Hakgala Botanical Garden

Hakgala Botanical Garden


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

Can visit
HARAGOPAL [TA], , Hyderabad, India

This is a beautiful Botanical garden near Sita temple .The entrance fee for foreigners is too high when compared to the LOWER Flower garden,Rock garden, glass house,Uppr flower garden, Fernery,Roe and spice garden are certain important places not to be missed. We have seen ASHOKA TREE and flowers as the tree is related to RAMAYANA , under which SITA was living during the days of captivity in LANKA.

Fairy land
GH1972Pri [TA], , Panadura, Sri Lanka

One of the best maintained Botanical gardens of Sri lanka. 2-3 hours visit will be enough to taste the beauty. Close to Nuwara Eliya town. Weekends are normally packed with local crowd. Please remember to take bottle of water with you. Nice view of the valley.

Loved this place!
Kellie B [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

We loved our visit to Hakgala Botanic Gardens! We spend around two hours exploring the different sections of the gardens. There were some incredible trees and plants from all over the world and the fern garden was amazing. There were few visitors the day we were there and it was wonderful wandering around feeling like we were along in this beautifully kept garden. Lot's of birds and we even saw a big black snake sleeping in the grass! Some of the views over the nearby hills are amazing. You feel like you are on top of the world! There is a bright and colourful Hindu temple on the road from Nuwara Eliya that is worth stopping to have a look at.

Philshard... [TA], ,

Pretty gardens, but when we visited there was limited access to certain areas due to wasps and we found leeches on our shoes when we left. Otherwise lovely!

Flower flower every where
Veensie [TA], , Muscat, Oman

Loved the variety of flowers and the way the garden is maintained. Doesn't excite me much since I have seen it before in India as well. If you are a flower enthusiast donot miss it .

Beautiful and interesting botanical garden
Sara M [TA], , Appledore

The botanical garden covers a large area and a map is provided of the different types of plantings. Unfortunately it was raining but that did not detract from the mature trees, shrubs and flowers. We walked round the perimeter of the garden and walked on the very narrow suspension bridge over the river. We then criss crossed the gardens to ensure we saw everything. It is very well kept by an army of gardeners and is a haven for courting couples wandering around. There is a small cafe but for a decent cup of coffee there is a coffee bar near the exit. A very peaceful environment.

Holidays in Sri Lanka
OliviaAbu... [TA], , Abu Dhabi

Another amazing place to visit and see most of the beauties of nature! It was a very good and nice walk around the gardens and so relaxing! We can say that we refilled our «human batteries», for some more years, with this visit!

Garden of flowers
Chaturang... [TA], , Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Misty, cool yet beautiful...
Very well kept and variety of flowers.
Do not feed monkeys!!
One of Best places in Sri Lanka for whom love nature..!!

Beautiful garden - tiring though
AMITSPVER... [TA], , Hyderabad, India

Lots to see and view in this place - and I never thought I will say so about a botanical garden. Beautifully maintained and a huge variety of trees - flora and fauna on offer.Dont miss the fernery and cactus house and do stop by their resturant in the garden for freshening up.
If lucky, you will bump into a snake charmer with King Cobra on its majestic display.

Beautiful gardens
Ruchi M [TA], , Mumbai (Bombay), India

These gardens are spread across a large area of land and are very well kept. Each tree is labelled and there are several of vintage banyan trees. There is a seperate section for Aleo vera vegetation.
The walk is very nice and there is a royal gardern cafe for some snacks. They have a facility of taking you around in a Golf cart - which needs to be booked in advance.
Beware of monkeys around your path - there are a few and are harmless.
This place is a must visit for its sheer beauty and expanse of greenery

prime9896 [TA], ,

It is amazing to think how much effort they are putting in to maintain this gem. Don't forget to visit the "Fernary" and feel free to climb up the hill. You will not regret.

Flowers, Birds and Butterflies
Rajasingh... [TA], , Kathmandu, Nepal

Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the 4 Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka.
The well maintained loans; flowers from different countries; Trees from different continents; Ponds, small forest patches are ideal habitat for beautiful bird species and butterflies.
The opening time is from 8 am to 5.30 pm, and need to purchase a ticket about 5 $.
Other important things in the Garden: Plant nursery to sell plants, seed store to sell seed, a local canteen etc.
We went there in a morning time on a field trip of Ornithology Group. Managed to see following rare and attractive birds: Scimitar Babbler, Sri Lanka White-eye, Grey Wagtail, Canary Flycatcher, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Great tit, Purple-rumped Sunbirds, Rock Pigeon, etc.

