Kandy, the bustling hill country capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for the pink painted Temple of the Tooth which houses the most sacred religious relic, the tooth of the Buddha, the Kandy Lake built in 1807 which is an attractive centerpiece to the town and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Kandy is also popular because of the annual festival known as the Esala Perahera where the inner casket covering the tooth relic of the Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city held annually in the month of July or August. Kandy is also particularly famed for the great Kandy Esala Perehara (a Pageant of Elephants and Dancers), which is over ten days in the month of Esala (August) having many attractions to justify.
01.TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH RELIC OF LORD BUDDHA.
(.5Kms from the City Center)
Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple.
02.KANDY NATIONAL MUSEUM/ROYAL PALACE
(.5Kms away from the City Center)
The National Museum of Kandy in Kandy, Sri Lanka is located next to the Temple of the Tooth relic of Lord Buddha in part of the former Royal Palace of Kandy. The primary exhibits are housed in the Palle Vahala building, which was the former home of the King’s harem. A secondary exhibition is located in the main palace building. The Palle Vahala (lower palace) or Meda Vahala (middle palace) was constructed during the Sri Vickrama Rajasingha era and was used as the quarters of the queens of King of Kandy.This building has been built according to the architectural features of Kandy period.The museum was opened to the public in 1942. The museum has over 5,000 artifacts on display consist of weapons, jewelry, tools and other artifacts from the Kandian era (17-19th Century) and post British Colonial era, including a copy of the 1815 agreement that handed over the Kandyan provinces to the British. In the grounds of the museum is a statue of Sir Henry Ward a former Governor of Ceylon (1855–1860), which was originally located in front of the Queen’s Hotel.
Kandy Lake is an artificial lake in the heart of the hill city of Kandy, Sri Lanka, built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe next to the Temple of the Tooth. Over the years, it was reduced in size. It is a protected lake, with fishing banned. There are many legends and folklore regarding the lake. One such is that the small island at its center was used by the king’s helm for bathing and was connected to the palace by a secret tunnel.
04.ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
(06Kms away from the city center)
Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya are about 5.5 km to the west of the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It attracts 2 million visitors annually.It is near the Mahaweli River (the longest in Sri Lanka).It is renowned for its collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.
05.ROYAL FOREST PARK – Udawaththa Kele Sanctuary
(02Kms away from the City)
Udawatta Kele Sanctuary often spelled as Udawattakele, is a historic forest reserve on a hill-ridge in the city of Kandy. It is 104 hectares (257 acres) large. During the days of the Kandyan kingdom, Udawatta Kele was known as “Uda Wasala Watta” in Sinhalese meaning “the garden above the royal palace”. The sanctuary is famous for its extensive avi fauna. The reserve also contains a great variety of plant species, especially lianas, shrubs and small trees. There are several giant lianas. Many of small and medium size mammals that inhabit Sri Lanka can be seen here. Several kinds of snakes and other reptiles might be seen. Udawatta Kele was designated as a forest reserve in 1856, and it became a sanctuary in 1938.
06. BAHIRAWA KANDA BUDDHA STATUE
(02Kms from the Center)
Bahirawa Kanda Buddha statue is one of the largest sitting Buddha Statue in the world.The height of the statue is about 88feets located on the top of the hill called Bahirawa Kanda.
07.NATIONAL RAIL WAY MUSEUM
(16kms away from the City Center)
This is the national railway museum of Sri Lanka, located in Kadugannawa. The railway museum is owned by Sri Lanka Railways.The museum was opened on 27 December 2014 in order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of railway service in Sri Lanka. Previously, the museum was located in Colombo.The old museum has been opened in May 2009. The museum has old engines, locomotives, rail cars, trolleys, carriages, machinery, and equipment that used since the beginning of Sri Lanka Railway.
