Sri Lanka holds a comfortable spot when discussing the best tea producing countries of the world, it is famous for its prized produce-The Ceylon Tea.
A country known for the superior blends it produces, the best lot comes from a town called Nuwara Eliya which is located in the central highlands. Known as ‘Little England’ during the colonial era, this name holds true even today. Lush greenery and the rich aroma of tea are the first things you will notice in this quaint little town. The architecture here takes you back to an era when the British Colonialists treated this place as their summer retreat. With a pleasant climate, this is a perfect getaway for the locals and definitely a must visit in the list of tourists. It is in fact Sri Lanka’s most popular hill station, the country’s highest mountain- The Pidurutalagala is located here.
Nuwara Eliya is the most important tea producing location in Sri Lanka. Biggies like Mlesna, Mackwoods and Dilmah have their plantations here. A visit to a local tea plantation and factory is a must. Here you can see how tea is made and graded and you can sit down surrounded by a beautiful landscape as you sip on to a freshly brewed cup of the best Ceylon tea. During my stay here I had the chance to visit the Mackwoods Tea Estate and Factory and what an enriching experience it was! For a tea lover this place is an absolute delight.
A visit to Lake Gregory at dusk completes the hill station experience here, you can go boating or even zorbing for that matter here! Nuwara Eliya also has one of the finest eighteen hole golf courses in South Asia.
A perfect stay here would be at the Grand Hotel, a beautiful hotel with British architecture and one of the best Indian restaurants in town. Built in 1891, this was actually the residence of the then Governor of Sri Lanka, Sir Edward Barnes. I would simply describe this as colonial luxury at its best!
Nuwara Eliya also holds religious importance as it homes the ‘Seetha Kovil’ temple. If local folklore is to be believed then it is this place where Ravana had held Goddess Sita captive and Lord Hanuman met her for the first time here. A pair of deep impressions on the rocks there are believed to be the footprints of Hanuman.
The drive from Colombo is long but definitely worth it. The roads are long but not bland, covered with lush landscapes and numerous waterfalls the drive is a pleasant one.
Nuwara Eliya is connected by road as well as rail from Colombo.