The latest addition to the 5 botanical gardens in Sri Lanka, the Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Garden in Avissawella was opened to the public towards the latter part of the year 2014. You can access the botanical gardens if you travel along the Puwakpitiya – Thummodara main road while the gardens will be adjacent to the Indikada Mukalana Forest Reserve in Avissawella. The drive from Colombo takes approximately an hour or slightly more.
This wet zone botanical garden covers a land area of 79 acres (32 ha) while the climate is quite cool and temperate. The wet zone plants are well nourished since there is a stream that flows through the garden. The gardens are yet to be expanded to 105 acres in the future.
The main reason behind the garden being opened to the public is to offer a new experience for local as well as foreign visitors. This botanical garden will also serve the purpose of conserving endemic and threatened plants that are found in the Ratnapura – Sinharaja region.
The garden also serves as a conservation ground for wet lowland plants while promoting bamboo cultivation. Training programs for individuals who are involved in horticulture and facilitating research opportunities for researches and undergraduate students are also carried out here.
The paths are paved in stone so that you can comfortably walk around the garden. Information maps and boards are available for you to follow the route. The garden is quite photogenic while most trees consist of name boards so you are educated while enjoying the scenery. According to visitor reviews, the most scenic venue of the wet zone garden is the large lawn area with kumbuk trees and a small lake area. It’s the ideal place to enjoy some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors are requested not to pollute the garden.
Text by Department of National Botanic Gardens