Hakgala Botanical Garden

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Hakgala Botanical Garden
Hakgala Botanical Garden.jpg
Entrance of the garden
Type Botanical garden
Location Hakgala, Nuwara Eliya
Coordinates 6°55′00″N 80°46′00″E / 6.91667°N 80.76667°E / 6.91667; 80.76667 (Hakgala Botanical Garden)Coordinates: 6°55′00″N 80°46′00″E / 6.91667°N 80.76667°E / 6.91667; 80.76667 (Hakgala Botanical Garden)
Created 1861
Operated by Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka
Visitors 500 000
Status Open all year

Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the three botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. The other two being Peradeniya Botanical Garden and Henarathgoda Botanical Garden. It is the second largest garden in Sri Lanka.[1] The garden is contiguous to Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve.[2]

Location and climate[edit]

Hakgala Botanical Garden is situated on the Nuwara Eliya-Badulla main road, 16 km from Nuwara Eliya. The garden has a cool temperate climate because of altitude is 5,400 feet above the sea level. The mean annual temperature ranges between 16 °C to 30 °C during course of a year.[3] From December to February it has a cold climate, while the warm climate persists from April to August.

History[edit]

The garden was established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. Once after the Tea replaced the Cinchona, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed to a garden. Since then many sub tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens.

Folklore[edit]

In the folklores, it says Sri Lankan demon King Ravana after abducting Sita, kept her hidden in this area and area was offered to Sita as a pleasure garden, the place finds mention in the Ramayana as Ashok Vatika.[4][5] The area was named as "Sita Eliya" and "Sita Amman Temple" was built on the site.

Visitor attraction[edit]

There are over 10,000[3] species of flora planted here and during the Spring season in Nuwara Eliya thousands of visitors come to see the blooms here. Number of annual visitors is around 500,000.[3] The garden is famous for number of species of Orchids and Roses are planted there.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "History and Introduction". agridept.gov.lk. Archived from the original on 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  2. ^ Green, Michael J. B. (1990). IUCN directory of South Asian protected areas. IUCN. pp. 211–213. ISBN 2-8317-0030-2. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  3. ^ a b c Abeywardena 2004: pp. 344-45
  4. ^ Ramayana sites in Sri Lanka tourslanka.com.
  5. ^ Tracing evidence of Lord Ram and his times Zee News.

References[edit]