During I was doing my A levels in 2014/15, in the second term holiday I stayed at my uncle’s at Ganemulla in Gampaha district. So, I continued A level extra classes in Gampaha just for a month, I met my schoolmates also there who attend the same lectures.
I asked her whether there are any places to visit in Gampaha to relax my mind. That’s when she told me about Gampaha Botanical Garden. So, I decided to visit the garden after the lecture was over. it was only about 500m away from the railway station so I walked on foot. as far as I can remember it only cost 60 rupees for the entrance ticket.
I couldn’t spend more time there because my uncle was waiting for me so I had to get back home. That was my first time at the Gampaha Botanical Garden.
It took two years to visit there again. In 2017, one day I planned my second visit to Gampaha. I went to Colombo Fort Railway Station to get the train. You can catch the train to Gampaha (Colombo Fort-Rambukkana Train) about every 15-20 minutes. It takes about 30 minutes by express train and 40-50 minutes by intercity.
The Gampaha Botanical Garden also known as Henarathgoda Botanical Garden is situated approximately 450 m (1480 ft) away from the Gampaha railway station on Gampaha-Minuwangoda main road. It is one of the six botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. And it is the only botanical garden in the western province, near to the commercial city Colombo, outside the hill country in Sri Lanka. It’s not large as Peradeniya Botanical Garden, but a perfect place to relax and enjoy the calm nature alone, with your family, friends or loved ones.
History of Gampaha Botanical Gardens
British naturalists published numerous experiments on botany along with other sciences throughout the 19th century. One of their concerns was to consider prospects for the establishment of rubber-producing plants in Asia, in India as well as Ceylon they cultivated numerous rubbers bearing crops.
In 1876, rubber seedlings were imported from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew gathered from the Amazon forest, and established in the Gampaha Gardens. Because of the failure of Rubber experiments in India, the British naturalists largely focused their experiments on Ceylon and revealed that Ceylon affords the same environmental situation as the Amazon.
The first rubber tree imported into Sri Lanka was first planted in this garden, and it became the first Brazilian rubber tree seedlings ever planted in Asia since the seeds were smuggled out of Brazil. After the successful experiment, Sri Lanka produces a very good quality rubber ever since. Most of these 19th-century trees remain in the Garden. It now acts as a tropical lowland Botanic Garden. For more details click
Inside the Gampaha Botanical Garden…
Henarathgoda Botanical Garden covers an area of 37 acres and it has heavy biodiversity and a great wide range of trees along with bamboo, palm trees, ferns orchids, and medicinal plants. It also includes a Japanese garden, a rose garden, and palms garden.
The Gampaha Botanical Garden is home to many bird species, reptiles, and butterflies including endemic species. The garden is bordered by the Attanagalu Oya in the south. The Botanical Garden has been quite accommodating since the outset.
The details provided a good understanding (including the first rubber tree) of the garden’s historical significance. All the trees were specifically named. So, it’s easy to be identified. The children’s’ park in the Gampaha Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to enjoy the time with your kids. And there’s a ground in the middle of the garden.
Youths play cricket in the ground and it’s a common scenery in the garden. The garden also includes a treehouse, and a canteen and restrooms, as well as small huts, to have rest. The Gampaha Botanic Gardens is a wonderful day out for all.
The garden consists of boat rides in the Attanagalu Oya besides the garden and a bridge over the river which provides a panoramic view of the river. If you are in Colombo, don’t forget to visit Gampaha Botanical garden, you can have a long walk, enjoy nature, rest and have a boat ride. And it will be a cool experience for sure.
Guides & Tips
- The garden is open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm for the whole year.
- You should bring food and beverages if you wish to spend quite a bit of time because there’s only one cafe in the garden and there are not enough selections.
- You can park your vehicles at the car park and if you want you can park it in the middle of the garden for a small fee.
- Best time to enjoy the calm nature in the park – around 8-10 am
- Best time to play and have fun with your family and friends- 3-5 pm
- Boat rides require about 180 rupees.
- Don’t leave garbage in the park and be sure to keep them in dustbins.
Entrance Fee for Overseas Tourist
- Adult & child (elder than 12) – Rs.1500
- Child (younger than 12) – Rs.750
- School & University Student (Must have proof) – Rs.1000
Entrance Fee for Locals
- Adults -Rs.60
I would like to visit Henarathgoda Botanical Garden soon one more time. This time I will take my boyfriend who hasn’t visited the garden yet. These photographs were taken during my second visit. I hope you will see this beauty of the Gampaha Botanical Garden with your own eyes.