10 km away from Nuwara Eliya town to the south, 1700m above the sea level, there is the Hakgala Garden, which was established in 1860 by the eminent British Botanist Dr. G.H.K. Thwaites. The scientist was superintendent of the more famous gardens at Peradeniya: first as a cinchona plantation from which the anti-malarial drug quinine is derived, and then adapted to an experimental garden for the acclimatization of plants from temperate zones in the tropic. There are over 10,000 species of flora planted here. In the garden can be found all the flowers of an english cottage garden in spring and summer, and much others – such as the oldest tea-bush in the island, an ornamental pond and quaint sommerhouse. Hakgala (Jaw Rock) rises a sheer 460 m and offers one of the most beautiful views ever.

Legend says it was part of the Himalayas carried here by the monkey-god Hanuman in his quest to help Rama rescue Sita from the demon-king Ravana. Sita Eliya, site of Sita’s imprisonment, stands a mere mile away, with the Sita Amman kovil close by.

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