Tucked away in the mountains of Sri Lanka lies an idyllic garden cocooned in lush greenery and bursts of vibrant colour. A visit to the Hakgala Botanical Garden is to witness Mother Nature in all her glorious splendour!
The Trip to Hakgala
The Hakgala Botanical Garden is around 16 km from Nuwara Eliya in the island’s Central Highlands. Easy to visit from hotels in Nuwara Eliya, the garden is next to the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve and beneath Hakgala Rock. It makes an ideal excursion from Heritance Tea Factory and other such properties in the region.
Folklore and History
According to legend and the Ramayana epic, this is the site of Ravana’s pleasure garden and also where princess Sita was hidden. The present garden dates back to 1861; initially used for Cinchona cultivation and later for tea, it was subsequently transformed into a botanical garden in 1884.
A Garden of Wonder
Home to more than 10,000 species of flora, the Hakgala Botanical Garden is famed not only for its breathtaking landscapes but its multicoloured flowers including gorgeous orchids and English roses. Best visited between April and August, the garden also attracts varied birdlife and even monkeys from the nearby nature reserve.
The Rose Garden featuring over 100 varieties, the Orchid House with its diverse range of orchids, The Fernery that has fascinating native species and the aromatic Spice Garden are amongst the highlights here. Other places of interest at Hakgala include the Cactus House, the Arboretum and the Rock Garden each unique from the other.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+