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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Botanic Gardens in Sri Lanka

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya:(109 km. from Colombo) The Gardens date back to the Kandyan kingdom, when they were used as royal pleasure grounds. However, it was soon after the British seized the Kandyan Kingdom that they were established in 1821. The Gardens are elegantly landscaped over 150 hectares of beautifully undulating grounds. Within this large loop of the meandering Mahaweli Ganga is a spectacular display of more than 400 species of indigenous tropical flora and exotic plants.

Hakgala Botanic Gardens:After the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, Hakgala, 10km (6 miles) south of Nuwara Eliya, is the second most important garden in Sri Lanka. Though on a smaller scale than those at Peradeniya, Hakgala's plantations of roses, shrubs, ferns and montage woodland are delightfully located, with scenic views. Above the gardens, a forest trail leads into virginwoodland - the home of a troop of purple-faced leaf monkeys, a species endemic to Sri Lanka, and to endemic bird species including the Sri Lanka white-eye, Sri Lanka wood pigeon, and Sri Lanka whistling thrush.Open daily from07:30 to 17:00.

Viharamahadevi Park:This is the largest of several parks in Colombo. It is the last remnant of the cinnamon plantations that covered adjacent land, giving the residential area of Cinnamon Gardens its name. The park is a wonderful sight from March to May, when its trees burst into flower. You can see ebony, mahogany, fig, lemon and the last cinnamon trees from the plantations established over a hundred years ago. Tethered in the shade and swaying to and fro in one corner of the park may be elephants, sometimes parked here for the night. During peraheras held at nearby temples, upto fifty or so elephants may be accomodated here for about a week.


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