Peradeniya is a suburb of Kandy located 6 km (4 miles) southwest of the Tooth Temple. Peradeniya is the main university city of central Sri Lanka. Among tourists, Peradeniya is well-known for Sri Lanka's oldest and largest Botanical Garden, which is also one of the largest in the tropics. The garden is located in a loop of the Mahaweli River, which washed up different diverse kinds of soil and sand, creating various environmental conditions on the small river peninsula, which covers 60 hectares. A first garden was already created in the pre-colonial period by the kings of Gampola and Kandy. This is why the garden bears the title "Royal". However, the Botanical Garden as a systematic collection of plant species and in its current layout came to existence in the mid 19th century under British rule, after the British had used the areas or growing coffee and cinnamon previously. During World War II, the Botanic Garden served for a while as Lord Mountbatten's headquarters of the British South East Asia Command after the fall of Singapore. The gardens were also used as one of the settings of the Oscar-winning movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai" of 1957. The Botanical Garden was formally founded in 1912. Today, Peradeniya Botanical Garden harbours more than 4000 plant species. It's particularly famous for its wide range of tree species and its orchid house. A highlight is the enourmously wide canopy of the giant Java Fig standing isolated on the most picturesque lawn of the garden.