In Nuwara Eliya, the Sri Lankan hills are alive with the scent of tea. Tea production in the area is traced back to British rule of the region: in the mid-19th century, the British arrived, bearing their beloved tea plants. Now, the wheels of the town of Nuwara Eliya spin around the tea industry, and it’s a veritable tea-tourism destination that is featured in the 1000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day® calendar.
Back in 1867 when the first British traders set foot in Nuwara Eliya, the island country was known as Ceylon, a word that you might associate with tea rather than nation these days. In the local fields, Sri Lankan harvesters—primarily women—pick the leaves of Camellia sinensis, depositing their harvest into large baskets strapped to their back.
However, the British reach in Nuwara Eliya extended well beyond the local agriculture. Outside the fields, you’ll find colonial-style, red brick architecture and golf courses amidst the mountainous community. The architecture and recreational opportunities of Nuwara Eliya enjoy quite the mesmerizing setting.
(Photo credits above: Peter Pawlowski, left, Jon Connell, right.)
Nuwara Eliya, which happens to be the highest city of Sri Lanka, is home to exactly the kind of landscape you’d want to picture your tea leaves originating from: placid snaking rivers, lush hills and mountains, cascading gentle waterfalls and gradually dipping valleys. Combine all that with a very pleasantly cool climate and you’ve got yourself more than enough reason to plan a visit.
If you do journey to Nuwara Eliya, there is much more to do than see the tea farms and drink tea as fresh as it comes. You can explore the rolling hills by horseback or hiking, play a round on one of the best golf courses in Asia and take in the roses at the Hakgala Botanical Garden.
Whether or not you’re a tea drinker, if you haven’t tried making your own tea blends, you’re missing out on the opportunity to completely customize your herbal experience. In Herbal Teas: 101 Nourishing Blends for Daily Health & Vitality, authors Kathleen Brown and Jeanine Pollak help you get started with recipes and stories about herbal teas, whether you’re looking to cure what ails you or just a warm cup to savor.
So add tea to your to drink list for good health and Nuwara Eliya to your to visit list for an adventure you won't soon forget.
Read on for more on 1000 Places to See Before You Die book and calendar line from Workman Publishing and Page-A-Day.