The history of the region, as it is loved and celebrated today, goes back to the Colonial Era. It is in Nuwara Eliya, where the British first discovered and harboured a dream of a home away from home. It is here that crop cultivation within the island became a distinct reality in their eyes. The pleasant weather along with the vegetation and terrain, found immediate appeal with the British.
The soil and climate here were ideal for growing fruits and vegetables they were accustomed to. Coffee was introduced early but suffered due to crop disease. A switch was made to tea, with the first leaves being harvested from a tea plantation in Loolecondera Estate between Nuwara Eliya and Kandy. Tea and its long association with the island of Ceylon thus took shape.
First established in the era of influence of the Scottish and British on the island, the bungalow served the purpose of a holiday home for its original owners — the ‘Temple’ family. The structure of the bungalow and its architectural features display British influence in parts, while the interior including the furniture and antique collectibles are of firm local heritage.
Diyanillakelle Estate, where the bungalow sits, is a 227-acre expanse of land. Tea forms a large part of the vegetation here, while flora and fauna endemic to the island are also abundant. With the tea fields and mountain peaks in the distance, and a well-maintained garden skirting the entire bungalow, your eyes will be treated to a soothing display of greenery as you look out your window each morning.
The area and the Diyanillakelle Estate itself boasts a unique make-up of ethnically diverse populations. Indian Tamils as they are popularly known, who originally arrived in the 19th century as bonded tea plantation workers, form the majority in this region. Very much Sri Lankans today, their distinct way of life, religious practices and age-old traditions make for an arresting blend of people and culture.