Hakgala Botanical Garden
Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the three botanical gardens in Sri Lana. The other two are Peradeniya Botanical Garden and Henarathgoda Botanical Garden. It is the second-largest garden in Sri Lanka. The park is contiguous to Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve in Nuwara Eliya. The gardens are believed to be the world's highest set of botanical gardens.
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. The plant nursery closes at 3.00 pm. Wheelchairs are available for hire at 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 a map of the garden.
Hakgala Gardens has a cool temperate climate due to its high altitude of 5,400 feet above sea level. The mean annual temperature in Nuwara Eliya ranges between 16°C to 30°C during the year. It has a cold climate from December to February, while the warm weather persists from April to August.
Hakgala Gardens was established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving in Nuwara Eliya. Once the Tea replaced the Cinchona, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation in Nuwara Eliya. In 1884 it transformed into a garden, and since then, many subtropical and temperate plants have been planted in the gardens.
In the folklore, it says Sri Lankan demon King Ravana after abducting Sita, kept her hidden in this area, and the area was offered to Sita as a pleasure garden; the place finds mention in the Ramayana as Ashok Vatika. The area was named "Sita Eliya", and "Sita Amman Temple" was built on the site.
Over 10,000 species of flora are planted here, and during the Nuwara Eliya spring season, thousands of visitors come to see the blooms here. Several annual visitors are around 500,000. Hakgala gardens are famous for several species of Orchids and Roses planted there.
Main Sections of Hakgala Gardens in Nuwara Eliya
- Central pond & bulb garden
- Lower flower garden
- Rose garden
- Upper flower garden
- Rock garden
Operating Hours & Contact
- 8.00 am to 5.30 pm (Plant Nursery closes at 3.30 pm)
- Contact Number: +94 52-22 22 182, +94 75 840 9857