The Tea Country
Sri Lanka’s central and southern interior is made up of a great mass of forested hills and mountains that rise up as high as 2,500-metres. Most of this vast region, collectively known as the Hill Country, is defined by tea. Tea was first produced in Sri Lanka in the mid 19th century at Loolecondera Estate, south east of Kandy, and the industry developed through the pioneering efforts of British planters. In the following years cultivating tea, out of thick, steep jungle, home to leopards and elephants, led to the vast vistas of waist-height tea bushes laid out over much of the hill country we see today. The growth of the tea, rubber and plantation sector ensured the creation of a network of roads and scenic railway lines, for transportation of goods and services which today, is a part of the enduring charm of the hill country.
The Tea Country is home to culture-rich Kandy, home to the Temple of the Tooth, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and the British Garrison Cemetery. To the north east lies the Knuckles Range, a trekking and adventure destination boasting magnificent views. To the south, the highlights include Dickoya, near to the stunning Castlereagh Valley; Nuwara Eliya, the island’s highest elevated town with colonial-era buildings, golf course and Horton plains; and view-blessed Ella, near the Nine Arch Bridge in Demodara and home to King Ravana and many sites of the Ramayana legends.