Stop at: Gregory Lake
Lake Gregory is a picturesque, man-made Lake nestled at the bottom of small hills, bordering the town of Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka’s mountainous, tea-growing region. A visit or tour of Nuwara Eliya would not be complete without a visit to this scenic lake, with perhaps a boat ride or a walk along its shores. As the small town grew and expanded, the Governor of the time, Sir William Gregory, decided that electricity had to be introduced to the town and the Lake was originally created to generate much-needed electricity for the rapidly developing town. Lake Gregory was fashioned under orders of British Governor Sir William Gregory in 1873. The water from the lake is directed to a place named “Blackpool” in Nuwara Eliya using a tunnel, and is used to generate electricity for the town even today. Lake Gregory also serves as an important catchment area for rainwater and mountain stream runoff, preventing flooding of the Nuwara Eliya town suburbs.
Stop at: Victoria Park
In the centre of the town is the local Central Market. South of the market is Victoria Park spreading over an expanse of 27 acres with well-maintained shrubs and trees. The cluster of exceedingly tall eucalyptuses is a main feature therein. Victoria Park though is located at close proximity to the city centre, is an ornithological hot spot where bird lovers would spend long hours. River Nanu Oya that runs through the Victoria Park and a number of lakes within it supports the endemic birds of Sri Lanka as well as migrant birds from neighbouring countries and regions such as the Himalayas. Among the birds are Kashmir flycatcher, Indian blue robin, Pied thrush, Dull-blue flycatcher and the yellow-eared bulbul.
Stop at: Tea Factory & Tea Plantations
Tea is one of the three major natural products in Sri Lanka. Tea is exported along with rubber and spices. Sri Lanka is popular in western and European countries because of our very pure tea leaves that are hand-plucked from the exuberant hills in the central region.
Get your shoes on to avoid the creepy crawlies; a hat to keep your ears out of the cold. Take the opportunity to stroll around a tea plantation and watch “Ceylon Tea” as it makes its way to that warm cup you can enjoy with the backdrop of glorious Sri Lankan hills.
With the tour of the factory you’ll be able to see how the leaves are withered, sorted, graded and packed into packs. Signed, sealed and delivered for you to take back home for friends…or to keep it yourself!
Stop at: Seetha Amman Temple
On the way to the Hakgala Gardens, near the 83km post, is the colourful Hindu Seetha Amman Temple at Sita Eliya. It’s said to mark the spot where Sita was held captive by the demon king Rawana, and where she prayed daily for Rama to come and rescue her. On the rock face across the stream are circular depressions said to be the footprints of Rawana’s elephant.
Stop at: Ramboda Falls
Rivers, as they flow over uneven ground or down mountains, often split into tributaries or form waterfalls. Sometimes two tributaries of the same river may form twin waterfalls very close to each other as the water spills down cliffs and rocks. However, it is quite uncommon for the tributaries to combine after forming the waterfalls making a Y shape.
This unique and beautiful sight can be seen at the Pussellawa area of Nuwara Eliya, at the Ramboda Pass. The Ramboda Falls in Sri Lanka or Ramboda Ella or Puna Ella as these falls are called is created from Puna Oya, a tributary of Kothmale Oya. It makes a twin with Dunsinane Falls which is created by Pundalu Oya, also a tributary of Kothmale River, and combines at the base to form a Y shape.