Peradeniya Botanical Garden is the largest and one of the most famous botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. Also, it is known to be the oldest botanical garden in Sri Lanka. It is located in Peradeniya town, Kandy district, Central Province. Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a botanical garden that is in the wet zone of Sri Lanka. The whole land area in which the botanical garden is spread is known to take the shape of a horseshoe. Therefore, there is a lot of unique variety in plants that are specifically grown in the wet zone of Sri Lanka. If you are to visit Sri Lanka, it is a must-visit place. This is one of the most highly recommended places to visit if you are planning to visit Kandy during your tour around Sri Lanka.
The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is located in Peradeniya town, beside the Colombo-Kandy Road (A1). If you are coming from Kandy, it is approximately 5.5 kilometers to the Colombo side or west side of Kandy. The distance to this place from Colombo is 108 kilometers. It is very easy to find this location, whether you are coming from the direction of Kandy or Colombo, as it is beside the main road. You can also use Google Maps to locate the location quickly.
Flora, fauna, landscape, and other interesting facts about the Peradeniya botanical garden
The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is established across 146 acres (59 hectares) of land. It is bound by the river Mahaweli, which is known to be the longest river in Sri Lanka. This botanical garden displays around 4000 different types of plant species, which are endemic, indigenous, and non-indigenous to Sri Lanka. The vibrantly colored flower species here are sure to please your eyes and mind at a glance.
This garden is rich in tropical woody plants. There are shady lanes with palm trees alongside. Ponds with a variety of freshwater fish and freshwater aquatic plants can be found on the garden grounds. Also, there are huge flowering trees like Robarosia (Rosy Trumpet Trees) (Tabebuia rosea), which bloom in certain seasons of the year. The middle garden area is rich in a variety of ornamental plants. And there are some areas in the garden grounds where huge woody plants are grown, with huge creepers wrapped around their trunks, giving the impression of walking through a mini forest. Not only that, but there are also arches and huts built in the garden area, which are covered with some aesthetic flowering plants that never fail to please your eyes.
If you visit this place, you must not forget to check out the orchid house. It is a well-known fact that there are around 300 different species of orchids in this orchid house in the Peradeniya Botanical Garden. Fern and orchid houses are there, where you can see different species of them. Particularly noteworthy are the various colors and shapes of orchid flower species. It is amazing to see and correlate the flower shapes to the things you know. For example, there are orchid flowers that have the exact structure of a Kandyan dancer, which is a marvelous creation of nature. Not only adults, but also children, enjoy viewing Mother Nature’s beautiful creation.
It is always interesting to see the avenues of fruit bats, monkeys, and different species of insects and butterflies throughout the garden area. Also, it has a breathtaking landscape with the Mahaweli River on the side. I am sure it will make your mind relax if you are a nature lover. There are pretty walking paths all around the garden.
There is a hanging bridge also inside the Peradeniya Botanical Garden. Steel cables have been used in the construction of this bridge. It is very thrilling to walk across this hanging bridge, as the whole body starts bouncing while walking. It will also be a nice experience for someone who visits Peradeniya Botanical Garden.
There is a colossal monument or memorial, huge grass lawns, a spice garden, palm avenues with a variety of species of palm trees, and a cacti collection is also there in the garden.
This place is very popular among locals, as they can spend some quality time enjoying themselves with their family and friends. People enjoy taking photographs of the colorful surroundings as well as the greenery and walking along the trail paths. Moreover, if you need it, there are also car facilities available to visit around the garden. Many tourists enjoy this car ride around the garden.
Studies related to the Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is a well-known place not only among locals but also among foreigners. It is also very useful in botany studies, especially because many varieties of plant species are nicely conserved in one place here. Therefore, it is massively supported for the ex-situ conservation of some important plant species. Currently, there is different plant-related research going on based on the plant species available in the Peradeniya Botanical Garden, such as plant species exploration, authentication, and floriculture. Therefore, this place is very popular among researchers as well.
If you need any information about the garden, there is an information center here with a great staff that would help you in advance.
Plant identification and information service
On the premises of Peradeniya Botanical Garden, there is a National Herbarium. The opening hours of the National Herbarium are from 8.30 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. on all weekdays from Monday to Friday. You can get information regarding plant authentication in Sri Lanka, identification of new plant species, revision of floral species, etc. from this center. But you have to get some entry appointments in order to get into the National Herbarium on the garden premises.
Opening hours, parking facilities, and other facilities
Opening hours for the public are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all seven days. But the ticket counter is closed by 5:00 p.m. The ticket prices and other details can be obtained from the Royal Botanic Gardens Government Information Center.
Free parking facilities are provided near the entrance to the botanical garden. The staff here is very friendly and supportive. Therefore, you can reach out to them for any general information you want.
There are certain facilities provided to help you buy some varieties of plants of interest connected to the Botanical Garden. You can get further information about that from their information centers.
There are signboards and direction boards placed in every lane you take, making it very easy for you to find the directions to your favorite area even without a tour guide. Many locals as well as tourists claim that this is a highlight of their tours to Kandy.
There are benches and restrooms in the garden area where you can rest in between the walks. Also, there are plenty of spaces where you can capture some beautiful photographs.
However, this place is pretty crowded with locals during the weekdays and on public holidays.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden History
Initially, before turning into a botanical garden, this was a royal garden that was reserved for the kings who ruled the kingdom of Kandyan in the 14th century. It has been a royal garden since the period 1978–1798. In 1821, the establishment and conversion of this garden to a botanical garden took place for the purpose of carrying out experiments on finding economically, commercially, and environmentally important plant species. First, they introduced coffee trees and tea plants into this garden. Also, initially, it was used for horticultural purposes. Also, they tested the cultivation of rubber crops on this land, which later became the main export-related crop in Sri Lanka. Considering all of these facts, we can conclude that the Peradeniya Botanical Garden has served as a testing ground for some economically important crops not only today but also in the past.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is a well-known place not only among locals but also among foreigners because of the nice and pleasant climate here. The annual rainfall here is around 1466 mm. There are around 278 rainfall days in this area. Among them, the highest rainfall is in October and the lowest rainfall is in January. December is the most humid month of all in this area. June is the month that has the most sunshine in Peradeniya. The best time to visit the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is from April to July. because it is the best time of year for flowers and greenery in comparison to the other months of the year. Surely, you will not feel like walking out of the garden if you go in that season.
The temperature fluctuation in this area, where the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is located, throughout the year can be between 28 and 19. The specialty is that you can enjoy a visit to the Peradeniya Botanical Garden on any day of the year, regardless of the weather, but my suggestion is that the best days would be the sunny days in Peradeniya.
(Cover Image Credit: Veraima Kandy Facebook)