Up country – Nuwara Eliya

Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations. Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. This city with an elevation of 6200 meters is the highest in Sri Lanka. Once a pleasure retreats of the European planters the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings.

History says Nuwara Eliya is discovered by a hunting party led by Dr. John Davy in 1818. The British governor at the time, Sir Edward Barnes, was told about this and subsequently decided to take residence there, soon creating a health resort, which soon became internationally renowned.
Nuwara Eliya is decidedly English in some way (houses, gardens and places names) and was actually planned to be an English village by a pioneering Englishman, Sir Samuel Baker in the mid-19th Century.

Travelers from the UK will be particularly attracted by the architecture which is decidedly Victorian. Even modern buildings are built in the same fashion to preserve Nuwara Eliya's unique atmosphere.Nuwara Eliya was home away from home for the British colonialist in the 19th century.

The city was founded by Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile in 1846. Nuwara Eliya's climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. Nuwara Eliya, called Little England then, was also a hill country retreat where the British colonialists could immerse in their pastimes such as fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket.

Although the town was founded in the 19th century by the British, the whole district is today visited by native travelers, especially during the month of April, the season of flowers, pony races, go cart races and auto rally.

Many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen's Cottage, General's House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, Town Post Office and even new hotels are often built and furnished in the colonial style. Anyone who visits the city can wallow in its nostalgia of bygone days by visiting these landmark buildings. Many private homes still maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.