Kandy, the hill capital of Sri Lanka needs little introduction. It stands at an elevation of 500m above sea level and is roughly about 115km from the city of Colombo. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1988, it offers a rich, intriguing history and is one of the best places to visit in order to completely grasp the vibrant culture of Sri Lanka. To view the scenery of the hill country at its finest, it is recommended that you take the Kandy Colombo train rather than a bus or a vehicle. It allows you to try a unique mode of transport while journeying through the rural parts of the mountains.
Surrounded by mountains, Kandy is covered in lush vegetation. The city is located next to Mahaweli River and home to the Temple of The Tooth from the 16th century. The Temple in Sinhala is also known as the Kandy Dalada Maligawa, it houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha making it one of the most sacred locations in Buddhism and is constantly frequented by pilgrims from all corners of the world. The Tooth Relic is annually revered with the Kandy Esala Perahera. A massive festival that occurs between the months of July and August, the Kandy Perahera is one of the most defining events in Sri Lanka and consists of many native sights such as fire dancing, Kandyan dancing and of course plenty of Elephants that are adorned in colourful garments!
Take a trip down to the centre of the town and marvel at the Kandy Lake. It’s an artificial lake from 1807 that is a wonderful area to stroll around and truly absorb the the city. Quite a contrast to the rest of the Colonial era structures in the city, the Kandy City Centre is a sprawling mall which also houses many of the finest restaurants in Kandy. Housing many prominent local and foreign brands, this will sure be your one stop place for your favourite designer wear. With many hotels such as the Yoho Inn Hill Street Kandy and the Yoho Mount Rajapihilla Mawatha present in and about the city, accommodation is of no hassle.
The Kandy Botanical Gardens is a 60 hectare garden that offers a fine display of Orchids, Royal Palms, the unorthodox Cannonball Tree and a Burma Bamboo Tree that reaches upto 40m. They are often frequented by fruit bats and monkeys who are sure to entertain you for hours to come.
In the mood for something more adventurous? Take a hike through the Udawatta Forest in Kandy. Situated in the heart of the city, the forest’s history ranges back centuries and was first accessible only to royals. Tours can be booked and the forest is an excellent location for bird watching or just strolling during the evenings.
Situated in the heart of the city, the forest’s history ranges back centuries and was first accessible only to royals. Lose yourself in the chaos of shops lining the pavements or sip your favourite tea in a little restaurant. The diverse culture is visible in every aspect of the city. This extends to exquisite flower offerings in temples, the processions of pilgrims as they journey from one temple to another. Kandy guarantees to be an exhilarating rush that will leave you looking at Sri Lanka and its culture in differently.