ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KANDY’S BEAUTIFUL BOTANICAL GARDEN IN PERADENIYA
The Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy, is one of the largest and richest in Asia: renowned for its impressive collection of orchids, its spice garden or its palm trees, it’s an amazing place to visit, and one of the best things to see in Kandy!
This sumptuous and very well maintained garden, is in fact not located directly in Kandy, but in Peradeniya, 9 kilometers away from Kandy.
This former park of the Kings of Kandy is as much appreciated by tourists as by the Sinhalese themselves: it is said to be one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world… you tend to agree with that!
The garden was designed in 1370. Before the arrival of the English, it was a royal park; today it is the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, covering 60 hectares.
It contains, among other things, a superb collection of orchids and a beautiful alley of palm trees planted in 1950. One of the main attractions is the gigantic fig tree of Java. The park contains magnificent vegetation, including: cannonball trees, palm trees, coco de mer palms with each fruit weighing 10 to 20 kilos (most expensive palm tree in the world), giant bamboos, rubber trees, sausages tree (Kigelia pinnata) and a lot more which we invite you to discover in this post.
HISTORY OF KANDY ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
The origins of the garden date back to 1371 under the King. Indeed, he decided to set up his court there, judging the place more than appropriate, in particular by its location, on the banks of the Mahaweli River.
Later, in the 16th and 17th centuries the King built a vihāra, a Buddhist monastery, and a dagaba, a Sri Lankan stupa, which were later destroyed when Kandy was taken by the British in 1815.
It was really in 1821 that the plans for the future Kandy botanical garden began. A British nobleman named Alexander Moon founded the botanical garden.
Moon decided to move the garden to Peradeniya considering the place more favorable and better suited for botanical studies. The transfer of all plant species from one city to another finally closed in 1843, the year the Royal Botanical Garden was officially born.
The sumptuous garden continued to grow and embellish over the years. With its 60 landscaped hectares, the Kandy Botanical Garden is today the largest and most renowned in Sri Lanka.
HOW TO GET TO KANDY ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
If you are staying in Kandy, then the easiest way to reach the garden is by Tuk Tuk. The driver will most likely wait for you to bring you to your next destination after your visit of the garden.
We also recommend booking a full Kandy city trip, which include a visit of the garden, but also of the beautiful Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a Tea plantation near Kandy, and a traditional show. You will be picked up in an air-conditioned vehicle. Check it out here.
If you are on a budget, then you can take a public bus. There are many buses from Kandy stopping right in front of the garden (#9-1, #1/744, #22-9)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO PREPARE YOUR VISIT
DURATION OF THE VISIT
The Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy is huge! It takes quite some time to explore the entire place. Count at least 2 to 3 hours for your visit.
2000 Rs for foreigners (100 Rs for local)
This garden is located in Peradeniya, here. It takes about 20 to 30min from Kandy.
8AM – 5:30 PM
WHAT TO SEE IN KANDY ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
Kandy Botanical Garden is known worldwide for different reasons.
First, its impressive collection of orchids. Grouped together in a large greenhouse, there are dozens of different varieties, including the Kandyen dancer. The Sri Lankans call it so because the petals of the flower resemble the traditional outfits of Kandyan dancers. Dance is very important in the culture of Sri Lanka.
In the Kandy Botanical Garden, there is also a huge garden of medicinal plants and spices, a cactus greenhouse, giant bamboos, rubber trees, a Japanese garden and a sumptuous Java fig tree (here).
The majestic avenue of royal palm trees (here), planted in 1950, is a must see as well, great to take photos!
Towards the end of the park, you can spot some buffaloes, with beautiful horns.
There is a restaurant in the middle of the park. We had our lunch there. It’s called the Royal Garden Cafeteria (here). The setting is gorgeous as the restaurant is surrounded by all the greeneries!
Finally, during your visit to the Kandy Botanical Garden, do not miss its bat trees. These giant bats have taken up residence in several trees near the river and not far from the suspension bridge.
DID YOU KNOW ?
Another particularity of the botanical garden is that the many personalities who visited the garden were able to plant trees. George V, for example, planted the Couroupita guianensis (the cannonball tree).
OUR TIPS TO VISIT THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
Our main advise is to take your time to fully enjoy this gorgeous garden. The botanical garden is huge and it will give you a real relaxing break from the busy roads of Sri Lanka and bustling Kandy.
Make sure to bring enough water, and cover your head, the sun can be really strong in Sri Lanka!
Finally, if you take snacks with you, watch out for the monkeys, they are never far away and will be happy to steal your snacks 🙂
OTHER INTERESTING READS ABOUT SRI LANKA
BEST THINGS TO SEE IN KANDY: here
FULL GUIDE FOR VISITING THE TEMPLE OF THE SACRED TOOTH RELIC: here
20 BEST THINGS TO SEE IN ELLA: here
HIKING LITTLE ADAM’S PEAK: here
VISITING THE NINE ARCHES BRIDGE IN ELLA: here
VISITING LIPTON’S SEAT IN HAPUTALE: here
BEST THINGS TO SEE IN THE SOUTH OF SRI LANKA: here
10 BEST THINGS TO SEE IN WELIGAMA: here
14 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN MIRISSA: here
FULL GUIDE FOR VISITING UDAWALAWE: here
15 INCREDIBLE THINGS TO SEE IN GALLE: here
15 BEST PLACES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS: here