The public park of Malaysia, Penang Botanic Gardens is located in Jalan Air Terjun in George Town. There is rapidly streaming waterfall near to the Gardens and hence it is also known as the “Waterfall Gardens”. Charles Curtis supervised the construction of the Botanic Gardens which got its establishment in 1884. Before its establishment there were two botanical gardens in Penang. During the period from 1794 to 1806, it was the Spice Gardens. However in 1822, it was urged by Singapore Botanic Gardens then superintendent Sir Stamford Raffles to establish a garden. It was at that time when the kitchen gardens were established. However, the garden was sold in 1834 by Governor Kenneth Murchison due to his lack of interest.
The present Botanic Gardens also suffered a lot of setback before its final establishment. In 1910, it was proposed that the valley where the Gardens stood would be developed for a reservoir. However the garden withstood the threat as the proposal was dropped and a small reservoir was built near to the Waterfall. Charles Curtis was appointed as the superintendent of the Gardens. He was an effective designer and proved his motivation by changing the garden area from just a tropical valley with nutmeg plantations to pleasurable and recreational Botanical Gardens. However, nowadays much of the Botanical Garden’s administrative responsibility is handled by the Penang State Government. Since the change of hands took place, there has been a change in the purpose of the Gardens as well. Much of the botanical activities gave way to normal park-like activities. Today also a lot of botanical research and ecological programs take place in the gardens on a national and international scale. The programs mainly deal with the garden’s cultural heritage, green landscape and wide variety of botany. You will definitely increase your knowledge in horticulture and taxonomy on visiting the place.
The main reason for the increasing number of tourists in this place is the garden’s green landscape made up of its valley region with tropical rain forests surrounding it. There is also a beautiful 400 feet waterfall at the Penang Waterfall Gardens. Since the waterfall fall under private property you need to get in touch with Penang Water Authority before paying it a visit. In the 1960s, the waterfall was stopped from being a public place due to security reasons. The reservoir present at the feet of the waterfalls was renowned for its quality water. However, only a small proportion of the water is used for supplying to the Penang household.
A common sight in the Botanical Gardens is the Rhesus monkeys. There are 200 of them and you would definitely not miss them. It is advisable to visit the gardens in the morning, since the tourist crowd won’t be there and you will feel refreshed by the cool atmosphere. The wide varieties of trees in the garden include Betel Palm, tamarind and bamboo. You can reach out to the place by bus from near to Komtar building.