Hakgala Botanical Garden
Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the three botanical gardens in Sri Lana. The other two being Peradeniya Botanical Garden and Henarathgoda Botanical Garden. It is the second largest garden in Sri Lanka. The garden is contiguous to Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve in Nuwara Eliya. The gardens is believed to be the highest set botanical gardens in the world.
It is situated on the Nuwara Eliya - Badulla A5 Highway, 16 km from Nuwara Eliya. Travel time from Spring Acre is approximately 25 minutes.
Hakgala Gardens is open daily from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm. Plant nursery closes at 3.00 pm. Wheel chairs are available for hire at a nominal rent. Although light motor vehicles are permitted to enter the gardens, visitors are advised to walk around Hakgala gardens if they wish to explore the many beautiful places in this very compact garden.
Click below to get driving directions on Google Maps
Click below to download map of garden
Hakgala Gardens has a cool temperate climate due to the high altitude of 5,400 feet above the sea level. The mean annual temperature in Nuwara Eliya ranges between 16°C to 30°C during the course of the year. From December to February it has a cold climate, while the warm climate persists from April to August.
Hakgala Gardens was established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time in Nuwara Eliya. Once after the Tea replaced the Cinchona, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation in Nuwara Eliya. In 1884 it transformed to a garden and since then many sub tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens.
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. The area was named as "Sita Eliya" and "Sita Amman Temple" was built on the site.
There are over 10,000 species of flora planted here and during the Nuwara Eliya spring season thousands of visitors come to see the blooms here. Number of annual visitors is around 500,000. Hakgala gardens is famous for number of species of Orchids and Roses planted there.
Main Sections of Hakgala Gardens in Nuwara Eliya
- Central pond & bulb garden
- Lower flower garden
- Rose garden
- Glass house
- Upper flower garden
- Rock garden
Operating Hours & Contact
- 8.00 am to 5.30 pm (Plant Nursery closes at 3.30 pm)
- Telephone: +94 52-22 22 182
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