Kandy

Overview

Kendy,the last royal capital of Sri Lanka is a major tourist destination.The bustling market town in rich in cultural diversity has plentry of itineries to the tourists from songs,dances and handy craft to ancient temples and adventure activities.Kandy is a good transit ponit to the cultural triangle to the north or hill country to the south.Popular among the locals for the cultural and religious value and scenic beauty,Kandy is a city that prides it self as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Kandy is the home to the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, which houses the holy relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Regarded by Buddhists around the world as one of the holiest places linked to Buddhism the temple is thronged by devotees all year around. Among the other sacred places of worship are the Lankathilake Temple and the Gadaladeniya Temple, the former being regarded as a classical representation of the ancient Sinhalese temple architecture.

Kandy becomes highly crowded during the month of August due to the “Kandy Esala Perehera” which is hosted as an annual tradition of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. This extravagant night parade boasts more than 50 elephants along with colorful Kandyan dancers and drummers. It usually attracts a large number of local and foreign tourists who value tradition, customs and Buddhist heritage.

A diversified shopping experience is guaranteed in Kandy where souvenirs range from wooden and stone carvings, to handmade laces and precious stones. On your drive to Kandy of 115Km from Colombo, do not forget to visit the other attractions such as the spice gardens, Pinnawela Elephant orphanage, Mahaweli River and the famous Peradeniya Gardens the largest botanical garden in the country.

The Kanday Perahera is the busiest time for religious visitors. There is also the charm of being surrounded by tropical plantations in the hills and the most important cash crop is Ceylon tea, samples of which can easily be purchased in the city.

 

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Attractions and Places to Visit

Kandy Lake, Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka

The lake was created by the last king of the Kandyan Empire and is artificial. It is also the focal point of the city. In the local lingo it is called Kiri Muhuda and has an island in the centre as well. The end close to the temple of the tooth is very busy, but the far end is quiet and lovely for a walk in the evening. You can also get boats at the jetty and enjoy a boat ride. It is forbidden to swim in the lake as it is considered sacred. It is also a great place to view the Perahera from.

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Kandy Esala Perahera

This is the festival where the golden casket that contains Buddha’s tooth is paraded in a colourful and lively pageant. It is usually in the month of July or August based on when the festive date comes in the local calendar. The final night procession is a spectacular event replete with elephants, drummers and dancers. If you are looking for an impressive cultural experience in Sri Lanka you won’t find one better than this spectacular event.

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Royal Palace

 The Palace of Kandy also houses the National Museum which has relics from both the Kandy Dynasty and the British Colonial times. In fact the Temple of the Golden Tooth actually is part of this complex. The monarch was considered its guardian and protector. The museum also exhibits the history of the Dutch invasions and the final pact with the British.

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Temple of the Golden Tooth

A major attraction in Kandy, Sri Dalada Maligawa, as it is known locally, has a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. The tooth is put on public display once every six years. The temple dates back to the 16th century and yes, the 1998 attack on the temple did see considerable damage done to the octagon, but repairs have been made. The tooth is housed in a casket called a Chedi which is made out of solid gold.

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Royal Botanical Garden

The Gardens are located about five km from the city centre to the west. They are the largest botanical gardens in the country. The location is more popularly known as Peradeniya and they are definitely worth a visit, even if you are not too much into horticulture. It is historically interesting to note that the Commander of the allied forces during World War II in Southeast Asia was Lord Earl Mountbatten who had his headquarters in these very gardens.

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Ceylon Tea Museum

About 5km from Kandy city is the Hantane Tea Factory where the Ceylon Tea Museum is located. Hantane is where the initial successful tea cultivation took place after the failure of coffee cultivation. The building in existence today is a modern version of the old one and was built in 1925. As you enter the tea factory, you will get a typical feel of a large, light and airy atmosphere. The ground floor demonstrates the process of tea manufacturing while the upper floors (previously used to whither freshly plucked tea) hold a library, some exhibits, a restaurant and an audio-visual presentation area.

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Knuckles Range

The Knuckles Range is a mountain range, one of the loveliest Kandy tourist attractions, and can be accessed easily from Kandy. This range is as massive as 18512 hectares and is a trekker’s paradise because it consists of panoramic grasslands, rugged mountain peaks, calm rivers, and cascading waterfalls. The name given to the mountain range is because of its shape: a series of recumbent folds that look like knuckles of a clenched fist when seen from several angles. Early british evaluators gave the mountains this name but the Sinhalese often refer to them as Dumbara Kanduvetiya – translated as mist-laden mountain range. Almost always enveloped in thick layers of cloud, the Knuckles Range is also known for its unique variety of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else.

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