The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is deemed to be one of the finer landscaped gardens in Asia, with its amazing natural cool environment and biodiversity. More than 4000 species of plants, orchids, medicinal plants, spices and palm trees are to be enjoyed. It is renowned for its collection of a variety of beautiful orchids.
The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at an elevation of 460 meters above sea level.
The origins of the Botanic Gardens date as far back as 1371, when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli River. This was subsequently pursued by King Kirti Sri and King Rajadhi Rajasinghe thereafter.
The Royal Botanical Garden was formally established in 1843 and expanded under George Gardner as the Superintendent in 1844.
The classical ‘Avenue of Palms’ is located in this Garden. One tree of particular historical significance is the Cannonball Tree planted by King George V and Queen Mary of the United Kingdom in 1901. During the Second World War, Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in South Asia, occupied the Botanical Gardens as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command.
Today the botanic garden focuses on floriculture conservation, birdlife conservation, insect and butterfly conservation. The gardens include an amazing collection of medicinal plants and are a lovely day out where you can enjoy a fresh pot of tea, coffee or a spot of lunch.