I’ve climbed up some epic volcanoes in my time, and reached the observation decks of the world’s tallest buildings, but nothing quite compares to straddling Lanka’s rolling hills here in the central Highlands and standing atop World’s End!
Nuwara Eliya was the final place I visited in my all-too-brief visit of Sri Lanka. However, the memories I obtained here will satisfy me for a lifetime! Initially basing myself at Kandy, my trip to Nuwara Eliya from there took around 4 hours, and I took a private taxi, which is probably not the cheapest option, but luckily I was able to afford such a transportation.
Nuwara Eliya itself is actually a small township high in the rolling plains and valleys of central Sri Lanka, and the scenery around here is to die for! In the two nights I spent here, whilst treating myself by staying at the great value Heritance Tea Factory hotel, I enjoyed the scenery whenever I got the chance. I immensely enjoyed taking in the cool air and gave my lungs some much-needed respite from the rest of the pollution on the Indian Sub-Continent. If there is a problem with hiking in Nuwara Eliya, it’s that the vast open spaces will inevitably mean you’re at the mercy of the skies, and it rains a lot around here! I encountered one nice day, and one horrid day, with grey skies, and quite strong winds, but nonetheless, I still wanted to experience the area whatever the weather!
Up until this point, I was used to seeing ancient cities and temples such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, but the natural landscape of Nuwara Eliya really enchanted me. The air felt clean up here, like I had not known at all anywhere else on the Indian sub-continent. What surprised me the most was the amount of tourists here. I learned that Sri Lanka is now becoming one of the main countries in the region for tourism and I was honoured to be here before, perhaps, the place becomes completely overrun by tourists. The best thing about Nuwara Eliya is the tea plantations – although I don’t actually like tea! Nevertheless, the hills around here rise to over 6000ft and you certainly feel a sense of majesty this high up. I first saw the amazing Sri Lankan scenery on a train from Colombo to Kandy, yet up here at Nuwara Eliya you realise exactly why people travel to lands afar! There is also a beautiful lake in the town called Gregory Lake, on which you can go boating, and there are many spectacular waterfalls around the area, too.
Despite some inclement weather, Nuwara Eliya was probably the second best highlight of Sri Lanka for me, after the incredible Sigiriya, and I would recommend the place to anyone who has an interest in natural topography. It’s not necessarily an easy trip to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy, but the fresh air and the amazing scenery here ‘on the top of the world’ make the journey well worth it!