The cool, misty hill station of Nuwara Eliya (pronounced Noor elia) was first established as a summer retreat by the Governor of Ceylon, Sir Edward Barnes, in 1828. Twenty years later it was developed into a resort by Samuel Baker to provide 19th-century colonials with respite from the lowland heat. Even today it has an air of wistful, suburban nostalgia, with mock-Tudor houses set in carefully-tended gardens, a red English post box and pink-painted post office, winding roads, trout streams, a golf course, race-course and botanical gardens. The clubs and hotels - social centres of the colony - remain, complete with visitors' and game books, Inglenook fireplaces, billiard tables and authentically colonial menus. There is excellent bird-watching in Victoria Park and at the nearby bird sanctuary of Galway's Land, fine walks such as the circuit to Single Tree Hill, and tea estates and factories make fascinating. These days the altitude (1,890 metres) and cool climate make it a major centre for growing vegetables - started by Baker - and flowers for export. The busy town is always popular with local tourists, particularly in the April "season".
Features in the following itineraries
The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.G. K. Chesterton