Hakgala Botanical Garden

Hakgala Botanical Garden

Check Hakgala Botanical Garden on the Sri Lanka map


Botanic Gardens at Hakgala were established in 1861 for the purpose of experimentation and promotion of Cinchona cultivation in Sri Lanka. The gardens lying in the hill country among Sri Lanka's tea plantations in the Nuwara Eliya district are located along the Badulla Road, 9.5 km South-east of Nuwara Eliya, the popular holiday resort.

Situated at an elevation of about 1745 m above mean sea level, Hakgala Botanic Gardens, about 28 hectares in extent, lie under the shadow of the Hakgala Rock (meaning “Elephant's jaw rock”). This massive rock towers to a height of about 2,200m behind the gardens and the surrounding forest reserve like a solitary giant.

The gardens take the shape of several terraces upon the lower slopes of the rock and face the Uva Valley, across which some magnificent views of the Madulsima and the Namunukula range of mountains are seen in the distant landscape. The climate of the Gardens is subtropical, cool, fresh and some what similar to an alpine atmosphere.


 The temperature ranges from 3°C to 15° C. While the lowest recorded was 3° C. The gardens receive rainfall from two monsoons. The South West from May to August and the North East from October to December, the annual average rainfall being about 2300 mm.

During the South west monsoon gusts of strong winds blow across the Gardens towards the Uva Valley, making weird sounds. During October to December. When thick mist envelope the gardens, heavy downpours of rain falls more frequent in the afternoon and evenings. The best time to see the gardens is probably from about mid March to the end of April, popularly known as the Nuwara Eliya seasons. The gardens put up their best display of temperate annual flowers, Roses and Orchids during this period.

The flora of the gardens is distinctly sub tropical and consists of representatives of the indigenous, montane flora intermingled with those introduced from other subtropical countries, systematically planted in various sections of the gardens



Hakgala Botanic Gardens open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 2 h

Tourist reviews about Hakgala Botanical Garden

Beautiful Place
Madhawa_h [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The garden is beautiful and filled with flowers. There is lot of things to see and long ways to walk.
Canteen is very small with very low facilities and little varieties of food. Sometimes you get exhausted to find the correct return path.

well worth a visit!
melsDubai [TA], , Dubai

Quite expensive but was lovely walking around seeing what plants from all over the world were grown here, many massive old trees from Australia could be found. Very peaceful gardens and a nice change to walk around and experience it.

Lovely and good for bird watching as well
John4017 [TA], , Brisbane, Australia

The gardens are lovely with great colourful displays of European flowers such as dahlias and roses. It is also a lovely place for a stroll and to see Purple-faced langurs or Purple-faced leaf monkeys (a Sri Lankan endemic). There are good spots for bird watching as well and I saw five species while I was there

Small temple
RAVI11 [TA], , Gurgaon

It is a small temple on the road. although it has lot of historical/religious significant for Hindu devotees but is is small temple.there are two foot prints of hanuman marked in yellow on the water stream .

Nice diversion for the day
Wishdocbr... [TA], , Kuala Lumpur

We were in Nuwara Eliya over the Christmas . As some of the roads were closed because of recent land slides, we decided to take a short trip to Hakgala Botanic Gardens. Even then the roads were single lane for a short stretch. As it was winter there were not many flowers but it was nice enought o spend a morning. However there was huge discrepancy between local and foreign entry fees to the gardens

Great park with a train ride for children
Richard M [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

Loved the train ride for children around the park and the walk around the gardens was very relaxing. We could have stayed for a lot longer.

shehani m [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

We visited this place pretty late in the evening and was not very happy about it. Anyway expected to see more flowers especially roses as this is a flower thats always in bloom in Nuwara Eliya. The place was almost deserted and since there was nothing much to see we left.

Must visit if you are nature lover
DonsTA [TA], , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

You must visit this place as it was very relaxing. We got there in the morning and atmosphere is really nice.

Beautifully maintained
MattandTa... [TA], , Blacktown, Australia

We went on a whim with the kids and wow what a place. The gardens are tended to very well and there's lots of areas for the kids to run around. The water was flowing very nicely through the little water falls so I took a stack of awesome pics. Definitely recommended if you have the time whilst in Nuwara Eliya

Pleasant place to visit
Fawmy85 [TA], , Doha, Qatar

This garden is definitely worth a visit. The flowers are beautiful and we took lots of great photographs. I don't think that it's an experience that you will ever forget. This place surely makes you forget that yourself and really takes you to a different world. There are lovely paths and quiet spaces. Really worth the trip!

Jeevan R [TA], , Orpington, United Kingdom

My mum has taken my brother and I here and we loved it. It is great to take a relaxed stroll around and admire all the beautiful plants.

A very nice place for a morning visit
OrlyNahar... [TA], , Nahariya

The orchid house is not as nice as the one in the botanical garden in singapore.The garden is well orgnized and has a nice selection of troipical plants and its worth the visit.

Hakgala Botanical Gardens- Nuwara Eliya
Praveen P [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Must see place in Nuwara Eliya . Approx. 10km away from Nuwara town . You can have picnic lunch, walking in side the park . There are beautiful flowers, plants and ferns here. Some old tea plantation and old Cyprus trees also there . Can go around the park in your own vehicle too.

pinkypam [TA], , middx

The Gardens were huge and interesting with many varieties of plants. But very few toilet facilities and places to get drinks.

Refreshing break.
Farah K [TA], , Amman, Jordan

My husband and I water staying at Earl's Regency hotel in kandy, and we're taken by our tour driver to sea the tea estates and water falls in Nuwara Elyia. The drive took 3 hours and after the tea factory visit we drove. For another hour to get to this garden.
We were exhausted and didn't want to see any other place, but the moment we got there, and entered the place, we had an energy boost from the view.
The scents were wonderful, the flowers were so colorful, and the walk was worth it.
It was raining in our way there, by the time we got there, it had already stopped, but the smell of the rain and flowers was unbelievable.
I was starving as always, and followed the map to get to the canteen, and was very disappointed to see it, it didn't have a variety of things, juice, and fizzy drinks, as well as biscuits and wafers ( which I don't like) so I ended up buying juice and some chips, it was very cheap. We had 2 chips and 2 juice for 100 rps ( approx. 0.7 dollars)
It wasnt the lunch meal I had in mind, but it gave me some energy to enjoy the garden.
The rose garden, and lower flower garden were my favorite, and I truly enjoyed walking with my husband in the fernery section. The place is private, and again, very refreshing...
You have to be careful from wasps near the rock garden... Anyway, the place is too quite, so no need to worry about disturbing the wasps.
The have the old -hole in the ground- bathrooms, so if you weren't comfortable in using one, make sure you get to a bathroom before reaching the place, or hold it for your next stop.
Note that outside the gardens, you will be charged a 100 rps for parking.

Colours in Parade
Mahinda W [TA], , Colombo

This is a must see at the hill station. It is a beautiful botanic garden, with accent on flowers. The entirety of the park is on a mountain slope in terraced flower beds over vast land expanses, with carefully planned walk ways.

The park maintenance is excellent, along with even more excellent horticultural care. it ensues about 2 hours of very satisfying walking which soothes the eyes withe the myriad colours, the cool weather, and total breathtaking beauty.

I noticed that park care and improvements being done now is adding more value to visitor satisfaction.

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