These pools belonged to the royal baths of the ancient city of Sigiriya. It was built on top of a rock, its impressive irrigation system continues to amaze researchers. It was so advanced that the Sinhalese were able to have sufficient water reserves to live at 200 meters above sea level, overlooking a meadow, with the water rising thanks to an ingenious construction. The royal baths were built in brick, in a fairly simple and squared shape, tiered to lower slowly. The amazing thing is that water in these tanks is still good, the building being as it was. We are in a very dry place, but they do not allow a drop of rain to escape. The king probably had the best view from his bathroom than any other person, I do not know if the pool was outdoors or if it had walls.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens are one of the three gardens of its kind in Sri Lanka. They are very large and beautiful. The entrance fee in the one we went to, just like in the two others, costs 600Rs for foreigners whic is roughly 5 euros. It is quite a lot for a garden, especially in this country, but thanks to this donation, you help support very beautiful and endemic plants. We wanted to get from Haputale, Nuwara Eliya bypass, but it was a very long way and the road was in bad condition. It's probably more convenient to take a train and then a bus from Nuwara down to the gardens, or a tuk tuk. The garden is 1500 meters high up, which gives it a cool climate. It was founded in 1861, at the start it was a plantation to try to cultivate the cinchona, a kind of plant that usually grows at this hight. It was a success and gradually they imported plants from all around the world, which have adapted very well to the place. It is a very cool and relaxing garden.
Hakgala Gardens have an entire section dedicated just to roses, which is beautiful. Cultivating a wide range of different roses, each with its own smell and colour, forming small bushes or larger plants. We met one of the gardeners who was very passionate about his job, despite not speaking English well he taught us a lot about the plants, which had the best smell, which won awards ... There was a group of children in white uniforms, as it was the end of the school year. They were on a day out with their families here. They were more curious about seeing two white people than the roses!
The Garden of Medicinal Plants is located in the southern part of the botanical gardens of Paradeniya. In Sri Lanka, the traditional medicine Ayurveda is widely used. These Indian techniques, like the use of plants and massage, are alternatives techniques to our modern medicine. In the garden, there are many different plants, like cinnamon, lemon grass, the arjuna and many more. Infusions are made with these plants, but they can also be applied on the body like a cream. Outside the botanical gardens, throughout the country, there are some medicinal gardens where people will have to explain the use of each plant as a traditional medicine. The advantage is that you can browse in peace and there isn't anyone to push you to buy such products.