08. GADALADENIYA/EMBEKKE/LANKATHILAKA Buddhist Temples
(16Kms away from the city center)
Gadaladeniya temple: Gadaladeniaya Temple was built by King Wickramabahu in 1344 during the Gampola Kingdom time. At the entrance, you can see the Dageba ( pagoda) by your right-hand side. Actually, this consists of one main Dageba and four small ones. The main Dageba is covered with a roof. There are four small shrine rooms around it with small dagoba located on top of each. The Boo tree is located in front of the dageba and there is an old inscription located by it. You can see that is covered with a fence to prevent from damaging
Embekke Temple: Located in the Central province 07 kms away from Kandy, Embakke Devale consists of a single storeyed building, which was reconstructed during the Kandyan period. The devale consists of a Garbha, a sanctum, Dancing hall and a Drummer’s hall. The Drummers hall is an attraction to the visitor for the wood carvings on its ornate pillars and high- pitched room. It is believed that some of this wood carving had come from an abandoned royal audience hall in Gampola.
Lankathilaka Temple: The history of the temple goes back to the 14th century. According to historical reports this temple was built by King Bhuvanekabahu IV, who reigned from 1341 to 1351 A. D.He entrusted the construction of this temple to his Chief Minister named Senalankadhikara, who successfully finished the works of this temple. The architecture of the temple was designed by a South Indian architect named Sathapati Rayar.According to the Professor Senarath Paranavithana, Sathapati Rayar designed this temple using Sinhalese architecture of Polonnaruwa era and also with other Dravidian and Indo Chinese architectural patterns.
09.CULTURAL & DANCE SHOW
The origin of the dances of Sri Lanka lies with the indigenous people of Sri Lanka. There are three main styles of Sri Lankan classical dance – The Kandyan dances of the Hill Country, The low country dances of the southern plains and the Sabaragamuwa dances. Sri Lankan dance forms are an expression of rhythm and movement.
10.THE ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE
(40Kms Away from the City Center )
This orphanage was set up by the government to take care of baby elephants lost or abandoned in the wild. Witness the feeding of the elephants. The baby elephants being bottle fed with milk is a heartwarming sight. Thereafter observe them as they take their daily bath in the river nearby, which affords marvelous photo opportunities. Bath time is enjoyed by all elephants, young and old alike and it is a good time to closely observe their tightly knit family structure. The young elephants are protected and cared for, by the older ones in the group and the leader of the group is respected by all. (Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Daily feeding times- 9.15 a.m.,1.15 p.m. 5.00 p.m. Bathing times – 10.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m., 4.00 p.m.)
11.HERBAL & SPICES GARDEN /MATALE/MAWANELLA
(25Kms Away from the City Center )
Sri Lanka is famous for its spices and spice gardens. These spice gardens offer tourists memorable visits to various spice plantations in Sri Lanka. In order to promote and uplift spice growing and spice gardens of Sri Lanka a spice Council was established with all key industry private and public sector stakeholders. During early historical times Sri Lanka known as Taprobane, was world renowed for its Quality Spices. During ancient times the Greeks, Romans and the Arabic maintained their links with Sri Lanka through the spice trade.
In the 16th century Ceylon, as it was then known, was discovered by Portuguese who soon began trading in cinnamon and other spices. The Dutch and British followed bringing with them their own history and influences, forming a strong Western presence which created a history of food expressed with spices which can be tasted in the dishes today. In addition, the Spices are used in Ayurveda in Sri Lanka. Spice Gardens in the hill capital Kandy and at Matale and Mawanella give interesting insights into spice production in Sri Lanka. The importance of spices in the minor export crops of Sri Lanka consist of fragrant clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace and pepper, for which Sri Lanka has been famed since ancient times, thrive in the hills
12.HANTHANA MOUNTAIN RANGE
(05Kms away from the City Center)
The Hanthana Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, south-west of the city of Kandy. It was declared as an environmental protection area in February 2010 under the National Environment Act.The maximum height of the range is 3800 ft. The mountain range consists of seven peaks. The highest one being the Uura Kanda. The range is a favorite destination among the mountain hikers in Sri Lanka. The University of Peradeniya is situated adjacent to the Hanthana mountain range.
