Royal Botanical Garden is a breathtaking place to many travelers who are interested in Sri Lankan Tourism. It is situated 6 km in distance to the West from the sacred city of Kandy. It is evidenced that over 1.4 million people visit Sri Lankan Botanical gardens per year. In that Peradeniya is the largest Botanical garden in Sri Lanka. The garden is comprised of over 4000 species of plants, orchids, herbs, and trees. It covers an area of 147 acres. Being located at 460 m above sea level the garden is enjoying a 200-day annual rainfall.
The history of the garden dates back to the colonial period. The garden was known as Queen’s Pleasure garden in 1371. It was prospered by King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha. It was uplifted as a Botanical garden in 1821. All the economic based plants like Coffee, tea, rubber, and nutmeg were tested in the Peradeniya botanical garden. During the British Colonial Era, Sri Lankans lost most of the wooded hills where have been fully covered with trees and plants. Those wooded lands were replanted with coffee. But it had been vanished due to the ‘coffee rust’ disease. The purpose of this botanical garden was to conserve floriculture, birds, butterflies and bio diversity.
Chinese and Japanese bamboos, cannas, crotons, palms, varieties of roses, anthuriums are just a few of the species that can be found here. The place called Cannonbell Avenue is planted with cononbell trees (Sal tree). The flower of this tree is very attractive. It seems like the tiny dagoba shaped bud umbraged by a cobra and worshiped by a group of worshippers. A Giant javan Fig tree was grown, by use of an offshoot brought from East Indies. Today the tree is in good condition with stretching heavy branches everywhere and sprawling roots. Yuri Gagarin, Indira Ghandi, Marshell Tito and U Thant have planted trees in the botanical garden to implicate their gratitude to our nation. The orchid house gets the major attention of the travelers as it is the fascinating collection of this garden.
Talipot palms are another kind of botanical plantations in Sri Lanka. Thus there is an artificial lake in the middle of this garden. There is a tower to commemorate Mr.George Gardeneur (1812-1849) who was in charge of the garden. Today the Peradeniya Royal Botanical garden is administrated by the National Botanical gardens of the Department Of Agriculture.