Kandy, popularly known as the hill capital of Sri Lanka, is a very attractive tourist destination. Its history goes back to the 15th century, when it was the last royal capital of the country. Kandy city is approximately 115km away from Colombo and is the biggest city in Sri Lanka. The temple of the tooth is the most popular attraction among the culturally valuable places around Kandy. It is locally known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa and is a place complex of the ancient kingdom of Kandy, the shrine overlooks the vast expanse of Kandy Lake. It is highly believed that the temple is home to one of the tooth relics of Lord Buddha. Many years later, following Buddha’s passing away, the princess named Hemamala brought the tooth relic to Sri Lanka.
The temple complex is surrounded by a moat and it is bounded by white carvings of elephants. There are four main Devalas facing the temple complex. The temple is best to visit in the morning when ceremonial offerings and prayers are given. It is advised for all not to wear shorts or short skirts and to go barefoot into the temple as a sign of respect. After getting a glimpse of the inner temple and the casket that holds the holy tooth relic then it is headed down to the Aluth Maligawa area. It is built to resemble the architecture in Thailand and is said to be a tribute to the Thai monks that rejuvenated the ordination traditions of Sri Lankan monks. It also houses many Buddha states, letters, and journal entries that date back to British rule. It also has photographs of the bombing incident which was instigated by terrorists which destroyed the temple.
The Sri Dalada Museum, on the premises of the temple, shows the travails of the holy tooth relic and houses many paintings that showcase the artistic styles of the Kandyan era. The elephant Rajah’s Museum depicts the life of the beloved elephant Rajah who is said to be an elephant that served as the bearer of the casket for the longest time period.
Kandy lake is an artificial creation by one of the past rulers and today, it is the scenic centerpiece of the town. Also, it is home to an international cricket stadium and Kandy brings in thousands of cricket fans. Bahirawakanda Buddha Statue showcases a breathtaking view of the entire Kandy town. This 88 ft high statue of Buddha is something that one should not miss while in Kandy. Peradeniya botanical garden near Kandy is a spacious 147 acre of natural extravaganza consisting of more than 4000 species of plants, and 10,000 varied kinds of trees, incidentally serving as the largest garden in Sri Lanka. The mesmerizing viewpoint is located on the Rajapihilla Mawatha and is ranked 5th out of 105 tourist attractions in Kandy. The Udawattakele sanctuary, also known as royal park lace is located at the hilly terrains of the Temple of Tooth Relic. The sanctuary scatters around 257 acres and is deemed as the most important bio reserve of the country. Commonwealth war cemetery is a cemetery maintained and served by the commonwealth war commission office. This graveyard is a humble reminder of those brave hearts of the country who sacrificed their lives protecting the nation’s honor during World War ii. Another place to visit on the way to Kandy is Pinnawala elephant orphanage which provides a home for wild Asian elephants. It showcases the natural habitat presented to the elephants where they are taken to the river twice a day and elephants under three years are bottle-fed by volunteers.
Sports, religion, history, culture, nature, Kandy has it all. A tour to Kandy should not be missed out on a visit to Sri Lanka.