Nature showcased at its best
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is regarded as one of the best botanical gardens in Asia. It is the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka extending to 147 acres bordering the Mahaweli River. Each year over two million visitors come to enjoy the beauty of this spectacular park which contains over four thousand species of plants.
The origin of Botanical Gardens dates to 1371 where the court of King Wickramabahu III was. In 1821 Alexandar Moon initiated the groundwork and used the land for coffee and cinnamon cultivation. The Royal Botanical Garden was officially made a botanical garden in 1843 with plants brought in from Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, Britain and then was expanded under George Gardner, George Henry Kendrick Thwaites and Henry Trimen. During the Second World War the park was used as the Allied Forces Headquarters for the Asian region.
The highlight of the park is the spectacular Orchid House and long stretch of giant palm trees. There are avenues such as Cook’s Pine Avenue, Palmyra Palm Avenue, Double Coconut Avenue, Cabbage Palm Avenue, and Royal Palm Avenue. The Cannonball Tree planted by King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary in 1901 is one significant plant that can be seen in the park. You can view an extensive collection of herbal plants and spices as well as lawns, pavilions and plant houses spread across the garden. The vibrant shades and tropical fragrances of the flora spread across the botanical gardens offer an escape to a magical wonderland to its visitors. A visit to the park usually takes two to three hours. Buggy cart tours accompanied with a guide can be organized in case you are curious to know more about and see more of the flora and fauna hidden within the garden