Saturday, April 7, 2018

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden, Gamapaha, Sri Lanka
Henarathgoda Botanical Garden (also known as Gampaha Botanical Garden) is one of the botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. The garden is located in Gampaha, about 30 km north-west of Colombo. Established in 1876 for the reception of the original Para Rubber from Brazil, the garden was the first nursery for the development of the rubber industry not only in Sri Lanka but elsewhere in Asia as well (Gunawardena, 2003).

History
During the 19th century, British rulers were trying to establish rubber yielding plants in their colonies in Asia. They experimented various types of rubber plants such as Para Rubber, Gutta-percha, Panama Rubber, Balatta and Lagos Rubber in India and Ceylon and found out that Ceylon has same environmental conditions as that of the Amazon.

The first rubber plant in Sri Lanka, HenarathgodaIn 1876, some of the rubber seeds collected from the Amazon forest were imported from the Royal Botanical Garden in Kew and planted at Henarathgoda garden (Gunawardena, 2003). At the time the garden was handled by Muhandiram A. de Zoysa under the supervision of the director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. After 13 years, the plants were blossomed yielding the first stock of seeds that were distributed throughout the country as well as some other countries including South India, Malaysia, and Myanmar.

However, the first rubber plant was collapsed in 1988 due to a rainstorm and the remaining are now being preserved as a national monument.

The garden
The garden has been established on a low lying area (mean sea level - 10 m) compared to the other botanical gardens on the island. It covers about 43 acres and the southern part of the garden is bordered by Attanagalu Oya. It consists of several sections such as Arboretum, Fernery, Palmetum, Student Garden, Fruit Garden, Flower Garden, Plant houses and Spice section. The garden is administrated by the Department of Agriculture. 

Henarathgoda Garden Henarathgoda Garden
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References
1) Gunawardena, C.A., 2003. Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers, New Delhi. ISBN: 81 207 2536 0. p.39.
2) Official website of the Department of National Botanic Gardens - Henaratgoda Garden

Location Map

This page was last updated on 6 April 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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