Hakgala Gardens

Gardens in Nuwara Eliya

These attractive gardens, 10km southeast of Nuwara Eliya, are a peaceful retreat. Highlights include a fine rose garden, a Japanese garden, an orchid collection, cedars and giant cypresses. However, the entrance fee is very steep for foreigners. Planting season is between January and late March and at these times the gardens don't really look their best.

To get here, take a Welimada-bound bus (Rs 22, 20 minutes).

Legend has it that Hanuman, the monkey god, was sent by Rama to the Himalayas to find a particular medicinal herb. He forgot which herb he was looking for and decided to bring a chunk of the Himalayas back in his jaw, hoping the herb was growing on it. The gardens grow on a rock called Hakgala, which means ‘jaw-rock’.