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Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is located about 5 and a half kilometers west of the city of Kandy in the central province of Sri Lanka in the town of Peradeniya and attracts 2 million visitors a year. The collection of plants here includes more than 4000 species, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palms. In addition to everything this Botanical Garden is also the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. It is managed by the Department of National Botanic Gardens, Department of Agriculture.

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The roots of founding the Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya originate back in 1371, when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and built a court building in Peradeniya near the Mahaweli river. He was followed by King Kirti Sri and King Rajadhi Rajasinha. In this place the temple was built by King Wimal Dharma, but it was destroyed by the British when they gained control of the Kingdom of Kandy. Then in 1821 a botanical garden was founded here under the supervision of Alexander Mun, and in the same year the Botanical Garden in Peradeniya began to develop.

 In 1843, the garden was officially established, and planted with plants brought from Kew Garden, from the Slave Trade Island, from Colombo, Kalutara and the garden in Kalutara. Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens became more independent and expanded under George Gardner as a leader since 1844. And after his death in 1849, George Henry Kendrick Thwaites became chief. He served as head of the Botanical Garden until 1879, when he was replaced by Henry Trimen, who served in the same post until 1895. The garden was transferred to the management of the Department of Agriculture, when it was established in 1912.

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Classic Palm Avenue is located in this garden. One of the tallest trees is the Cannon tree, planted by King George V and Queen Mary in 1901. The branches of the tree often bend under the weight of the fruits, which are believed to resemble cannonballs. During the Second World War, the Botanical Garden was used by Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander in South Asia, as the headquarters of the Command.

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Many famous visitors, including the already mentioned King George V and Queen Maria, as well as the Russian Tsar Nicholas II, the writer Anton Chekhov, the world's first cosmonaut Gagarin, left the memory of their visit to Sri Lanka by planting trees in the garden, as evidenced by the plates. It is curious that the tree planted by Yuri Gagarin ceased to grow and develops badly after the pilot-cosmonaut died.

In August 2006, the Department of the National Botanical Gardens was established, which was headed by Dr. Wijesundara. Now, among the tasks of the Royal Botanical Garden is also the maintenance and development of the garden at the official residence of the President of Sri Lanka in Kandy, as well as the maintenance of religious and old trees.

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The total area of the botanical garden is 67 hectares, it is located at an altitude of 460 meters above sea level, and 200 days a year it rains here. The garden stretches on small hills, at the bend of the Mahaweli River, the largest river in Sri Lanka. A narrow suspension bridge is thrown across the river of Mahaweli, which swings under the feet of visitors. On the bank of the river the bamboo thickets are planted. The entire garden is divided into several zones. In addition to hundreds of hybrids, in the botanical garden there is a collection of wild orchids of Sri Lanka. The geographical location of the garden contributes to the increase in varieties of deciduous plants.

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In the garden there is a classic palm alley, the Orchid House, a double coconut tree, a huge umbrella tree — Ficus Benjamin, which stretches over an area of more than 2500 square meters, a fig tree and about 4000 species of herbaceous plants and trees. An integral part of the park are the flying foxes, which hang in clusters on tall trees. The garden is a profitable state institution, employing almost 450 people.

So, you can visit the oldest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, while you are on vacation in the area of Kandy. Inform about your desire to visit Peradeniya your Lankarus manager, for optimal and comfortable planning and organizing your trip.

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