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The Kandyan Kingdom and Robert Knox »« Monkeyshines with the Toque Macaques

The Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya

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I was a little agitated by the $10 entry fee for the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens, but it didn’t take me long after entering to realize that it was money well-spent. Peradeniya’s are the most fantastic botanic gardens I’ve ever seen. Trees the size of sky-scrapers, flower bushes exploding in incredible color, giant palm trees that bloom just once in 45 years, and cannon ball trees with heavy round fruits were just some of the highlights. I’ve never been so bowled over by botany.

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The origins of this 150-acre park stretch back to 1371 when King Wickramabahu III established a residence here, and remained part of the royal grounds until the end of Kandyan independence. But although the British destroyed the palace, they also protected the area by designating it an official botanic garden.

We spent a happy couple hours exploring the park. Alone, the famous orchid house was worth a half-hour. Over 500 varieties of the fragile flower are nurtured here. Outside, we passed under trees with bending branches supporting fruit bats the size of Smart Cars. After venturing onto a wobbly suspension bridge extending over the river which borders the garden, a long avenue lined with royal palms led us to The Great Lawn, whose lone, lonely resident is a beautiful Java Fig Tree.

I’ll stop prattling on in the hopeless attempt to describe the garden’s beauty with words, and let our pictures do the talking. Suffice to say, if you’re anywhere near Kandy during your trip to Sri Lanka, plan in a stop at the Peradeniya Royal Botanic Garden.

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February 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm
6 comments »
  • February 19, 2012 at 4:45 pmjenny@atasteoftravel

    I’d forgotten all about the Botanical Gardens!The gardens still look beautiful.Now I remember the hot house with all the amazing orchids. Love your photos . 

  • February 20, 2012 at 12:17 amFederico

    Really impressive! You must have had a wonderful time there.

  • March 14, 2012 at 11:47 amDre

    Did you know that this botanical garden is the home for the recorded tallest bamboo tree in the world..?And you should try a visit to Haggala Botanical Garden on the Nuwara Eliya-Badulla main road, 16 km from Nuwara Eliya too. Coming April is the best time of the year to visit there…

  • May 22, 2012 at 8:00 pmJohnP

    My grandfather was Curator of the gardens until 1946.  I sorry to say I’ve never visited. The war put us off taking our kids there.  Now it is over I must get round to visiting before I’m too old.  Great pictures and glad the bats are still there.  I heard lots about them from my grandfather.  Is the avenue of palms still there? 

    • May 22, 2012 at 10:41 pmMike Powell

      That’s really cool! The gardens must have looked a lot different back in 1946… although, maybe not! The Palm Avenue is still there, and extremely impressive … as is the rest of the garden. You should definitely make a trip!


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