Hakgala Botanical Gardens
Hakgala, 15 km southeast of Nuwara Eliya, has Sri Lanka’s only Botanical Garden the higlands far above 1000m. It was established in 1861 for the purpose of studying cinchona cultivation in Sri Lanka. But after tea replaced the cinchona, Hakgala was turned into a centre for tea cultivation experiments. Finally, in 1884 it became a Botanical Garden. Now it is famous for its rose beds and its orchid house in particular. Legend has it that monkey warrior Hanuman was sent to the Himalayas to find some particular medicinal herbs to cure Rama’s brother Lakshmana. But he forgot the name of the herbs he was looking for and thus brought a whole chunk of the Himalayas back to Sri Lanka, on which indeed the mecinal herbs grew. There are many places in Sri Lanka claiming to be a part of that chunk. So is Hakgala rock.
Sinharaja rain forest
Kanneliya small rain forest
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Dry zone south
Yala NP camping-safari
Bundala NP bird watching
Kumana NP birds and wildlife
Okanda village life and beach
Rufus Kulam remote lake
Lahugala NP with heritage site
Gal Oya NP lakeside wildlife
Udawalawe NP wild elephants
Ussangoda serpentine rock
Dry zone north
Minneriya NP elephant gathering
Kaudulla NP elephant gathering
Habarana oxcart excursions
Nelumpure authentic village life
Mihintale ancient sanctuary
Namal Uyana ironwood sanctuary
Rasvehera monastery and wildlife
Tabbowe lake near Wilpattu NP
Horton Plains trekking hotspot
Bambarakanda 240 m waterfall
Adam's Peak pilgrim mountain
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Kitulgala white water and birds
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Meemure village life and trekking
Knuckles Range trekking highlight
Randenigala NP alternative camp
You can find a similar linklist with images just below:
More than 100 species of roses are planted here. A visit to Hakgala Botanical Gardens is recommendable during the so-called Nuwara Eliya season around Sinhalese and Tamil New Year in April, when most flowers are in bloom. Otherwise, northern hemisphere summer months are better for a visit than winter months. Entrance charges are quite high.
Hakgala is easy to reach from Nuwara Eliya, it is worth a stop for travellers who take the A5 mainroad from Nuwara Eliya to Badulla or Ella or Haputale.
Hakgala is a scenic place offering perfect views to the hills and valleys of Uva Province in the south-eastern highlands.
Hakgala has a bird-sanctuary, too, but normal tourists are not allowed to enter it. However, many of the birds from the neighbouring sanctuary can be observed in and around the grounds of the Botanical garden, too.
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