It is a world of flowers, a wonder of vegetation, a sight of perfection, marvel, and bliss from the point of entry till the end. With enormous trees on the well-maintained vast-spreading lawns of green grass, and perfectly matched colors of flowers in beds along the walking paths deliver you happiness and release all stress and fatigue of your journey! Of course, it is the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, that we are talking about. Moreover, moving to its mindblowing beauty, ‘Peradeniya Gardens’, as it is commonly called, can be recommended as a must-visit destination for any local or foreign tourist who visits this beautiful island of wonder-Sri Lanka! Hence, we thought of sharing with you its delight, in detail!
The History of the Garden
The name itself depicts that the garden of Peradeniya has a history to talk about. The longest river in Sri Lanka-Mahaweli is on three sides of the park, which can be a reason for the Royals to attract to this land in the gone days. Thus, it was first grown in 1371 of the 14th Century as a Kandyan Queen’s garden. The queen used the well-maintained premises for her leisure. Subsequently, in the 18th Century, Peradeniya botanical gardens served as a property of King Wickramabahu III as his Royal garden.
However, in 1843 this Peradeniya garden was established officially as a Botanical Garden under the British Colonisation. It is also said that there has been a temple in the park which was destroyed by the British. However, there is no trace to prove that on the premises. Also, it is said that many plants were brought from the Kew garden in London. (Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London played a significant role in coordinating botanical research in other parks worldwide, especially in tropical countries)
Later during the second world war, in the 1900s, the premises have been used as army forces’ headquarters for the Southeastern region. But it has been only for a brief period.
The Management of the Park
Afterward, the superintendents took control and the management of the park, who made arrangements to care for the garden’s flora and maintain the beds and pathways. Later it was taken over by the Department of agriculture in 1912 to maintain. Today the management of the Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya is in the hands of its division of National Botanic Gardens. The National Herbarium of Sri Lanka is also hand in hand by assisting the worthy cause.
Currently, there are more than 4000 species of Flora in the garden. That includes flowering plants, medicinal herbs, and plants of spices as well. Some of the species are exclusive to Sri Lanka in the whole Asian region. There are many indigenous plants to Sri Lanka and several other species of foreign plants to display.
Some Special Sections in the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya
There are some unique places which are displaying some special plants in the Garden. Below are some of them yet there are many other sections of such unique plant arrangements in the garden.
There is an area in the gardens which is separate, especially for the bamboo trees. Thus, it is known as the bamboo forest in the Peradeniya Gardens. There are hundreds of bamboo trees, and some of them might even be older than you. Still, they stand majestically, in good condition, owing to the well-maintenance of the authorities.
There is also an artificial lake around the center of the park. It is in place in order to display the various water plants in the garden. You can spot the giant water lily and various other types of water plants in this lake.
There is a suspension bridge in the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, leading to the tropical agriculture section at the Gannoruwa hill. The walk on this bridge is also exciting as it runs across the Mahaveli river and has a wooden floor. Also, at Gannoruwa, they do research cash crops such as spices, herbs, tea, coffee, cocoa, rubber, and rice.
The orchid house at the park is a place that is a ‘never to be missed’ location by any person who visits here. The Orchid House is a greenhouse that delivers the orchids’ appropriate temperature to grow healthy and safe. Moreover, tere is a massive collection of many types of orchid plants with flowers artistically arranged. It is located towards the end of the park thus; you have to walk a little along the park to see this beautiful orchid house with your naked eye.
Avenue of Palm Trees
There is an avenue of palm trees at the park’s beginning, which gives a perfect look for a massive park such as Peradeniya gardens. Several palm trees are standing on either side of a path, clean and neatly maintained by the authorities. It is a famous location for photo shooting among Sri Lankan people. These palm trees have been standing for many years along the road. It is a sight of remembrance for a person who visits the park more than one time.
Memorial Trees in the Park
It is a land of about 4 acres. This place’s specialty is that you can see an array of plants or trees planted by several public figures or dignitaries from around the world during their visit to Sri Lanka over the years. You can see the trees planted by many famous personals such as King George with Queen Mary, Henry of Persia, Prince of Whales, King Edward VII, Emperor of Austria, and Indira Gandhi, in this piece of land.
Especial Personalities Behind the Success of the Garden from its History
There are two persons who are famous in the history of Peradeniya Botanical Gardens.
Mr. George Gardner
He is a Scotsman who was a Superintendent of the Park. Mr. Gardner started his office in 1844. He did an enormous service to the development of the park and its flora, and he is also famous for importing rubber first to Ceylon. Mr. Gardner died in 1849. A monument in the memory of this valued personality is there at the park premises.
