Nuwara Eliya [Sri Lanka]

Bentota is a coastal town in Sri Lanka.  This town is an important tourist attraction with beautiful beaches and world-class hotels.  Kosgoda is another coastal town which is located around 11 km from Bentota.  I went to Kosgoda to have a look at the Turtle Conservation Project.

Bentota Beach

The turtle hatchery here protects the eggs of turtles and when they hatch, the baby turtles are released into the sea.  The entrance fee to this place is 300 Sri Lankan Rupee.  As we go inside, a guide will accompany us and explain the different stages, from hatching turtle eggs to releasing the baby turtle into the sea.

Baby Sea Turtles

The sight of different stages of growth of turtles is something that should not be missed out.  White turtle, a rare type of turtles, can be seen here.  White turtles are born by hatching the eggs of green-colored turtles.  Only 1 white turtle is born from hatching 2,00,000 eggs.  Green Turtles, Hawksbills, Star Tortoise, etc are some types of turtles seen in the hatchery.

White Turtles

From there, I left for Nuwara Eliya, the land of lamps.  From Bentota, it is 211 km to Nuwara Eliya, a beautiful hill station situated 1868 m above sea level.  If Ooty and Munnar come together, how it will be like, that is Nuwara Eliya.  The cool climate and beautiful lakes make the place an amazing one.  Nuwara Eliya has the resemblance of a British village.

Nuwara Eliya

The pink post office, the shape of clock tower and bungalows, the cool climate which does not allow much sunlight to come in, all of these give an English touch to the place; that is why this hill station is also called Little England.  There is a fantastic golf course which is open to the visitors.  The Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya is famous and fabulous too.  The park extends to an area of 27 acres.  Gregory Lake is a manmade lake that lies near the park. 

Gregory Lake

The lake is extensive as well as beautiful.  Facilities for boat riding and pedal boating, walkway on the side of the lake and vast grounds make the place interesting.  On one side of the Victoria Park, there is a ground for horse racing.  The hills surrounding the race course is an interesting place for birdwatchers.  There are different types of birds found here. 

Laxapana Falls

The beautiful hill ranges here are famous for trekking.  It is in these hill ranges where we can see the famous waterfalls of Ramboda, Devon and Laxapana falls.  Nuwara Eliya has more than 750 types of flora.  The second largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka is located in Nuwara Eliya, under Mount Hakila.  There is a collection of trees of different countries and different types.  Sita Temple, a small temple connected with the epic, Ramayana, is situated at a distance of 5 km from Lake Gregory, taking the road to the right.

Sita Temple

It is believed that Sita Devi, while living in Asoka forest, used to take bath in the river here and pray for her release from the hands of Ravana.  The forest opposite to the temple is believed to be Asoka Forest.  We can reach World’s End by travelling 15 km from Nuwara Eliya on the route to Colombo.  The sights from the end of the hill that projects frontward are beautiful and we feel like we are really standing at the end of the world.  The place has religious importance too. 

Asoka Forest

The Buddhists believe that this hill is the left leg of Buddha, Hindus believe it is the foot of Shiva and Christians believe that it is Adam’s hill.  Whatever it is, it is a beautiful view point.  There is so much more to be seen in Nuwara Eliya.  I said goodbye to this Little England thinking that I might sometimes be able to come back in future.  My trip to Sri Lanka was a 4-day trip, so I could only take a glance of some places.  I decided to visit the rest of Sri Lanka in the next visit.


Ashok S P Aug-31- 2016 239