A trail through the mystical realm of Nuwara Eliya
by Tharushan Fernando
Discover breathtaking views, vibrant wildlife and a variety of flora and fauna while you take on the hills on a journey through green fields to the towering mountainside forests.
On a sunny day in Nuwara Eliya, the beauty of the realm known as Little England truly comes alive. There's much to explore, from the colonial charm and architecture to the culture and life of the locals. However, one's journey into the hills is not complete without hiking or trekking through the lush fields of tea or exploring the pristine forests that the mountains call home.
Starting from Lake Gregory, the starting point to the Pedro is just a short walk away from the green field that surrounds the lake. Then a turn-off from the main road gets you to a pathway that leads to the top. A truly captivating walkway that runs through the tea estate where you can see the estate workers getting busy with their work while the cool winds sweep across the beautifully laid out tea plants across the hills. The climb itself isn't too hard but it is always better to be prepared with the right gear. Watch where you step because if you have a keen eye, you’ll spot some wild strawberries to vibrantly coloured flowers growing in the shade of tea plants.
The smiles of the locals greet you as you ascend the hill and reach the top of the hill, where the breathtaking view awaits your presence. Once you reach the top, you can take a moment to catch your breath while taking in the clean air and the sublime landscape that surrounds you.
The viewpoint itself is truly unique, with the town of Nuwara Eliya and Lake Gregory sitting across the hills. At the same time, the 360-degree view is scattered with some awesome mountain ranges and forests such as Hakgala, and Horton Plains, Moon Plains and even Lovers Leap.
It will be ideal if you pack a picnic when you reach the viewpoint because it is essential that you take more than just a moment to indulge in the enchanting scenery.
After taking in the landscape, you can continue on through the tea estates, where the path eventually leads you to a stone path which passes the famed Little England Cottages, whose vintage architecture adds to the ambience of the region.
The walk then brings you to the Pedro Tea Estate. The Pedro Tea Estate and factory provide the ideal setting for learning about the history and the technique of making tea amidst the lush tea fields and cascading waterfalls in the distance. The little tea boutique found at the corner has an amazing view of the estates while you have a refreshing brew of a fresh cup of tea.
If you have a local guide showing you the way, they might be able to take you to the Bomburu Ella reservoir. It's a truly fantastic walk that takes you through vegetable farms and home gardens littered with colourful flora and fauna. The path stops at a certain point, and your adventure becomes a bit more exciting as you enter the forest that is in the vicinity of the resvoir. As you traverse through the forest where the tall pine trees and cast cold shadows, keep your eyes open to spot a variety of endemic creatures and plants. After a short walk, you'll come upon an area to rest your feet while the reservoir peaks through the trees.
Your expedition can end here, but for the more capable and adventurous few, there is another leg of hiking with quite a delightful surprise. It must be advised that this leg of the trek comes with its own set of dangers and perils, so unless you are physically capable and geared up, do not attempt to take it on.
However, for those who are prepared for the adventure, it is a ravishing treat. There is barely a path, which locals with experience just jog along with a sure foot and steady pace. This leads you through the forest, which is on a mountainside, so remember that for many of us, the use of hands, legs and crawling skills will come into play. Quite often, you'll hear the call of birds, so make sure to pack your binoculars, so you don't miss a sighting of these elegant creatures. If you are truly careful and keep quiet, you might even spot a deer or boar up close and personal.
Finally, you'll start to hear the cascading water, but the mystery of the location will remain elusive because the thick forest is a master at hiding secrets. Trudge along, making your way across a small crossing and then, after a few meters (which might seem longer due to the harsh conditions and elevation), you'll come upon the gushing waters of a beautiful waterfall. Only known to the few locals who use it for fishing, the body of water is untouched by human activity. If you've packed swimming gear, and you are prepared to wade into the cold waters, a dip at the bottom of the waterfall is highly recommended.
Put aside around 4-5 hours of the day for the complete trek but it might take longer depending on the weather and your pace. Make sure to pack all the right gear, from swimming gear, shoes, snacks and beverages to some basic first aid. Ask your local guide for some form of repellent for the leeches that you'll encounter further into the wetter parts of the forests.
Explore the beautiful mountains of Nuwara Eliya with W15 Lake Gregory. Click here to make a reservation.
Tharushan FernandoContent Creator
Former journalist, copywriter, concept developer and digital media professional. Has been in the field of professional writing for over 10 years, with experience in a variety of industries, including advertising, content writing and news. He is currently working as the content writer for Steradian Capital Investments and W15 Collection.
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