Friday, February 24, 2012

Nuwara Eliya - Little England of Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya, Tea Plantations, Visit Sri Lanka

Next stop on our long tour of Sri Lanka was Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is a small town in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. There are a number of Tea Plantations here. The climate here is much cooler than the rest of Sri Lanka. It was founded by a British explorer and was called Little England in those days. A number of buildings in the town look like those from the colonial period.

We stayed at The Glendower Hotel. Have put up a review of the hotel here.

We visited the Mc Woods tea plantation. Here we were shown around the tea factory and the tea making process was explained to us by "guides". There were a number of "guides" here who were specifically assigned the work of showing the visitors around. At the end of the tour we were given complimentary tea which tasted great in that cool atmosphere.

Nuwara Eliya is famous for another reason. The Seetha-Amman temple. This temple dedicated to Sita is believed to be built at the spot where Sita was held captive by Ravana. We were informed by one of the devotees that the Palace of Ravana lay beyond the mountain. Footprints of Lord Hanuman can be seen by stream.

Another important temple nearby is the Gayathri Peetam temple.This is believed to be built at the spot where Ravana's son Meghanath did penance to please Lord Shiva who granted him with great powers.

Though these 2 temples are of religious importance to Hindus, the local tour operator did not seem to know much about these places and we had to ask around to find these places.

We left Nuwar Eliya and started our journey towards the next destination - Yala National Park. On the way we saw the Ravana Falls. These are supposed to be one of the biggest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. Behind the waterfalls is a cave which is believed to the place where Ravana kept Sita hidden. For lack of time in our itinerary we were unable to see these caves. But the feedback we got from some of the travellers that we met, was that it was a very nice place.

More photos below ....

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