13.KNUCKLES MOUNTAIN RANGE
(40Kms away from the City Center)
The Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area or the Knuckles Mountain Range is a mountain range that covers an area of 155 sq km. The forest contains five major Forest formations and includes a wide variety of uncommon and endemic fauna & flora. The knuckles is a mountain range with fascinating and out of this world mountain scenery.
A number of large mammals like Elephants, Leopards, Sambhur, Deer, large numbers of reptiles, birds and fishes etc. are found in abundance at the knuckles range. Out of the many endemic birds and reptile species, the Blotched Filamented Barb & Martins tine Barb (Fish), Tenant’s Horned Lizard, and the Marble Cliff Frog are endemic to this mountain range.
14.GEM FACTORY & MUSEUM TOUR.
(01Km away from the city Center)
Sri Lanka’s gem industry has a very long and colorful history. Sri Lanka was affectionately known as Ratna-Dweepa which means Gem Island. The name is a reflection of its natural wealth. Marco Polo wrote that the island had the best sapphires, topazes, amethysts, and other gems in the world. Ptolemy, the 2nd-century astronomer recorded that Beryl and Sapphire were the mainstays of Sri Lanka’s gem industry. Records from sailors that visited the island states that they brought back “jewels of Serendib”. Serendib was the ancient name given to the island by middle – eastern and Persian traders that crossed the Indian Ocean to trade gems from Sri Lanka to the East during the 4th and 5th century.
15.SRI LANKA TEA MUSEUM
(05 kms away from the city center)
The Ceylon Tea Museum is located in the former Hanthana Tea Factory, which was originally constructed in 1925.
The four storied tea factory had been abandoned for more than a decade before it was refurbished in 2001 by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters’ Association of Sri Lanka.The museum contains exhibits on tea pioneers, including James Taylor and Thomas Lipton, as well as lots of vintage tea-processing paraphernalia. The ground floor houses 19th Century colonial generators, rollers, dryers, fermentation tables, sorting machines, etc. The second floor houses the library and museum. The third floor has a shop whilst the top floor contains a restaurant and tea rooms.
16.BATIK FACTORY & HANDI CRAFTS.
(2Kms away from the city center)
In one form or another, batik has worldwide popularity. Now, not only is batik used as a material to clothe the human body, its uses also include furnishing fabrics, heavy canvas wall hangings, tablecloths and household accessories. Batik techniques are used by famous artists to create batik paintings, which grace many homes and offices. The wide diversity of patterns reflects a variety of influences, ranging from indigenous designs, Arabic calligraphy, European bouquets and Chinese phoenixes to Japanese cherry blossoms and Indian or Persian peacocks. Batik is a cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. Batik or fabrics with the traditional batik patterns are found in (particularly) Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and Singapore. Due to globalization and industrialization, which introduced automated techniques, new breeds of batik, known as batik cap and batik print emerged, and the traditional batik, which incorporates the hand written wax-resist dyeing technique is known now as batik tulis.
17.BRITISH GARRISON CEMETERY.
(03Kms away from the City Center)
British Garrison Cemetery (also known as the Kandy Garrison Cemetery) is a British cemetery in Kandy, Sri Lanka, for British nationals who died in Ceylon. It was established in 1817 just after British captured the Kandy and closed in 1873 due to a ban on burials within the municipal limits, although special provision was given to allow the burial of relatives of those interred in the cemetery, with the last person buried there being Annie Fritz in 1951.The cemetery contains 195 graves of men, women, and children. The most common causes of death were tropical diseases such as malaria and cholera.The cemetery is located on the land of the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the cemetery is maintained by the British while the Diyawadana Nilame and the Chief Prelates maintain the land.
18.COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES CEMETARY.
(04Kms away from the City Center)
The Kandy War Cemetery is a British military cemetery in Kandy, Sri Lanka, for soldiers of the British Empire who were killed during World War II as well as a soldier who died during World War I.There are 203 buried consisting of: 107 British, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians, 6 Canadians, 3 Italians, 1 Frenchman and 2 unidentified persons, Of the 203 dead, 151 were army, 32 were air force, 16 were navy, 2 were unidentified, 1 was merchant navy and 1 was from the national fire service.