Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya are about 5.5 km to the west of the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It attracts 2 million visitors annually. It is near the Mahaweli River (the longest in Sri Lanka). It is renowned for its collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.


The origins of the Botanic Gardens date as far back as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli river. This was followed by King Kirti Sri and King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. A temple was built on this location by King Wimala Dharma, but it was destroyed by the British when they were given control over the Kingdom of Kandy.[]

Thereafter, the groundwork for a botanical garden was formed by Alexandar Moon in 1821. He used the garden for coffee and cinnamon plants. The Botanical Garden at Peradeniya was formally established in 1843 with plants brought from Kew Garden, Slave Island, Colombo, and the Kalutara Garden in Kalutara. The Royal Botanic Garden, Peradeniya was made more independent and expanded under George Gardner as superintendent in 1844. On Gardner's death in 1849 George Henry Kendrick Thwaites became superintendent. He served until he resigned in 1879, when he was succeeded by Henry Trimen, who served until 1895.

The garden came under the administration of the Department of Agriculture when it was established in 1912.

There are avenues in the River Drive such as Cook's Pine Avenue, Palmyra Palm Avenue, Double Coconut Avenue, Cabbage Palm Avenue, and Royal Palm Avenue. The classical Avenue of Palms is in this Garden. One item with a significant history is the Cannonball Tree planted by King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary in 1901. It is often laden with fruit, which are thought to resemble cannonballs.

During World War II, the Botanic Garden was used by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in the South Asia, as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command.


Here is the list of some plants growing in Royal Botanical Gardens:

  • Araucaria columnaris
  • Asplenium nidus
  • Bambusa vulgaris
  • Borassus flabellifer
  • Calophyllum tomentosum
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Coelogyne mayeriana
  • Couroupita guianensis
  • Cyperus papyrus
  • Dendrocalamus giganteus
  • Elettaria cardamomum
  • Ficus benjamina
  • Grammatophyllum speciosum
  • Heliconia rostrata
  • Jatropha podagrica
  • Lodoicea maldivica
  • Macrothelypteris torresiana
  • Myristica fragrans
  • Pimenta dioica
  • Pimenta racemosa
  • Piper nigrum
  • Portulaca grandiflora
  • Typhonodorum lindleyanum

Other botanic gardens in Sri Lanka

  • Hakgala Botanical Garden
  • Henarathgoda Botanical Garden
  • Mirijjawila Botanical Garden
  • Seetawaka Botanical Garden, Avissawella
  • Medicinal Plant Gardens, Ganewatta near

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Wilson Favre-Delerue
8 February 2019
Beautiful botanical gardens. Make sure you use the only washrooms at the entrance before getting lost into the massive park, and bring water as the F&B options are few and far between.
13 August 2016
Botanists and nature lovers as well as shutter bugs would love this place. Keep an entire morning free for this place please. You'd not regret it.
Michael Thelin
8 February 2016
I'm not really into botanical gardens and I'd still really recommend this place. Calm, beautiful surroundings. The best things were the friendly monkeys and the trees full of bats. Would go again.
Ashkan Sharifi
8 January 2016
I usually don't go to anywhere touristic where designed to generate money. I have to confess that it totally worth the ticket we paid and we didn't have enough u time to see everything, super beautifu
Adel Al Nasseri
19 January 2019
Actually in Kandy no more places to visit, It has all kind of plants and lots of weird plants you will never find it any place in the world, there is Entrance fees around $10.
维一 廖
3 August 2016
A great place to relax. There are many beautiful plants. It takes hours to walk around it. A must-go tourist attraction.
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7HCW+C6 Kandy, Sri Lanka Get directions
Sat-Sun 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Mon-Thu 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

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