Hakgala is a rock at the southern edge of the highland valley of Nuwara Eliya, the village of the same name is famous for the scenic Hakgala Botanical Garden, which is the highest of Sri Lanka’s five botanical gardens. Second in size only to the famous Peradinya Botanical Garden, it‘s also one of the largest gardens in Sri Lanka. Hakgala it’s famous for ist orchid garden in particular. The place is perfect for birdwatching, too, as the adjoining Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve, which is not open to the public, is one of the most important habitats of Sri Lanka’s typical highland bird species, besides Horton Plains National Park further south and Galway National Park near Nuwara Eliya further south. The Hakgala garden was established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of chinchona and later on of tea. For Hindu pilgrims, Hakgala Rock surmounting the Botanical Garden is a sacred place as it is believed to be one place of special significance for Ravana, a main character from the sacred Ramayana epic. The nearby Sita Eliya is believed the place where the abducted Sita, consort of Lord Rama, was held in captivity during most of the time she was held in captivity on the island of Lanka.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka