Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Considered to be the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka and also the most notable garden out of the 5 botanical gardens in the country, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya pours a kaleidoscope of scenes and colours that would make any individual’s bond with nature, that much stronger. Boasting of around 4000 species of flora, the gardens prove to be one of the premier venues that showcase the best of horticulture in Sri Lanka, making it ideal for the nature lover or even the everyday traveller to take a break in and admire the splendour therein.

Best Known For

  • The famed Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya are best known for the variety of flora, including orchids, tropical woody plants and even spice plants that have been cultivated, hailing from all parts of the world, making it one of the more diverse botanical gardens in the country. Thus making it perfect for the horticultural enthusiast to delve into.
  • In addition to being a horticultural paradise, the gardens are well known, for being a place of tranquility and solitude, where many a weary traveller can come and bask in the fresh air and fragrances of blossoming flowers.

Interesting Facts

  • The luscious Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya possess a history that goes all the way back to the 14th Century, during the reign of King Wickramabahu III.
  • However, it was during the 18th Century that the botanical gardens rose to prominence, as it was designated a Royal Garden, under the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinhe and also served as a temporary residence of the subsequent King Rajadhi Rajasinha.
  • It was during the tenure of the British that the gardens underwent the significant changes, transforming it to what it is today.
  • Under the supervision of British colonial, Alexander Moon, in 1821 the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya became one of horticultural bliss, boasting of a diverse range of flora.
  • Presently, the botanical gardens are home to a wide variety of flora that has been conveniently segregated for the viewing pleasure of the horticulture enthusiast.
  • Possessing aptly named avenues and segregations such as a Fernery, an Orchid House, the Lake, the Spice Garden, Double Coconut Palms, the Great Lawn, a Flower Garden, Plant House and Arboretum, to name but a few of the prominent segregations, the botanical gardens are an exemplary location that showcases the splendour of around 4000 species in one concentrated area.
  • Due to its vast collection of flora, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya is the largest botanical garden in the Sri Lanka, when compared to the other notable botanical gardens, like the Hakgala Botanical Gardens and the Mirijjawila Botanical Garden to name but 2.
  • Over the years, the gardens have played a major role in showcasing Sri Lanka’s natural splendour. So much so that prominent world figures the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Marshal Tito and Yuri Gagarin have visited the botanical gardens and planted trees to mark their visits.
  • During the Second World War, the gardens were commissioned as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command, by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in South Asia, Lord Louis Mountabatten.
  • One of the highlights that many flock to witness is the unique Cannonball Tree that King George V planted in 1901, during his visit to the orient.
  • With its large trunk and many branches, the tree bears quite a large fruit, resembling that of a cannonball, hence the name ‘Cannonball Tree’.
  • Another feature is the colossal Javan Fig Tree in the Great Lawn that resembles a living umbrella, with its many spider like branches and colossal central trunk, making it all the more enticing, to witness such a sight in this part of the world.
  • The botanical gardens are also been known to be a great resting spot for the weary, as its abundant flora make for a tranquil and peaceful environment. Coupled with a quaint café in the premises, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya does not disappoint.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, it is open daily from 7.30am to 5.00pm, however, the best time to visit is during the wee hours of the morning, as the fresh morning air is filled with aromas of blossoming flowers.
  • Although the gardens are open throughout the year, the best time to visit the vibrant gardens are during the months from December to April, as the favourable weather allows the blossoming of many flowers and maturing of the other floral species, making it all the more enticing.
  • Please adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the relevant authorities, so please refrain from bringing any polythene or any other pollutants that could adversely affect the garden’s ecosystem.
  • Bring along your camera, since the vibrant colours of the orchids and other flowers of the garden really paint some exquisite pictures.
  • After your jaunt around the gardens, take the opportunity to indulge in a bit of coffee at the pleasant café, within the gardens and admire the greenery from afar.
  • Keep in mind that the café is open from 10.00am to 5.00pm daily.

All in all, if you are looking to just escape the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle or looking to witness horticultural perfection, then the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya is one such peaceful corner of the world, which allows you to delve into Sri Lanka’s natural bliss.


December - April


LKR 50
Foreign Adults
LKR 1,500
Foreign Children
LKR 750

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