Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens
Originally founded by the British in 1821 to grow coffee and cinnamon, today the 147-acre Peradeniya Botanical Gardens are the largest in the country. Located just under 6km from Kandy, these gardens contain a varied collection of tropical woody plants. The important specimens found here include, palms, orchids, gymnosperms and flowering trees. The intriguing ‘Cannonball Tree’, planted by King George V and Queen Mary in 1901, is a key feature here. A 40-meter-tall Burma Bamboo and a giant Javan fig tree are also popular attractions. The gardens were used by the Allied effort during the Second World War. The botanical gardens served as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command under Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in South Asia.