Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya was incredibly hard to get to, due to the unavailability of proper access road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, until the beginning of 18s, until the beginning of British rule in Sri Lanka. However with the expansion of tea and coffee plantation in the mountains, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and other mountain resorts started to get the attention of colonial rulers, because the Ceylon tea was a major income earner for the British administration and they encouraged the British planters venturing into the lucrative tea business.
Infrastructure had been a leading obstacle that kept wealthy planters away from investing in the industry. Therefore the British government decided to improve the accessibility from Kandy to Nuwara and built a road between two cities while extending the rail from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. With the improved access to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy and other parts of Sri Lanka, there had been a boost in the tea industry, and which invariably increased the income of the British administration.
Nuwara Eliya is a small hamlet sits in a valley, next to the highest point of the island known as Pidiurutalagala, 2520 meters above sea level. Nuwara Eliya is hemmed by a network of jagged mountains and tea plantations. Surrounded by crumbling rock faces, there are 3 access roads to the city and a rail network cuts through Nuwara Eliya. The access points are installed on South, east and northern directions of Nuwara Eliya. However, the British government built only the access road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya initially and other roads came to be in the latter period.
Today Nuwara Eliya is important not only because of the thriving tea industry but also due to the tourism industry. The city attracts millions of tourist every year and breathtaking mountains, valleys, cascading waterfalls amidst the healing climate is a superb mixture for a soothing holiday. A large number of travellers venturing in from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya every day via Kandy-Nuwara Eliya highway, which is the most popular and convenient road for people who starts their journey from west coast cities such as Colombo.
Kandy is set at merely 500 meters above sea level, which is a low altitude compared to Nuwara Eliya (1800 meter above sea level), therefore the road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya very steep and there is a large number of sharp curves along the way. Even though there is a very good road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, the time taken to drive 75 kilometres, between two cities is between 2-3 hours. Keeping moderate speed is very important on this track due to the sharp bends.
When is the best time of the year to go to Nuwara Eliya?
Nuwara Eliya is the most popular holiday destination in the mountains, it is very popular as a family holiday destination among the local families and it can be really crowded during the school holidays and you will encounter hordes of Sri Lankan tourists heading from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. The healing climate and breathtaking scenery help the city to stand out from the mountain holiday resorts such as Bandarawela, Haputale and Ella.
Nuwara Eliya is attracting a large number of local travellers in the months of April, May and June when the flowering plants in Nuwara Eliya start to bloom. Rows of trees and plants change colour and make bright, colourful scenery that makes up the landscape. This is the flowering season in Nuwara Eliya and most flowering plants show up their beautiful flowers. During the rest of the year, still, it is possible to see many beautiful flowers but not as much as during the flowering season.
Usually, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy are two major tourist attractions on the island and included in most Sri Lanka tour packages. Kandy is a cultural city with major tourist attractions like tooth relic temple and many other historical places. On the other hand, Nuwara Eliya is a leading eco-holiday destination with many natural tourist attractions such as Gregory lake, patches forests, tea plantations, Horton plains, waterfalls and many other attractions like that, Nuwara Eliya is strikingly different against Kandy.
Nuwara Eliya is a year-round holiday destination, but there can be heavy rains during the south-west monsoon, especially in the months of July, August, September and October, while the rainfall during the reset if the year comparatively low. Nuwara Eliya is coming under the wet-zone of Sri Lanka and receives more than 5000 mm of yearly rainfall, which is one of the highest rainfalls on the island. As you step into Nuwara Eliya you can see the endless green cover over the mountains and valleys while well-maintained Tea plantations look like a green carpet from the distance.
What can we see on the way from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya?
A road trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya lasts about 2 hours if you do it without any stops; however, it is very hard to make it without any stops, due to the enchanting beauty of the mountains, valleys, tea gardens and cascading waterfalls. If you are a local or foreign traveller, it will not be possible to take your eyes away from the beautiful scenery; you are tempted to make frequent stops upon encountering beautiful landscaped on the drive and take some photos. After all-natural beauty is the main reason for most travellers to make a trip to Nuwara Eliya. If natural beauty is not something that you are fascinated with, it is better to forget the trip to Nuwara Eliya. Because Nuwara Eliya is not a place for people, who enjoy the rich culture and heritage of their holiday destination and neither it is a place with vibrant city life.
4 Major stops to make from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
- Tea factory and Tea plantation
- Ramboda falls
- Hanuman temple
- Royal Botanical garden
How can we go from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya?
Mainly there are two options to plan a trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, which are road transport and rail transport. Both options have advantages as well as disadvantages; however, the rail journey considered to be the most rewarding. Because it gives you the plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains, the scenery that you take through the window is simply breathtaking when the train slowly moves through the mountains, valleys, tea gardens and patches forests.
The train trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya considered being one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world and travellers loves it. The time takes for the rail journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is about 4 hours, which is a major shortcoming of the train trip. On the other hand, the journey by a car or a bus would take around 2 hours from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya; however, it will not as attractive as the train journey.
By considering the advantages and disadvantages of a train journey as well as bus trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, a large number of travellers plans the journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya such a way that it wastes only limited amount of time of their holiday package.
Due to the time taken for the train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, what most travellers do is reduce the time spent on the train by curtailing the train journey while choosing the most scenic part of the train journey, and the rest of the journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya carried out by a car.