Nuwara-Eliya which is almost 2000 meters above sea level (1980 meters ) is known as “Little England” aptly because of the old world charm of the city consisting mainly old Victorian-styled building and cottages reminding one of the British Colonial period when the Tea Plantations used to thrive with the English plantation managers. This is the center and the roof of the central highlands of this tropical island, it offers the best of both worlds, of tropical abundance and pleasant cool mountain climate. While most of the time the climate is sub-tropical, night temperature plunge low enough to produce frost.
Many assume that the history of Nuwara Eliya begins with the British colonial period, though some experts claim that the town may have a history that goes back more than 6,000 years. Part of an inscription found by the British and still preserved in the District Secretary’s office is an attestation to this fact as it is said to consist of letterings prohibiting any from entering the area.
The rediscovery of Nuwara Eliya, which stands for ‘a light to Kandy’, and the beginning of its colonisation is attributed to a surgeon by the name of Dr John Davy, who stumbled across the grassland around 1818. Afterwards from time to time Nuwara Eliya was a hunting ground, a sanatorium and holiday resort for the British, who craved a bit of home away from home in the cool climate. And with the initiation of tea plantations more and more British colonials, including Sir Edward Barnes, Governor of Ceylon (1824-1831) and Sir Samuel Baker sought to settle in Nuwara Eliya. In order to provide for the basic necessities, traders from southern Ceylon also came to the hill country, thus establishing a colony.