Dr.George H.K. Thwaits
After Mr Gardner, the next best official who came to his position was Dr. Thwaits whose service was not second to that of Mr.Gardner.
He was a science and botany student. Dr. Thwaits served the garden for 30 years and died in 1882. His name is written in the garden’s history, for working to increase the value of the Peradeniya gardens.
Direction to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is located around 115 km away from Colombo. That is in the central province. It is about 5km from the garden to the main city of Kandy. The Botanical garden is also about 460m above sea level.
Operating Hours of the Garden
The garden is open for public visits from 8 a.m, till 5.30 p.m, on all seven days of the week. Within this period, any person can enter the garden and experience the marvel of this well-maintained greenery and flower beds in their naked eye.
Kandy to Botanical Garden Bus Timetable and the Cost
If you are using public transportation to arrive at this garden, there are bus services to the Royal Botanical Gardens operated by the Ceylon Transport Board. That is from various locations in Kandy. Those locations are the Goods shed bus stand, the Clock Tower bus stand, and the Sri Dalada Maligawa bus stand in Kandy. Moreover, all these bus rides take less than 35 minutes to the Gardens and cost less than LKR30 per pax. The buses are available from the morning till evening every 15-30 minutes.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit the Royal Botanical Garden, Kandy?
The visitors can buy tickets from the ticket counter, which is at the gate. The ticket prices vary based on the type of tourists. Below is the recent (2019) tariff, which could be slightly changed by the time of visit.
|Adults and children over 12 years||LKR 100.00|
|Adults over the age of 60 (by showing the NIC)||LKR 20.00|
|Children (Between 5-12 Years)||LKR 20.00|
|School Children (in school uniform)||LKR 20.00|
|Adults and children over 12 years||LKR 2000.00|
|Children (Between 5-12 Years)||LKR 1000.00|
|Students (by showing satisfactory proof of their studentship)||LKR 1200|
The fees for vehicles that enter the Royal botanical garden premises
|Light vehicles as Motor Cars/Jeeps/Wagons/three-wheeler||LKR 250.00|
|Bicycles and scooters||LKR 100.00|
|Foot Cycles||LKR 50.00|
Meanwhile, please note that the tickets are valid only for the purchased date.
How Long Does it Take to Walk Through Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya?
The botanical garden in Peradeniya is spread over 147 acres of land, which is a relatively large amount of land. It is why the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is popular as one of the most extensive botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. Once entered into this beautiful world of greenery and flowers, you don’t feel enough of walking along on the clean and well-maintained paths through the gardens.
Thus, it is recommended to save at least 2-3 hours to watch all the unique places by walking in the garden relaxingly and to lie a little on the grass patches under the vast vegetation.
Buggy Service and the Guides at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya
There is a buggy service for those who need to avoid walking. You have to request the service at the entry point to the park. There are buggies to accommodate groups containing a maximum of 6 persons or rides for couples separately. The buggy ride charges are per hour.
- For a group of 6 – LKR 2000 per hour
- For 2 pax – LKR 1000 per hour
Also, please note that these prices might vary owing to various conditions.
List of Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka
Apart from Peradeniya, this resourceful island- Sri Lanka, also has many other Botanical Gardens around the country. Those are also attractive to the public and the students, bearing many significant features considering Flora of many species.
- Royal Botanical gardens –Peradeniya
- Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens – Gampaha
- Hakgala Botanical Gardens –Kandy
- Mirijjawila Botanical Garden
- Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Gardens – Awissawella
Of course, all of them are highly unique, and fantastic. They are indeed reasons to visit this splendid island. So, visiting any of them is never a waste of time!
Department of Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka
Behind the beauty of these botanical gardens, there are many institutes and officials who are very important. One such organization is the Department of Botanical Gardens of Sri Lanka.
Its vision is to become a scientifically and aesthetically fine Botanic Gardens in the tropics. Thus, the institute works on a mission to allow the public to study, admire, and sustainably conserve plant resources in the natural and human-made environment.
However, Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is attractive to more than two million local and foreign visitors yearly. Besides, as a Botanical garden, the park authorities search for, cultivate, and exhibit different flora species; thus, many students visit this ‘the best of its kind’ place for Botanical studies or Scientific studies on plants. Almost all the species have their labels of scientific name in order to help people who visit it to identify them quickly. Moreover, the garden provides a sea of information theoretical and practical to those who are in the field. Thus, this Botanical garden is a national resource in the beautiful country of Sri Lanka.
Thus, Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens serve the community for ages. While supporting various science, botanical, and horticultural studies of students, it is spreading priceless pleasure to thousands of people who visit the park to experience its beauty, perfection, and wonder! So, if you ever arrive on this island, never miss the chance of experiencing this delight. Happy and Safe Travelling!