The Royal Botanical Gardens, commonly known as 'Peradeniya Gardens' is probably the most popular garden in the country. It covers 147 acres and is said to attract close to 2 million visitors every year. It is a glorious expanse of well-kept trees, flowers and pathways, some of which are centuries old. While officially established under the British colonial government in 1843, the history of the park goes back to the 14th century and is tied to the Kandyan Kingdom.
Tickets & Navigation
The ticket counter is just outside the gate down a short flight of stone stairs - right next to this space is a Laksala outlet, for little tourist trinkets and local hand-made crafts. Tickets are priced at 50 rupees for locals and a whopping 1100 for tourists.
Once you enter the premises, there's a big map on a board to get a feel of the place - and all along the garden there are a few signs that point to the lake and so on, and plenty of up-to-date signs about the species of the plants if you care about that kind of thing.
Everywhere you go are beautiful bushes, trees (up to 4000 species of them) and well cut grass, so there's no need to bother about the map really. Just wander through and find a nice space beneath a large tree, by a bamboo forest, by the lake, or take a walk down the suspension bridge.
It's a wonderful place to visit with your friends and family if you're in Kandy (Peradeniya is only 5KM from Kandy). Here are a few pictures taken by Gerald Pereira.
The giant twisty trees make a great jungle gym
Tourists like in the pic above go gaga about the slightly shaky suspension bridge
The view of the Mahaweli from the bridge
The lake/pond in the garden, from an aerial view, is mango-shaped like Sri Lanka
The royal palms planted in 1950 and the orchids are main attractions
Climb onto the suspension bridge for a cool view of the Mahaweli Ganga.