Sri Lanka’s botanic gardens have a long and proud history and are an important section of the island nation’s rich heritage as well as a significant national asset. These gardens have attracted over 3 million visitors,local and foreign,annually for relaxation, entertainment, education, botany and horticulture.
The National Botanical gardens, being established in the early nineteenth century, have now become major tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. As they have accurately identified horticuturally managed over 6,000 diverse collection of living plant species, beautifully cultivated flowers, carefully designed trees which have immensely contributed to the attractive, systematic and exciting environment.
All these gardens are maintained and well managed to support education, research and also to conserve plants.
Peradeniya Botanical garden
Sri Lanka’s largest garden, the Peradeniya botanical garden is one of the best botanical gardens in the island and one of the most beautiful and well organized in the whole of Asia. Situated in the hill capital, Kandy, this exquisite and elegant garden is home to 4000 different species of plants. The scenic splendor of the tropical trees, include the giant bamboo of Burma, century old giant Javan fig tree, the cannon ball tree, double coconut palm. The best known attractions of the garden are the Palm Avenues and also the Orchid House, which presents more than 300 varieties exquisite orchids, In addition the spice garden will give you a first-hand introduction to the various trees and plants used to prepare food and the traditional ayurvedic medicine.
In addition the memorial collection consists of trees, planted by various eminent persons including country leaders and astronauts on their official visits to the garden. Total land mass of the Peradeniya botanical garden is 147 acres and the history of the garden dates as far back as 1371 when king Wickremabahu 111, ascended the throne.
Hakgala Botanic Garden
Situated in the famous and popular hill resort of Nuwara Eliya. This is the second largest garden in Sri Lanka. It has about 28 hectares in extent and lies under the shadow of the Hakgala Rock. The garden has a coral temperate climate due to its altitudes, which is 5,400 feet above sea level.
It was the site selected initially for experiments with cinchona whose bark yielded quinine which was widely used as a drug against malaria.
Today it stands as a fine masterpiece of natural landscape with many features such as providing educational opportunities, especially on hill country landscape gardening, floriculture and mountain flora.
There are over 10,000 species of flora planted here and during the spring season in Nuwara Eliya. thousands of visitors come to see the blooms including variety of orchids and roses.
According to the folklore it was once the pleasure garden of Ravana and it was one of the places where the beautiful sita was hidden by the demon king.
The present botanic garden was founded in 1860 by the eminent British botanist Dr.G.H.K Thwaites who was the superintendent of the Peradeniya Botanic garden.
Henerathgoda Botanical Garden
Highlighting the extreme diversity in terms of flora and fauna, the Henerathgoda Botanical Garden in the Gampaha district displays a variety of trees representing climates from every corner of the tropical world.
Established in 1876 for the purpose of experimentation and promotion of rubber cultivation in Sri Lanka the garden was used for trials of the low country wet zone economic and ornamental plants. Currently the garden comprises an array of wonderful plant collections with botanical and horticultural value.It also provides educational, extention services as well as recreation facilities.
One of the important specimens is the first rubber tree that was planted in 1876.Among the other valuable trees are satin wood, ebony, ironwood and mahogany.
Today it is considered as a well maintained botanic garden displaying a beautiful landscape in a slightly undulating terrain bordered by the Attanagalle stream. The garden offers recreational facilities for Visitors including a wonderful day out in the tropical atmosphere, pedal boat rides in a lake besides and a canopy view from the tree house.
Mirijjawila Botanic Garden
Mirijjawila Botanic Garden is the first of its kind to be established in the dry zone in Sri Lanka.
With an extent of 300 acres, the objective of establishing the garden is for the conservation of dwindling trees and shrubs in the dry zone, popularising of unpopular trees, conservation of medicinal herbs, promoting tourism and also providing botanical knowledge to the young generation. It is also home for about 650 species of dry and arid zone plants such as burutha (Burma teak), domba, ehela, gammalu, halmilla,helamba, ingini, kaluwera, Khomba, kone, kottamba, etc.
Mirijjawila garden is located on Colombo-Kateragama mainroad.
Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Garden
Seethawaka wet zone botanical garden is located in Illukovita village, close to Avissawella. The project of constructing Seethawaka wet zone park was initiated in year 2008 and it has an extent of 106 acres. Even though it has an area dedicated for flowers, this park is mostly about trees. This rationale behind the launch of this park is to establish a center to conserve the highly threatened wet low land forest flora for future generations. Nicely paved path directs you to the summit of the park. Most of the trees and plants are marked with a name tag, so you can identify.
We appreciate and thank Mr. K.N.Yapa Director General of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens for providing the above details linked to Botanical Gardens of Sri Lanka.