Scenic Beauty
newtonjsu... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Visited this beautiful flower garden. It was much chilly early hours of the morning. Flowers were beautiful. Above is the Hakgala Strict Nature reserve. We heard the call of Sri Lanks Spur fowl from very close by but we were not fortunate enough to see them. Any way they are very shy birds. Beside this we spotted quite a number of Birds here.

Looking forward to re visit in April during which most of the blossoming will take place and it will not be that cold then!.

Clean and well maintained.
vidulahas... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

This is not the 1st time I have visited the place, but compare to my old memories the place is far better than past.

October is not the best time to visit this park, but still there are lot of flowers and place is well maintained. Only problem I had was parking since the vehicle parking facility is limited outside of the premises. There is a little cafeteria and place to buy seeds/plants if you are interested. Lot to walk so be ready for that.

Hakgala Botanic Gardens
Ralini [TA], , Seeduwa

10 km on the Badulla Road.The Garden was first established in 1860 under the curatorship of three Britishers of the same name - William Nock, JK Nocl and JJ Nock. It lies under the Hakgala Peak, between 5000-6000 feet in elevation - the highest set Botanical Gardens in the world. It boasts 100 year old Monetary Cypress trees from California, Japanese Cedars, Himalayan Pines and English Oak.

Nothing much
Padma S [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Compared to Peradeniya botanical gardens, Hakgala is nothing much. Near the entrance to the park is filthy with rubbish thrown everywhere. There was a foul smell of badly kept drains.

Pretty flora
Rasmi S [TA], ,

If you're a plants and flowers enthusiast, it's really nice. If you don't want to pay to see pretty trees and flowers, then don't bother.

Teens & Trees
Clarabell... [TA], , Surrey

Enjoyed seeing local children experience the garden; even the young men were photographing the trees and flowers.

Lovely garden
arulsatch [TA], , Toronto, Canada

We went 3 weeks ago good for nature lovers. Beautiful views and flowers.Make sure u need at least 3 hours to view this garden and u have to walk a lot.

JeromAX [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Well maintained, plant and flower variety is vast.
Best time to visit would be April, but tends to be over crowded. June is another good time, a drizzle might be bothersome though.

Last visited 2013

Nice garden
mininani [TA], , Madrid, Spain

Nice and well maintained botanical garden. Same entrance fee than in Peradeniya garden. As the climate is quite cold in winter, there's no much exotic plants but it's very quiet (no much visitors) and very well maintained.

Relaxing place
GraceJ1 [TA], ,

This Garden is so pretty for me they have lots of variety od plants ,flower ,ferm, And etc.. its so peacefull nice to walk And And looking around to see the Beauty of this garden dont miss this place if your coming to Nuwerlya..

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

Mahen B [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The green house was really nice. did not appreciate running into couples making out along the paths in the bushes!! ;) But all in all nice place to visit, a must if ur in Nuwara eliya

Beautiful garden but take time to explore
Phoebe C [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

We had to pay rupees 1100 per person for entrance fees. This is costly comparing to the free entrance to the Singapore Botanical Gardens back home. With slight unhappiness, we went in but were pleasantly surprised that we enjoyed the walk. We didn't see a lot of blooming flowers(not the right time, I guess) but saw many unique and very old trees. Even my two teenaged boys enjoyed themselves taking interesting photos of the trees in the garden.
It is a pity that our time was limited and we could not explore further.

must visit in nuwara eliya
mahesh991... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

this is located about 5 km away from the city and a must visit in Nuwara Eliya. you can take the vehicle inside the part by paying a small parking fee.

Beautiful well maintained garden
Samarage [TA], , Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Hakgala garden is absolutely a nice and peaceful place. You can find verities of flowers and trees. For me the best part of this garden is Meewana Uyana (Fens Garden)

Little gem in Nuwara Eliya
Buriti [TA], , São Paulo

Small and well kept gardens, ideal place to view the purple-faced monkeys. Good selection of plants and trees.

Mozin G [TA], , Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Beautiful well maintained botanical garden,These hillside gardens are a happy mix of English and Sri Lankan gardening styles

Hakgala garden is a gem in Nuwara Eliya
Harsha_Pi... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

This is a must see place at Nuwara Eliya. My memories of this place take me back to the 60's era when i was taken there by my grandmother. This was a time when the temperature was a few degrees cooler & mist prevailed during most of the daylight hours.
At present the garden is kept in order except for the fact that some unruly visitors pluck flowers, notch up their names on trees, leave litter on the ground, shout at the top of their voices, consume alcohol taken in dark colored bottles & behave in an unruly manner. I have seen that the park wardens do their best to control these. Hakgala is a place for a family to come & chill out & keep your worries away. Be careful of the monkeys & don't encourage them. This also goes for the stray dogs in the park. It is best to take your own food. These is an outlet/nursery to buy plants at a nominal fee depending on the availability. I strongly oppose the smoking of cigarettes in any botanical garden. It harms the environment & the humans who visit it. I feel my worries taken away when in this garden as the memories still linger very strongly.

