Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is the Sri Lanka’s best and largest botanical gardens, located about 06km Southwest of Peradeniya town, Kandy. It is placed nearby the Mahaweli River bank, which is the longest river in the country. And it takes 110km journey from Colombo. For spending a leisure time in a fantastic eco location, this botanical garden is ideally matching. Among all flora species, this Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is popular for its collection the variety of Orchids. It is recorded that has more than 300 varieties of Orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palms trees. This garden spreads over 147 acres and receives a 200 days annual rain fall.
During the time of 1747-80, King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe formed this as a royal pleasure garden. But, once the British invaders captured Kandyan Kingdom in 1815, they converted this pleasure garden to a botanical garden. After the Gannoruwa battle, a monk took the garden until it was turned to a botanical garden. In 1821, Alexander Moon formed this Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. For the plantation of cinnamon and coffee, Alexander Moon used this garden. But today, various species of plants and insects can be discovered there. It is recorded that has about 4,000 species of plants, occupies 146 acres and 150 acres of trees, lawns and flowering shrubs. This wonderful garden has the floriculture conservation, butterfly conservation, birdlife conservation, insect conservation and a good biodiversity of Sri Lanka. Today, the division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture is maintaining this Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. It is recorded that has over one million visitors annually. Travelers can take pictures of this fantastic environment and can enjoy hiking, bird watching, discovering butterflies and colorful flowers and experience the cool environment. This botanical garden is especially famous among students who are interesting in Ayurveda practices due to have amazing collection of medicinal plants that helps to get a wide knowledge of these valuable plants.
This Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is rich with various tropical woody plants’ collections. Some of main things to see in this garden are Mahaweli River, palms, orchids’ collections, gymnosperms, an Octagon Conservatory, fernery, banks of giant bamboo from Burma and numerous flower borders with cannas, hibiscus, chrysanthemums, croton, colorful bougainvillea and an artificial lake in the shape of the island of Sri Lanka. And there are several avenues in the Mahaweli River that visitors can discover. They are Double coconut Avenue, Cook’s Pine Avenue, Cabbage Avenue, Palmyra Palm Avenue and Royal Palm Avenue. And also, travelers can view the spice garden which is located at the right side of the main entrance of this garden. It has a wide collection of spices including Vanilla, Pepper, Coves and so on. Among all, the Orchid House which is at the right path of the spice garden is the main attraction of this garden. This Orchid House has around 300 species and it was introduced in 1950’s to this Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. And it is producing neo hybrids also. In addition to that, “the Great Circle” is another attractive location in this garden. It spreads over 04 acres and it has trees that planted in the circle.