Discovering all things green in Sri Lanka – The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is a must visit in any itinerary to Kandy. Giant trees, colourful flowers and varied plants both indigenous to Sri Lanka and planted by dignitaries span 147 acres.  The beginning of this garden dates back to 1371 during the time of the ruling Sinhalese king. It was then run by the British until independence in 1948. The Botanical Gardens toady showcases species plants and also personifies history.

Introduction

Orchid obsession

Orchids are beautiful to say the least and the dedicated area in the garden is a reflection of Sri Lanka’s love for this flower. There is an art to growing an Orchid; temperature must be perfect, moisture maintained, and shading must be controlled. I am still trying to master this technique much to the disappointed of my mother! The Gardens boast many Orchids in varying colours, sizes and types and make sure to ask your guide about the one that exudes the aroma of Vanilla which is truly delicious.

orchid-obsession

Double trouble

Brace that inner geek in you. The double coconut not only looks cool but has some interesting facts behind it. Lodoicea maldivica is one the rarest species in the world and endemic to the Seychelles. Planted in 1850 in the Peradeniya Gardens, it produces the largest and heaviest seed in the plant kingdom which typically weighs around 20kg. The leaf is also the largest around 10m in length and 4m in width.

double-trouble

Mistaken identity

The Gautama Buddha was born in the garden Lumbini in Nepal where his mother is said to have been holding branch of the Shorea robusta tree when giving birth. He is even said to have died near this tree and one must see it in the Gardens today for its history. In a case of mistaken identity, it does not get the credit and respect it deserves because most Sri Lankan Buddhist mistakenly believe Couroupita guianensis  as the said plant probably because of its scented flowers.

mistaken-identity

Trip tips

Go first thing in the morning when the gardens open at 7.30 am. You are unlikely to meet the crowds except for a few on romantic strolls and towards midday it can get hot. Hire a guide. Hire a respected guide. Do some research on who. Sure the beauty can be enjoyed alone but the true stories and facts and behind can only be learnt from an expert. I assure you it will enhance your experience and enable you to respect all things green.

Harshi Hewage is the Marketing Manager at Manor House Concepts.

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Comments (2)

  1. John says:

    Hi Harshi, could you recommend if any tourist offices near the gardens are a good place to ask about hiring a guide?

  2. Harshi says:

    Hi John. You can get the guide at the Gardens itself. I would advice you however to pre-book and pay attention to the cost as it varies from guide to guide.

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