Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

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Timings : 08:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Entry Fee : LKR 1100

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Royal Botanical Gardens, Kandy Overview

he most prominent gardens in Sri Lanka, Royal Botanical Gardens are situated 5 km west of Kandy. Colourful orchids, pleasant winds, tall trees. and proximity with the Mahaweli river is a beautiful “flora and aqua” treat for the eyes. The gardens are home to more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. It is a 147 acre - natural elegance holding landscaped gardens and scenic beauty, making it a photographers dream.

The garden has species of floral representations from all over the world that boast of tropical trees and shrubs. Trees were also planted by the great world icons to commemorate their visit to Sri Lanka and Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya. Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II, Marshal Tito – PM OF Bhutan and Yuri Gagarin have stepped foot on this creation. The fauna in the gardens include magpies and common birds along with some migratory birds, turtles and monkeys. There is also a café that serves superb home-cooked cuisine which makes visiting the gardens, a treat to the eyes and belly!

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History of Royal Botanical Gardens

The inception of Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka dates back to 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and reigned at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli river. King Kirti Sri, King Rajadhi Rajasinghe and King Wimala Dharma followed the reign and built several structures which were all destroyed during the colonial rule in Kandy. The British laid the groundwork for a botanical garden under the supervision of Alexandar Moon in 1821 for the cultivation of coffee and cinnamon plants. During WW II, the Botanic Garden was used by Lord Mountbatten, as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command. The Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya was established in 1843. Plants were sourced from Kew Garden, Slave Island, Colombo, and the Kalutara Garden. It expanded in the years following by George Gardener, Henry Kendrick Thwaites and was finally taken over by the Department of Agriculture in 1912. The Division for National Botanic Gardens currently maintains the garden.

Flora in Royal Botanical Gardens

Apart from the vibrant orchid shrubs, there are 10,000 lofty mature tropical timber trees. The never-ending list of royal trees includes – the Giant Bamboo of Burma that grows to 40 meters with a thick hollow stem of 10 inches. And it can grow up to 12 inches in one day! Another is the Javan fig tree - its tentacle looking roots spreads across a vast area of 19,375 square feet, with a massive central that makes the Javan fig tree appear like an umbrella over the garden. The Cannonball tree has cannonball-like fruits hanging from the trunk and large flowers of pink and white. The Double Coconut Palm (originally from Seychelles) is one of 200 types of palm trees that are in existence at Peradeniya. This tree produces the most giant seeds ever known whose fruits take five years to mature. There are these, and many other trees that were of historical importance to Kandy or a part of the vegetation of different tropical countries.

Best Time to Visit Royal Botanical Gardens

The best time to visit the Royal Botanical gardens from December to April. This phase in Kandy sees tourists from different parts of the world. The climate is fresh, and the sun shines with a breeze that takes control of the weather. The downpours between November and January are short and sharp. The rains are not a hindrance to visit the gardens, and orchids bloom in full vibrancy during this time.

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