National Parks and Gardens
Lake Gregory Park
Relax infront of blue waters and greenlands cuddling the cold
A humongous Lake bounded by the greenery and covered with a mist at early mornings is what you will see here. But that is now – before 1827 the entire area was a swamp with streams which had water throughout the year where the British Governor Sir William Gregory converted it to Lake Gregory in 1873. The highest peak of Sri Lanka, Piduruthalagala streamed down the Thalagala River and Sir Gregory decided on damning it but years past with several additions and renovations to it including the Hydro Power station at Naanu Oya where eh waters of the Gregory lake were directed via a tunnel.
The history and its creations are not what would amaze you as the history of sports and recreational activities are on continuation. And during the April Nuwara Eliya Season the Lake Gregory area gets crowded thou you have visit the Lake buying a ticket. Early at the sunrise and evenings with sunset adds quite a relaxing experience for any type of a traveller and also you can take a little boat ride after negotiating the prices. You can allow your kids for a pony ride and after that ride on your own in the two seater Swan boats.
After a recent upliftment now the Sri Lankan Airlines Air taxis arrive Nuwara Eliya and Lake Gregory is the landing plot for these seaplanes which would bring you to Nuwara Eliya in around 30 minutes from Colombo.
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Roam in one of the only five…
Yes, as it is says Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Nuwara Eliya is one of the only five botanical gardens in Sri Lanka, which is also the second largest in the island. And for the great enthusiasm the garden is contiguous to the Strict Nature Reserve Hakgala. The legendary stories dates back to the literal era of Hanuman, the monkey god in famous Ramayanaya. Hanuman was sent to the Himalayas to find a medicinal herb and as he forgot what it was he removed the entire piece of rock from his jaw and brought to Lanka. So Hak-Gala means Jaw-Rock.
While you are on the Nuwara Eliya-Badulla Main Road you can spot Hakgala 16km away from Nuwara Eliya. Due to that the garden is 540ft. above the sea the climate is cool and refreshing inside. But if you are travelling from December to February the extremely cold climate and in April to August the warm season could be experienced.
Since its inception in 1861 as a cultivation area until it was transformed to a garden in 1884 and now – the sub-tropical and temperature plants of absurd kinds could be witnessed. The garden is also famed with approximately 500,000 visitors per year due to the Orchids and Roses too.
Bits and pieces of Little England
The park was originally the research field of the Haggala Botanical Gardens but was formally named separated commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamon Jubilee as the Victoria Park. Thou it was named for a Queen the first tree of the park, and Oak plant was planted by a visiting German princess.
The beauty is that the Victoria Park is a collaboration of nature’s watery and greenery beauties thou kept under the care of humans. The Naanu Oya River which runs through the lakes spots small scenic lakes shattered here and there adding a beauty exceeding natural landscapes. And if you are a bird lover eager to watch species endemic many of them could be found in the park with their little ones. And if the kids need a little free space, at the far end you will find a children’s playground with a rideable railway.
Unlike the mainstream Botanical Gardens but yet worth a stop by to feel the neatened lawns and shaped flower beds running down to beautiful streams and puddles of water surrounding a number of hill country bird species such as Yellow-eared Bulbul, Pacific Swallow, Indian Pitta, Grey tit, Kashmir fly catcher and the Indian Blue Robin.
Horton Plains & World’s End
If you want get that silent, strange feel that you have arrived the end of the world, the trek towards and within Horton Plains National Park up until the World’s End, is one of the best ways you could. Hike upwards to the Sri Lanka’s second and third largest mountain peaks Kirigalpoththa and Thotupala Kanda and explore via the plains covered with wild grasslands, sudden patches of forestry, rocky outcrops and waterfalls and lakes surrounded by the mist.
While you trek across exploring all the beauty and tranquility everything suddenly comes to an end. That is what the world calls World’s End which drives down 880 meters and often covered with mist – especially in the rainy seasons of April to September.
Try to visit the World’s End around 6.00-10.00 in the morning before the clouds visit it, and you will be amazed to spot the miniature villages, tea plantations, maybe vehicles moving from up there until the southern coast. Pick up a sweater with you and wear long trousers if it is an evening or early morning but make sure you take sun shady hat with you as the plains get heated easily, mostly from January to March.
Galway’s Land National Park
Simply, it is getaway in the heart of the city Nuwara Eliya. the park was initially declared to conserve the ecosystems and certain eco-groups considers that the Victoria Park Nuwara Eliya and Galway’s Land welcomes about 20 migrant rare bird species and houses 30 native bird species – which is considerable number. The park has some invaluable florals of native and foreign origins and could also be found near the Galway Forest Lodge.
The park was previously was known as a wildlife sanctuary and then was declared a National Park in 2006 and is one of the newest and the smallest national parks compared to others in Sri Lanka. Though the land size is not much a significant number of animals and birds are present making it an ideal bird watching site.
While you walk through this 57 hectare park the beautiful high rise trees and flowers blossoming around you would be a refreshing venture you can have at Nuwara Eliya. Avoid the rainy seasons and visit as you might not be able to see many wildlife or flowers at that season. Once again the April month could be ideal for your family walk via Galway’s Land National Park.