Ranweli Spice Garden

Ranweli Spice Garden

places to visit in kandy

Sri Lanka is known all over the world for its rare spices and herbs.

 In fact to spice lovers Sri Lankan spices mean an expression of a colorful history and delightful surprise, just like the Island. 

At New Ranweli Spice and Herbal Garden you will get the chance of seeing how spices and herbs like Turmeric,  Pepper Corns, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Aloe Vera, etc. are grown in their natural environment.

New Ranweli spice and Herbal Garden is located in the Hill Capital,in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden.

The specialty of our spice and herbal garden is that you can learn about the spices and natural products while being in a serene, healthy and pollution free environment. In other words it is totally away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Spice Gardens in Sri lanka

Spice Gardens in Sri Lanka

One must visit a Spice Garden in Sri Lanka to get an insight into the long cherished spice history of the island. Spice gardens in the hill capital ,Matale, Mawanella etc. give fascinating experiences to spice lovers from all over the world. In fact most of the tourists visiting these gardens take back with them a memorable experience after seeing and feeling Sri Lankan spices.
Sri Lanka which was then known as Taprobane, was world renowed for its high Quality Spices. It is believed even during ancient times the Greeks, Romans and the Arabic kept up their connections with Sri Lanka through the spice trade. In the sixteenth century Ceylon, as Sri lanka was then known, was found by Portuguese who soon started exchanging cinnamon and different spices with the kings of Ceylon. They were followed by the Dutch and English who contributed their share to shape Sri lanka's spice history. In fact in the Western part of the country which was mostly frequented by the Europeans, the uniqueness of the dishes can be tasted even today.

Among the mostly exchanged spices, cinnamon takes the first place.The Dutch loved cinnamon and even went to the extent of imposing certain laws to punish those who fell or harmed cinnamon trees. Among the other much valued sri lankan spices are  cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, mace and pepper, for which Sri Lanka is famous all over the world.

  pepper corns                               


New Ranweli Spice Garden Sneak a Peek Pepper Corns
Pepper Corns




New Ranweli Spice Garden Sneak a Peek Vanilla



New Ranweli Spice Garden Sneak a Peek Nutmeg

Aloe Vera                              

New Ranweli Spice Garden Sneak a Peek Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera


New Ranweli Spice Garden Sneak a Peek Cocoa

World renowned chef Peter Kuruvita visits Ranweli Spice Garden




ranweli spice garden my sri lanka


Sri Lankan Spice Trade

Sri Lankan Spice Trade

Even though Sri Lankan spices were rare,costly and a luxury that the ordinary people could not afford they have been available in the European spice market for a considerable length of time. As a matter of fact, there was a time, a pound of spice was viewed as more significant than a pound of gold.

The spice trade in Asia at the time was a kind of a monopoly. The spice exchange was run by the Arabic and North African dealers who were prepared to pay a great sum of money for a pound of the fascinating thing. But things changed after some time,due to the development took place in shipbuilding and the voyages of discoveries another more powerful group entered the so called spice competition in Asia. It was the  Expert Sailors of Europe who became a great challenge to the Arabs who had a strong hold of the spice trade.

By the 1400's the European sailors had realized that their ships  could beat camels, so the European sailors started to sail towards Asia searching for new land and the valuable rare spices. Thus, spices would eventually be transported via ocean from the Indies to Europe, and the Middle Eastern middlemen would be no more the masters of the spice trade.

It was presumably the Portuguese traveler Vasco de Gama in 1498 who is credited with the discovery of a sea route from Europe to Asia.To be more precise from Europe to India. This discovery of Vasco de Gama was a great stride in the expansion and spread of the Sri Lankan spice in the European market. Vasco de Gama's success as a pilgrim prompted the Portuguese arrival in Sri Lanka in 1536, though they were not greatly welcome by the Muslim traders and the Sinhalese , after sometime a settlement was reached by Portugal and Sri Lanka that incorporated a tribute of 110,000 pounds of cinnamon paid every year to Portugal by the Sinhalese Kings. Ever since Sri Lankan spices specially cinnamon were widely available in the European spice market.

History of Spices


  History of Spices

Spices which we take today for granted have once been the biggest trade in the world. It has contributed a great deal to the discovery of new land. It has made kings conquerors. It has created  and destroyed empires. It has made masters slaves. And this list of things is unending.

We hear stories of the Ancient Greeks and Romans controlling the spice trade in Europe and we also hear that once spices were used as a form of payment. In other words spices like cinnamon and cloves have been used as currency a long time ago.  All this is evidence to suggest how much spices were valued all over the world. 

As already mentioned the spice trade was mainly in the hands of the Arab traders who made a lot of profit by acting as middlemen. The Europeans did not have access to the Eastern spice market because during that time there was no sea route to reach the spice producing countries of Asia. 

Nevertheless during the 15th century that is during the Renaissance period people started to look afar for new opportunities. It was during this period they discovered the new sea route to the East and started to dominate the sea trade and particularly the spice trade in the world.

Among the nations who wanted to control the spice trade were the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, and the English. Not only did they engage in the spice trade ,they also changed the whole of Asia tremendously

Location of New Ranweli Spice Garden

Historical Importance of  The Location of New Ranweli Spice Garden




About 374 years ago the famous Gannoruwa battle was fought between the Portuguese and the Sinhalese. Many historians say if the Portuguese were able to defeat the Sinhalese during this battle, the year that the whole of Sri Lanka was captured by a Western Power wouldn't be 1815 but 1638. It was because the Gannoruwa battle was so decisive and brutal and can be labelled as one of the bloodiest battles fought in Sri Lanka. Ever since the Portuguese landed in Sri Lanka in 1505 the locals were trying to find a way to drive them away from the country. Portuguese on the other hand always were planning on capturing the entire country. To fulfill their goal they had to defeat the kingdom of Kandy because Kandy had always been independent and the thick jungle surrounding Kandy always provided protection. In fact many foreign nations tried to capture the kingdom of Kandy and failed miserably. Portuguese too with the leadership of a valiant general named Diogo De Mello made an attempt to capture the Kingdom of Kandy and become the masters of the whole country. But when the portuguse entered Kandy they found to their amazement the entire place abandoned. This was similar to what happened to Napoleon and his army when they went to Russia. The Kings' men knowing that they did not stand a chance against the trained Portuguese soldiers had abandoned Kandy and gone into the jungles. De Mello and the Portuguese soldiers thinking that the Sinhalese have escaped out of fear, looted the whole Kandy city and started marching towards Danture and Gannoruwa. These areas were thick jungles and the Sinhalese who were hiding in these areas started to attack the Portuguese. Here in the Gannoruwa battle, it is said that the Portuguese were severely defeated and only a few could escape and return to Colombo.

Benefits of spices

Benefits of spices



Imagine your favorite dishes with no spices. Impossible, right? Right from the kitchen and as home remedies spices play a big role in most of Sri Lankan households. As Sri Lanka  is blessed with a mixed atmosphere each of its provinces produces some spice or the other. No big surprise why spices are utilized so widely for cooking in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka as well as in some other nations spices are believed to perform miracles.

Aside from added to enhance the, flavor,taste and aroma, of food, spices give unbounded medical advantages too. we can make the most of all these spices, if we know their uses better. Some may even be a substitute for your medicine.

 We can without much of a stretch put it like this, wherever you discover a Sri Lankan you will discover Sri Lankan spices. No big surprise, because from the time immemorial spices were widely used in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans are very proud of their spices and cooking. when all the fancy food items from all over the world come to Sri Lanka, some Sri Lankans still stick to their traditional spicy foods because of their nutritional value.