Fine but...
537pennyr [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Fine to spend time around but compared to Peradeniya Gardens this is far behind. The flower varieties are so beautiful and fresh. I spent about 3 hours and covered the whole place.

Zubair A [TA], , Islamabad, Pakistan

informative for a person from city or desert & not much of an amusement for a person from an agricultural area. The visit seemed to be placing more of yourself at the mercy of the guide of the garden who is constantly trying to sell you the products.

Fun to be among trees and plants
Traveller... [TA], , Lucknow, India

I and my wife used the guide map as a treasure hunt and spent over 3 hours to go around the entire garden. It has a lovely collection of trees, flowers and plants. We loved our time here.

Nice place to spend a family day
Shashanka... [TA], , New Orleans, Louisiana

It is spacious, with lot of variety of flowers, trees and green houses. However, it is not comparable with europe's or USA's botanical gardens yet.

nice and relaxing
kurst22 [TA], , Adelaide, Australia

we were here on a weekend. We took some food from a local bakery and just sat people watching!! It was a nice afternoon to just sit and unwind

Beautiful gardens, worth the visit if it's your thing
Sjoes [TA], , Nijmegen, Gelderland, Netherlands

The Hakgala Botanical Gardens are very nice. They are being maintained good and it is a nice walk through. But it is nothing out of the ordinary.
In short: if you're passing along, it's worth a visit ánd if you like botanical gardens.

love1999 [TA], ,

this botanical garden is nice but smaller than the CANDIs one. but do visit if you have time .. nice trees and paths.

Beautiful gardens!
fixureyes... [TA], , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

I have been to a few different botanical gardens, and this was the best one I've seen. It was large and had many different types of trees and flowers, etc. It was beautiful and seemed to be well maintained. Most of the flowers were pleasant to look at, but some, especially the rose garden, needed to be brought back to life a bit.

Beautiful flowers
Zamtheman [TA], , Colombo, null, Sri Lanka

I liked all blooming flowers. What I didn't like is that there is no proper guiding to cover most of the part. Although direction signs are available, there is no sequence given to cover most of the park.

Delightful stroll in cool hills
FioTravel... [TA], , Manila, Philippines

These hillside gardens are a happy mix of English and Sri Lankan gardening styles. The trees are gorgeous, and the cool, clean air is a treat. Although the gradens may be more peaceful in the early morning, I enjoyed watching the Sri Lankan holiday-makers and schoolchildren on day trips enjoy the park at midday. As with most Sri Lankan attractions, admission is very cheap for locals and a bit pricey for foreigners -- fair enough.

A beautiful place.
Dilrukshi... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

A lovely garden well maintained & a must see for anyone who visits Nuwara Eliya,the best time is early morning as soon as the garden is opened as its not crowded, the best month is in in April when the flowers are in bloom, even in Feb, when I visited there were a few flowers in bloom, which was breathtaking, The Fernery is one of the best with so many varieties of ferns. All in all its one of the best in Asia.

Lovely place
Zeo T [TA], , Auckland, New Zealand

Lovely place to visit in nuwara eliya.30 minutes by bus from city garden.We can see Very old tress and very natural flowers.specially sri ankan roses very beautiful. Middle of the park one of the summer hut you stay and enjoy

Wrong Management
MundM1995 [TA], , Viersen, Germany

The new director trys to expel the bear monkeys from the botanic garden with firecracker although they are living there for more than 300 years and they are a main attraction. Therefore we saw only one of them and they are very shy now. The garden is nice but the Royal Botanical Garden at Kandy is more interesting with many birds and fruit bats.

GreAt garden
1049ba [TA], , Vancouver, Canada

Excellent gardens and photo ops. Also nice to stretch the legs. Liked this garden very much even though flowers bloom later.

Interesting, worth seeing but not exceptional
northt21 [TA], , Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

If you are in the area its worth a visit if you are a keen plants person.

Maintained well but a little more TLC would help.

A lovely wander through some interesting planting.The fern garden is a must see if you like tree ferns. Not many other ferns in that section.

The plant sales area has a limited offering but a few great buys if you live here for the more unusual plants. They are also very good value. Shame its half way around instead of at the end as you will have to carry anything you buy with you for the rest of the visit.

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.

Nice place to walk
lacrosse... [TA], , Orinda, California

Pleasant way to spend a few hours. The grounds are well kept and it was very relaxing. It was quiet and not very crowded.

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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