A dream-come-true place for splendid colors and smells! Royal Botanic Gardens or simply Peradeniya is one of the most beautiful gardens in Sri Lanka located near the city of Kandy. This garden is widely popular for its stunning collection of orchids. In the central province of the country, Royal Botanic Gardens sprawls across 147 acres at 460 meters above sea level. The record tells that this botanical garden pulls around two million people in a year. It has even been listed in the “10 great botanical gardens around the world” published by The Guardian in 2018. One of the oldest formal gardens in the country, currently, Peradeniya Botanical Garden is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.
Here flowering plants are most cunningly planted that in spring the gardens shall look like some beautifully arranged light works that have mingling, fading, and blending hues and colors. Perched at an elevation of 460 meters, Pernaiya Botanical Garden covers 147 acres of land (0.59 Km2) getting 200 days of rainfall annually. The topography is well laid out hence easy to navigate through. The garden possesses different areas, like the Orchid House, Great Lawn, Lake, Spice Garden (accessible by a suspension bridge), Flower Garden, and Palm Avenue. All showcases magnificent plant specimens.
Peradeniya boasts of a wide variety of unusual plants and trees in addition to being a large population of fruit bats that reside at the top end of the gardens. Much more interestingly, the garden has been boarded by a huge bend in the Mahaweli river. Climber plants-furnished Big pergolas, wire arches, a nice orchid house, evergreen trees, a great lawn, and that enormous Javan fig tree with a huge central trunk and a stunning canopy of branches adds to the charm of the Peradeniya Botanical Garden in Kandy. Agriculture and the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka are attached to it as well.
The history of Peradeniya Botanical Garden dates back to 1371 when the Kandyan queen enjoyed relished it for pleasure. It was solidified when the king Wickramabahu III succeded to the throne and had his court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli river. But the current appearance of the garden was fulfilled by Alexander Moon in 1821. It was in 1843 that the garden was formally established with plants obtained from Colombo, Kew Garden, Slave Island, and the Kalutara Garden in Kalutara. During the period of George Gardener as superintendent in 1844, the Royal Botanic Garden expanded much more. He was succeeded by George Henry Kendrick Thwaites and Henry Trimen as superintendent accordingly. It has also served as the Headquarters in Asia for Allied Forces during the Second World War for a short while. In 1912, the garden came under the administration of the Department of Agriculture.
The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden in Sri Lanka is situated in Kandy’s suburb of Peradeniya just around 5 Kilometers to the west of the downtown of Kandy. A short tuk-tuk ride from Kandy shall take you here and it would only take you just a few minutes. The garden is right on A1 Highway. From Colombo, the garden is distanced by 116 Kilometers and accessible by three hours of travel in a normal course.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden, known for its fine collection of orchids, is in possession of a total of 4000 species of plants that include spices, orchids, shrubs, palm trees, flower plants, vines, and medicinal herbs. The floral wealth includes the majority of the most superior varieties in Asia. The diversity of the greenery is seen everywhere across the park, like the palm framed pathways, creepy-decorated pergolas, timer arches, and lawns.
The gardens also nurture several historically prominent trees such as a massive Ceylon Ironwood tree planted by Nicholas II in 1894, a big Amherstia planted by Prince Albert of Belgium, a tea plant brought from China in 1824 that is considered as the first-ever non-commercial tea plant in the country, a camphor tree planted in 1972 by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the first female prime minister of Sri Lanka, a BaikeaInsignis by Syedna Taher Saifuddin (RA) in 1941, the High Pontiff of the Muslim Dawoodi Bohra Community, the Sorrowless tree planted by Queen Elizabeth in 1981 and a Yellow Trumpet tree planted by Crown Prince Akihito of Japan and his Crown Princess 1981.