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Little England

The hill tops of the central highlands reveal to you a city that still resembles its original 19th century state. Many waterfalls and lakes surround the coldest region on the pearl of the Indian ocean. Strawberries and other species of flora that can’t be grown anywhere else in Sri Lanka are grown here. Even various species of fauna who prefer the climate conditions are often found higher up in the city.

Great Britain stepped in to take over Ceylon in 1796 during the Napoleonic Wars because they feared the French may take over the trade island. This was following the events of the French having taken control of the Netherlands during this period. The British held the coastal areas with ease, the Dutch were occupying part of the island and the Sri Lankan Monarchy still held independence. In 1802 the Dutch handed over their hold to the British and in 1815 Ceylon became a Crown colony.

Nuwara Eliya became what was and is known partially as “Little England.” Many of the British officials resided here as a pastime because of its cool climate and activities such as golf and hunting that engulfed all colonists alike. Much of the city still carries a colonial ambience which is quite a different experience in the country altogether. The buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen’s cottage, Grand Hotel, town post office, Hill Club and many more keeping the nostalgic feel and heritage of a bygone era during that period still intact.

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