Bomburu Ella is located in the Seetha Eliya Kandanpola forest reserve which is 15Km away from Welimada town. This is the place where legend says, Seetha was hidden after the abduction. Due to this legend, this place has a huge historical value. Further, it is one of the most beautiful landmarks, situated close to the border of Nuwara Eliya and Badulla districts.

You can reach to the fall approximately 30-45 minutes since it is located 14km away from Nuwara Eliya. If you travel from Colombo, it may take around 06 hours to reach here. The best route is Nuwara Eliya – Welimada road, turning left from Rendapala Junction.

The road is convenient up to the village and from there you have to do mini hiking and climbing. Even though it has hiking and climbing, you won’t get tired due to cool weather and green neighborhood. You can relax while enjoying the beauty of the forest where is most popular since King Rawana era.

At the top of the fall, the view is spectacular, which presents the scenic beauty of nature. Water cascading view, green forests, rocks and mountains in neighborhood provides proper evidence for charming beauty of nature. Picnic and bathing are allowed to visitors but camping is prohibited by the government.

Bomburu Ella is not for beatifying Nuwara Eliya but also it provides a huge service to the Sri Lankan Nation. It provides the electricity-generating service to the powerhouse and delivered water to villagers for their cultivation. Due to these reasons, Bomburu Ella considers as a valuable natural asset in Sri Lanka. Because of that, fall is very popular with both local and foreign tourists. Swimming in a natural pool and water cascading view will add a unique experience to your travel log.

Bomburu Ella Waterfall Location on the Map

Other important tourist places that you can visit along with Nuwara Eliya

Victoria Park
Galway’s Land National Park
Kande Ela Reservoir
Laxapana Falls
Aberdeen Falls
Thotupola Kanda Nature Trail
Pidurutalagala Mountain
Single Tree Hill
Seetha Amman Temple