The story of tea in Sri Lanka starts with the Scotish planter James Taylor in 1866 in “Loolecondara” estate in Galaha the remnants of his cottage and tea bushes are still preserved as a permanent memento to the man credited for introducing tea to Sri Lanka , he died aged 57 and was buried in Kandy cemetery, in the country he came to love as a planter. Today, almost one hundred and fifty years after James Taylor, Sri Lanka’s central hills from Hatton, Dickoya, Bogawanthalawa, to Nuwara Eliya and every small town in higher elevations have their ground covered in a carpet of premium quality Sri Lankan tea.
All the estates which were under British companies till the early 1970’s and have a character of their own, in other words they are little communities of their own with the Superintendent as the head. Visiting & spending time here with your loved ones will certainly bring nostalgic memories of a glorious past of your ancestor who lived here. Take a walk on one of the tea trails that criss-cross these estates, watch the dusky maidens at work plucking tea buds and gathering them in rattan basket hung behind them. A few tea factories in this area will be happy to have visitors, a tour through the work will give an insight of how tea is made from fermentation, curling, drying, sieving, to grading and packaging, some might even give you a tutoring on blending and tea tasting.
During this time many churches were built by the British, most famous ones being, Warleigh in Dikoya built by the Englishman William Scot and a walk through the cemetery will be evocative of your countryman at rest in this distant corner of the Empire, Adisham monastery off Haputale of the Sylvestrine congregation, a suborder of the Benedictine fraternity, according to records there are only 18 such places in the world.
Set in the heart of the “Tea country” hails the modest town of Hatton named after the little village of the same name in United Kingdom, where the colonial planters set up tea estates carpeting the central hills with high grown tea, which became known all over the world as “Ceylon Tea” the best cup that cheers after a hearty breakfast.
The little England, rest & recuperate centre of the colonial British tea planters and dignitaries on this far flung corner of their empire. The smoking steeples, British Tudor style architecture, misty mountains covered in Tea, and a lake to stroll along feeling like a civil servant of the British Empire.