Kandy is a beautiful and a sacred city located in the central part of the hill country. It has become an important tourist destination due to many significant places one can visit in the city.
The Kandyan kingdom, which has been the last kingdom of the kings’ era in Sri Lanka, holds a great historical importance as a kingdom which survived many centuries. The geographical location of the city has been
advantageous for the ancient kingdom to fend off outside/foreign attacks.
Kandy is known as a sacred city for it holds many important ancient Buddhist religious places. Therefore, the city is a great place of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhists and tourists around the world. Moreover, UNESCO organization has added Temple of the Tooth Relic, the Royal Palace, Lankathilaka Temple and Gadaladeniya Temple as World Heritage Sites which reinforce the importance of Kandy.
In addition to that, Kandy is well-known for its scenic beauty. Surrounded by mist-shrouded mountains and waterfalls, Kandy maintains relatively a cold and friendly climate throughout the year, which makes the city a pleasant and an ideal place for any visitor.
Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa)
It is the most reputed and the must visit place in the city. People from all over the country and world come to worship the sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha enshrined in this temple. The temple is located in the royal palace complex of the former kingdom of Kandy, which is built to keep the Tooth Relic safe. There is also a museum that contains many artifacts important to the kingdom of Kandy and the British colonial rule. One who visits the temple can also visit the Hatara Devale (Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama and Paththini) and the Wel Bodhiya which are in proximity to the temple.
It was created in 1807 by Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy. One who visits Maligawa would not leave without taking a few minutes to enjoy the tranquility and serene beauty of the lake which is located besides the temple of the tooth relic. Sitting around this beautiful lake and feeling the comforting and romantic breeze that strikes against you would be a perfect way to spend the dawn and the dusk. In addition to that, the joy boat service at the lake offers boat rides for those who wish to add a little bit of adventure to their visit to Kandy.
Kandy Esala Perahera
The Esela Perehera is the biggest event in Sri Lanka in the month of August. It is a historical procession held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. It has been recorded that the Perahera was held each year since the arrival of Buddha’s tooth relic to Sri Lanka. The procession exhibits many of the native traditions and customs of Sri Lanka such as the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments, traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances. The procession goes along some selected streets in Kandy town and people can watch it from either side of the Perahera route.
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden
It is an elegant and spacious garden located just a few kilometers away from the Kandy city. Its rich and varied collection of tropical woody plants draw the attraction of any visitor. This is the ideal place for someone who likes to see different varieties of flowers and trees, someone who likes to spend a day off from the busy metropolitan life with families and loved ones and even for someone who is looking for solitude and tranquility.
Ambuluwawa is one of the best tourist destinations in Kandy. It is named as the first multi religious center and bio diversity complex of Sri Lanka. One who reaches the peak of this wonderful mountain can see a Buddhist temple, a Hindu kovil and a mosque. The peak of the tower presents a mesmerizing view of the city and of the mountains embedded in mist.
Bahirawakanda Buddha Statue
By climbing the Bahirawakanda hill, you can reach this beautifully sculpted Buddha statue and the Sri Maha Bodhi Temple. However, the statue can be even seen from the Kandy town. It stands at 88 feet in height and is one of the biggest Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. This is located just a few feet away from Kandy town therefore this is a destination of many tourists who visit Kandy. From the top of the hill, one can get a remarkable view of Kandy town, mountain line connected with each other and the inside of the Bogambara Prison.
One major difference of Ambekke against the other two temples is the material used for the building of the temple. It is completely built of wood including the roof. The significant of this is that it owns some of the greatest carvings in Sri Lanka and there are many historical monuments that reveal the Sri Lankan heritage in the hill capital. Many people visit Ambekke because this is the ideal place to see typical Sri Lankan designs such as mother & child, the swan, and double-headed eagle etc.
The Lankathilake Vihare, is known as one of the most architecturally advanced structures of the Gampola Kingdom era. The temple was built at the crest of a large rock named Panhalgala. There are inscriptions cut into the rock surface on the temple premises. The inscriptions are both in Sinhala and Tamil, stating that the land was gifted to the Temple by the kings and describing other facilities offered to the temple. This is also a destination of many tourists due to its beautiful cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.
Gadaladeniya temple is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Pilimathalawa, Kandy. This temple was built on a flat rock at Diggala in the 14th Century. It is considered one of the largest rock temples in Sri Lanka. In Gadaladeniya also, there is an ancient rock inscription and according to that this temple was built by King Buwanekabahu IV in the year 1344. The chief architect of this temple has been a south Indian called Ganesvarachari.
Do you like to spend your vacation in Kandy?
Kandy is undoubtedly a friendly city to live. Besides the scenic beauty and the favourable climate, Kandy also provides up to standard shops and hotels for you.
Best shopping mall – Kandy City Centre (KCC)
“Kandy City Centre” Commercial and Shopping Complex also known as the ‘KCC’is located at Dalada Veediya near the Temple of Tooth Relic. Kandy City Centre has become popular because for the convenience in shopping in the city. There are numerous shops ranging from clothing accessories, electric items, supermarkets, book shops and many more. Large parking area and a play area for kids with multiple games is also available at KCC.
By Janani Nanayakkara