Sang Nila Utama Garden: 14th Century Javanese Garden In Fort Canning That Looks Straight Out Of Bali

Sang Nila Utama Garden in Fort Canning Park

Sang Nila Utama. Many of us know him as the Srivijayan prince who discovered Singapore back in the late 1200s, but few know that there is actually a garden by the same name, free for all to visit. Nestled deep in Fort Canning Park, the Sang Nila Utama Garden is one of 9 themed gardens in the park.

From the very second you step foot into the garden, you are transported to what feels like ancient Bali. Here’s what to look out for if you decide to visit.

For other unique nature spots in Singapore, check out:

Get an idea of what Fort Canning Park looked like in ancient times

Unlike many of the other gardens in Singapore that are more modern in nature, the Sang Nila Utama garden was constructed with the past in mind. It was intended to be a restoration of forgotten historical landscapes and an environment that most closely resembled what the area would have looked like in ancient times. Walking around, you’ll spot statues of creatures that once roamed the palace grounds like frogs and ducks littered around the area.

Image credit: @nurfish

To ensure the highest degree of historical accuracy, archaeologists, historians and even old historical records were consulted during its construction. The result is a tranquil hidden gem, perfect for pictures or just a quiet appreciation of nature and history. 

Take IG-worthy “Bali” pictures and fool your friends

Social media addicts will be happy to know that the garden is also home to plenty of picturesque spots that make for great photo backdrops. 

The distinctive split gates and symmetrical layout are all features of Javanese architecture.

The split gates, in particular, look right out of Bali – the Javanese gateway entrance is reminiscent of the Gates of Heaven outside Lempuyang Temple in Bali. 

Getting to Sang Nila Utama Garden

Just a 1-minute walk from Fort Canning MRT station, the park is one of the most accessible in Singapore. With covered escalators and walkways connecting different sections of the park, the area is wheelchair-friendly as well. More than that, the gardens are pet-friendly, so bring your furry friends along for the ride as well.

Image credit: @isofurry

After you’re done exploring the Sang Nila Utama garden, consider venturing to one of the 8 other themed gardens in the Park. Some notable ones include Raffles Garden and Farquhar Garden, named after founding fathers Sir Stamford Raffles and Major-General William Farquhar respectively.

Sang Nila Utama Garden
Address: 1 Canning Rise, Singapore 179868
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Nearest MRT station: Fort Canning

Cover image adapted from: @iamonyx16

Cherisse Goldwich

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