Friday, March 26, 2010
The Road to Peradeniya's Ancient Botanical Garden, Sri Lanka
SIX Kilometers from Kandy is a botanical garden that dates back from 1371. This was commissioned by King Wickramabahu III.
I couldn't leave Kandy without seeing this garden, so instead of hiring a tuktuk that would have cost me 700 rupees, I took the local bus (bus no. 654) from the Clock Tower Bus Terminal. Amidst a sea of friendly black faces, I stood in a very congested bus, paying only 15 rupees to get there. Everyone was taking care of me: the driver, the conductor and a passenger who would continually reassure me that this next stop so-and-so would be my stop. Such charming people.
The entrance is a bit too much - 600 rupees for foreigners and 30 rupees for locals. What stark difference! These people must think that money grows on trees in tourist la-la land!
My favorite places: the Cannonball Tree, with "fruits" hanging by its trunk, looking like, you guessed it - cannonballs! I also love the suspension bridge although it's a wonder why they wouldn't allow people walking on it, it's sealed off! The orchidarium is almost non-existent, and the fernery could be improved further. There were perky lovers all over the park, and elsewhere, you see locals bathing by Mahaweli River.
It took me close to 2 hours to roam the park, my skin was toast from the harsh sun. I waited just outside the entrance gate for my bus back to Kandy. It was even cheaper at 12 rupees.
This is the Eye in the Sky!