Located at over 500 m above sea level, Kandy is one of Sri Lanka’s most scenic and beautiful cities with a romantic allure drawing visitors’ world over.Recognised as the country’s capital during the reign of the Kings, it is celebrated as the last bastion of Sinhalese Royalty.
Surrounded by stately hillside, the city resides in a lush valley, a large lake and a bustling city center, with a rich history dating over 800 years. Its timeless appeal is a combination of both its modernization over the years and charm of important ancient temples.
Well-known as a religious city, Kandy is also the country’s second largest urban locale and an important destination among both local and foreign tourists. Among the many reason that draw visitors from all walks of life to Kandy is its beauty, its religious significance and annual festive traditions.
Kandy is important not only for its beauty as a Sri Lankan city but also as it is revered by Buddhists as the city which houses the most sacred Buddhist relic at the temple known as the DaladaMaligawa. The hallowed relic is venerated by Buddhists not only those in Sri Lanka but around the world. The temple houses the only known relic of Lord Buddha and placed in a casket for devotees to venerate.
The beauty of Kandy is more evident with excursions to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. During the reign of the kings, the gardens were used as courts. Later the Gardens were formally established with plants brought from around the country making it a marvelous paradise of flora. The gardens bring beauty to Kandy for its magnificent collection of local and even foreign plants. Among the popular venues in the garden is the Orchid House which is renowned storehouse for those interested in the culture and conservation of orchids.
Kandy’s beauty is magnified by the surrounding Dumbara mountain range or better known Knuckles which offers scenic views of the city and beyond. Also the EmbekkeDevale, which is located close to the Botanical Gardens features architectural masterpieces of beautiful wood carvings and unique pillars.
Other places of interest which contributes to Kandy’s beauty include the Gadaladeniya Temple and the Lankatilaka Temple. Both venues offer historical and archeological insight in the city’s past glories.
When in Sri Lanka a visit to Kandy should not be missed in one’s itinerary as it is considered not only among the beautiful cities in the country but also the ideal venue to witness and experience true Sri Lankan culture.
An annual pageant held in Sri Lanka drawing local and international tourists is the Kandy Perahera. The unique colorful procession includes traditional – dancers and drummers in colorful costumes. Fire dancers, whip dancers and flag bearers together with over hundred elephants dressed in attractive attire participate. Usually taking place in August, the main highlight of the parade is the Temple of the Tooth’s royal tusker carrying the all-important relic, walk in procession. Considered by many as the country’s most festive pageant, its uniqueness to Sri Lanka’s culture makes it a much awaited event.