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Royal Botanical Gardens-Kandy SRI LANKA

Royal Botanical Gardens-Kandy
No visit to Kandy is complete without seeing the Royal Botanical gardens at Peradeniya, 6.5km south from the town, on the Colombo road. Its origins go back to the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1747-80) when it was a royal residence and park. It formally became a botanical garden in 1821 when the redoubtable Edward Barnes was governor. The firs tea seedling garden in 1821 when the Ceylon were planted in the gardens at Barnes’ behest in 1824, although it was 50 years later that tea showed its potential as a viable commercial crop.
The gardens consist of nearly 150 acres dedicated to the flora of Sri Lanka with a spectacular arboretum that includes many endemic trees. There are over 110 endemic plants, as well as major collections of palms, bamboo, cacti, flowers and orchids in a delightful orchid house. There are more than 200,000 dried and preserved specimens in the Herbarium, collected during the 180 years the gardens have been in existence. There is also a biotechnology laboratory engaged in the mass propagation of ornamental, rare and endemic plants, a striking feature is the avenue of royal palms (Roystonea regia) begun in 1905. In the medicinal herb garden grow some of the herbs used in ayurveda medicine.
The entire area of the gardens is embraced by the Mahaweli River, curving around it like an elbow. Ata an altitude of 550m it has a mean temperature of around 20C. To avoid the heat of the day, the best time to visit the garden is between 08.30 and 10.00, or in the afternoon from 16.00.