A Visit to the Hakgala Botanical Gardens
Take a relaxing stroll through the immaculately maintained hilly terrain of Hakgala Botanical Gardens, the second largest garden among the five botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. Just a 10-minute drive from Nuwara Eliya town, the gardens adjoin the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve – home to a variety of wildlife – and lie at the base of Hakgala Rock (meaning ‘Elephant’s Jaw’ Rock), which rises 450m above and provides an awe-inspiring backdrop to the garden. According to folklore, the history of Hakgala Gardens dates to the time of Ramayana.
It was the location where Sita, the wife of Rama, was held captive by Sri Lankan King Ravana after being kidnapped from India. The place finds mention in the Ramayana as Ashok Vatika. The best time to visit the gardens is from mid-March to end-April, popularly known as the Nuwara Eliya season. This is the period when the garden puts up its best display of annual flowers, roses and orchids. You are welcome to visit at anytime of the year, however you may find many flowers still developing.