The entry fee for the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens may be a little bit high, but after visiting the almost 40-hectare venue with a colection of 4000 different plant species you will definitely agree that the money was well spent. Besides Bogor on the Indonesian Island of Java Peradeniya is the best and largest botanical garden in tropical Asia. The gardens, now belonging to the University in Peradeniya, are a tranquil place that seems miles away from the hectic traffic not so far away in Kandy.
Huge trees, planted generations ago, and colourful flower bushes from all over the world and a collection of orchids are among the highlights of the Royal Botanical Gardens near Kandy. Over 500 varieties are nurtured in the Orchid House. Right in the centre of Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is The Great Lawn, which is dominated by a beautiful Java Fig Tree of enormous size. In the gardens there are ponds, with ducks swimming and other birds flying about, as well as plenty of benches to sit and relax.
The first garden in Peradeniya dates back to 1371 when Gampola King Wickramabahu III established his residence here in a river loop of the Mahaweli, Sri Lanka’s largest river. The area remained to be a royal garden during the Kandy Kingdom. The British destroyed the former Royal Palace, but they protected the plants by designating the area an official botanic garden.
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