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Hakgala

Hakgala, Hakgala, Hill Country, Sri Lanka.
Location : Hakgala
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Overview
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. The garden is contiguous to the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve.
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 garden was established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. When tea replaced cinchona, it was turned into an experimental tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed into a garden since many sub tropical and some temperate plants had been planted there.
According to folklore, demon King Ravana after abducting Sita kept her hidden in this area, which 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 the Sita Amman Temple was built on the site.
There are over 10,000 species of flora planted here and the number of annual visitors is around 500,000. The garden is famous for its many species of orchids and roses.

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