Sixty km south of Jakarta, Bogor at 290 meters above sea level and said to be the rainiest city in Java is the ideal place to have a botanic garden. The Dutch East India Company established a garden and a mansion here in the 18th century. Sir Stamford Raffles while governor of Java had the garden landscape in 1811. It was opened as a botanic garden in 1817. Many dedicated people were involved in turning it into a botanic garden with an extensive collection that is now spread over 87 ha and is the first and most comprehensive botanic garden in Indonesia. Keraton at the Plaza Jakarta, a 5 star hotel Jakarta offers day trips to Bogor.
Among the manicured lawns, lakes, rivers, bamboo groves and shaded walkways of the garden are more than 15,000 species of trees and plants and 400 types of palms. Some trees are more than a hundred years old. It is also home to 50 different varieties of birds and colonies of bats. This is also where the world largest collection of giant arum or Amorphophallus Titanum from Sumatra is found. The plant has the world’s tallest flower cluster reaching 2.5 meters. The last flowering event was in 2011. The orchid garden in the north east corner has large green houses that have a collection of 3,000 plants. An orchidarium was planted here with 20 orchid species in 2009 to celebrate the garden’s 192nd anniversary. Other highlights include a formal European garden that honours the first curator of the garden, a display of vividly coloured canna lilies in the eastern part of the garden to commemorate a visit by a Belgian princess of long ago. The West African oil palm planted here in 1848 is believed to be the mother plant of the oil palm trees that now support a huge industry in South East Asia. The president’s summer residence is in the northwest part of the garden where a herd of 250 tame deer graze on the grounds.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.