Your travel guide for Sri Lanka

Peradeniya Botanical Garden, located in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, is a beautiful destination for nature lovers, botany enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a tranquil escape from the bustling city. The garden, which was established in 1371, is home to over 4,000 varieties of plants, including orchids, palm trees, spices, medicinal plants, and many more.

This travel guide will delve deeper into the enchanting Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, providing you with essential insights to plan your visit and make the most of your trip.

Relaxing greenery in the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy, Sri Lanka

History of the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden

The Peradeniya Botanical Garden has a rich history dating back over 700 years. Initially established by the Sinhalese kings as a royal pleasure garden, it was later developed by the British as an experimental station for plants that could be grown for commercial purposes. Today, it is managed by the Department of National Botanic Gardens and is open to the public, welcoming thousands of visitors annually. The garden has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years and now covers an impressive area of 147 acres.

Highlights of the Garden

Orchid House

One of the main highlights of the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is the Orchid House, home to an extensive collection of orchids from Sri Lanka and around the world. The vibrant colors and unique shapes of these flowers create a visual feast for visitors. The orchids are arranged by family and are labeled with their scientific names, making it an educational experience for botany enthusiasts and students alike.

Orchids at the Orchid house of the Peradeniya botanical garden in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Close up of orchids at the Orchid House.

Avenue of Palms

Another highlight of the garden is the Avenue of Palms, a picturesque walkway lined with palm trees from all over the world. The avenue stretches for over a kilometer and provides a peaceful, shaded walk through the garden, offering visitors a chance to appreciate the diverse range of palm species.

The avenue of palms in Peradeniya Botanical Garden in Kandy, Sri Lanka
The famous Avenue of Palms in Peradeniya Botanical Garden.

Tropical Lowland Rainforest

The Tropical Lowland Rainforest section of the garden showcases a wide variety of tropical plants and trees native to Sri Lanka. Visitors can immerse themselves in the lush greenery and observe the unique flora found in this region, offering a glimpse into the country's natural biodiversity.

Cactus House

The Cactus House is a fascinating exhibit of various cacti and succulent species from arid regions worldwide. The diversity of shapes, sizes, and colors on display is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of these plants in harsh environments.

Fern House

The Fern House features a collection of fern species, both native and exotic, including rare and endangered varieties. This section of the garden highlights the delicate beauty of ferns, showcasing their intricate patterns and unique reproductive methods.

Spice Garden

The Spice Garden is home to a wide array of spices, including cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg. Visitors can learn about the cultivation and processing of these aromatic plants and their historical significance in the global spice trade.


Peradeniya Botanical Garden is not only home to diverse plant species but also various animals that call the garden home. Visitors can spot monkeys, peacocks, lizards, and a variety of birds, adding an element of excitement to their exploration.

Two monkeys at the Peradeniya Botanical Garden in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Two Toque macaque monkeys at the garden. This species is endemic to Sri Lanka.

Tips for Visiting the Peradeniya Botanical Garden

  1. Plan your visit: The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm every day. It is best to visit the garden in the morning, as it can get crowded later in the day. Allocate several hours for your visit to fully appreciate the garden's vastness and attractions.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: The garden is expansive, and visitors will need to walk considerable distances to see all the attractions. Wearing comfortable and sturdy shoes is essential to ensure a pleasant experience.
  3. Bring sunscreen and a hat: The garden can be quite sunny, particularly during the middle of the day. Visitors should bring sunscreen and a hat to protect themselves from the sun and stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle.
  4. Pack a picnic: Visitors can bring their own food and drink into the garden, making it a perfect spot for a picnic. The garden has designated areas for visitors to sit, relax, and enjoy their meals while taking in the picturesque surroundings.
  5. Guided tours: Guided tours are available for those who wish to gain a deeper knowledge of the garden's history, flora, and fauna. The knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the plants and their uses, as well as the garden's past.
  6. Photography: The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a photographer's paradise, with its diverse range of plant species and vibrant colors. Make sure to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the stunning beauty of the garden.
  7. Accessibility: The garden is wheelchair accessible, making it suitable for visitors with mobility challenges. However, some areas may be challenging to navigate due to uneven terrain, so it is advisable to bring a companion for assistance.
  8. Souvenir shop and cafe: Don't forget to visit the souvenir shop within the garden premises, where you can find a variety of souvenirs, including seeds, plants, and handicrafts. The garden also houses a cafe where you can enjoy a refreshing beverage or a snack during your visit.

Nearby Attractions

The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is conveniently located near the city of Kandy, allowing visitors to explore several nearby attractions.

  1. The Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world, is a must-visit for those interested in history and spirituality.
  2. Kandy Lake, situated in the city's heart, offers a picturesque spot for leisurely strolls and boat rides.
  3. The Bahirawakanda Temple, known for its giant Buddha statue overlooking the city, is another famous site worth visiting for panoramic views of Kandy and its surroundings.
  4. The city of Kandy itself is a great place to explore. As Sri Lanka's second-largest city, it is filled with plenty of attractions. It's a great idea to explore this city, take in the sites and enjoy some local food. Find out more about the top things to do in Kandy.

The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka. The diverse range of plants, the peaceful atmosphere, and the picturesque setting make it an ideal destination for a day trip and provide visitors with a chance to reconnect with nature.

Whether you are a botany enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, the Peradeniya Botanical Garden offers a unique and enriching experience that will leave you with lasting memories of Sri Lanka's botanical wonders.

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