botanical gardens, embellished with a motley of ornamental flowers and
exotic plants, are perceived as jewels emblazoned in the picturesque
land scape of the island. These gardens are a rich store house of a
variety of flora collected from all across the world.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
This beautiful garden is situated in the serene Hill capital, Kandy.
Located 4 miles off Kandy, the garden dates back to the reign of king
Vikrama Bahu III, 14th century. Peradeniya is is home to a large variety
of ornamental plants and other creepers that are used to produce the
special spices of Sri Lanka. There is a flourishing growth of huge
tropical trees along the lawns. But the orchid house is the prime
attraction of this garden. Tourists will find more than 300 varieties of
exquisite orchids blooming in profusion. The spice garden sustains trees
and plants used for the traditional Ayurvedic medicine.The scenic
splendour of the garden raised to ethereal heights by the Mahaweli river
which flows through its fringes.
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Just 10 kms away from Nuwara Eliya City, it is the place where flora
from far and wide are seen at home. The site has a mythical connotation
with many believing that it was once the pleasure garden of the demon
king Ravana of the epic Ramayana epic and the very place where the
beautiful Sitha was hidden. It was only in 1860 that the present
botanical garden was founded by the British botanist Dr. G.H.K.
Thwaites. The exotic plants found in Hakgala include conifers and cedars
from Australia, Bermuda and Japan, and cypresses from the Himalayas,
China and as far flung places as Persia, Mexico and California. A
special variety of pine was introduced from New Calendonia and there are
specimens of this genus from the Canary Island as well. Another
interesting tree that adorns this garden is an English oak, planted
around 1890, in memory of the famous "hearts of oak" of
Britain's naval power. In addition, there are , for the tourists
delight, the rose garden and the fernery. The garden will surely send a
visitor into reverie.
Nanu Oya is the nearest railway station. From here tourists can hire or
taxis to Hakgala. Buses are also available, but they generally remain