On the slopes of the majestic Kikiliyamana, the fifth highest mountain in Sri Lanka, lies the village of Shanthipura. This is the highest village in the entire island, located at an altitude of 7339 feet on the Kikiliyamana Mountain road from Nuwara Eliya.
The village came to being in 1963; when T William Fernando, the mayor of Nuwara Eliya indulged in his obsession of starting villages. He did this in hopes of resettling (though resettling might be a more extreme word as the lands were originally mostly wild and overgrown before the British tamed them) the Sinhala community in the area, and claiming the lands that were overtaken by tea estates and migrant Indian Tamil tea workers. While his attempts failed for the most part; he did create 18 new villages, including Shanthipura, leaving his footprint in history.
On reaching Shanthipura, visitors are greeted by the small but beautiful Buddhist pagoda which makes the centerpiece of the village at the tallest place; surrounded by the villagers’ houses in differing altitudes. They will also get to see the villagers’ lifestyles and the interesting methods they use to farm on the slopes.
There is also a point known as Kalapura within the village of Shanthipura, that provides the perfect viewing point for the surrounding landscape. From the observation deck here, those who come to see the village can gain spectacular views of Pidurutalagala Mountain, Adam’s Peak, Gregory’s Lake, Hakgala Mountain, Nuwara Eliya town and Kikiliyamana Mountain. The spot is very photogenic and makes for some great memories.
There are also a few small hotels, villas and inns within the village that offer fairly reasonable accommodation for visitors.