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Botanical Gardens – Peradeniya

Peradeniya Botanical gardens, the finest of its kind in Asia, the largest of the three botanical gardens in the island, couldn't be better located. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the central highlands, the Gardens were bounded on three sides by a loop of river Mahaweli.

The history of the park wouldn't take a backseat to its geography. Conceived originally in 1371 as the Queen's pleasure garden, it was developed by King Kirti Sri Rajasinhe (1747-1778) where royal visitors were entertained. It was converted into Botanical Gardens in 1821, by the British, six years after fall of the last Kandyan King. That was during enterprising governorship of Sir Edward Barnes, who had Sri Lanka's first tea trees planted here in 1824, though the full commercial potential wasn't to be realized for another half a century. All prime imported crops - Coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber & cinchona - were tested in these gardens. Imported crops Tea & Rubber together with the local crop of Coconut became mainstay of the economy of the island.

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