Kandy City – A million contrasts through one journey

 

If you are willing to come on holiday to Sri Lanka, of course, you must visit Kandy. Next to the Capital city of Colombo, this is the next big town. So, this should be on your wish list of visits. This is a city of a million contrasts, and you should definitely make a detour to this amazing city.

Your best bet is to travel by train from Colombo; this will take you through tunnels and winding rail tracks allowing you to view the most beautiful scenery. Grab a seat on the Observation Deck, in Colombo Kandy Intercity; book your train tickets early. This is one of the best ways to see the rolling hill capital city.

Actually; this is also a sacred city and high on the World Heritage site map. When you speak about this wonderful city, you are reminded of the things that you get to see like the Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth Relic, where Lord Buddha’s tooth relic is enshrined and also the palace of the last King of Kandy.

A visit to the Peradeniya Botancial Gardens is also a must. And take a walk down memory lane in the 257 acre garden of the Udawattekele Forest Reserve in Kandy City.

It’s 80ft beacon of light Lord Buddha statue is also seen miles away from the hills of Bahirawakanda.  This is not an old temple, but fairly new. The massive Buddha statue can be seen far and wide. It will definitely draw you to it like a magnet. It is about 22 minutes drive from the city of Kandy in a tuk-tuk. Nestled among the Hantane hills is the great big Tea museum, sit back and relax while you sip a steaming hot cup of tea at Tea Museum.  Learn the history of tea processing and making in ancient Ceylon.

Climb up the Wales Park up along the Rajapihilla road way and you will be rewarded the best view possible of the Town. Far below you will see the jewel in the crown nestled among the Kandy Lake and Maligawa in this majestic city.

 

Take a walk along the Kandy Lake – feel refreshed

 

Take a leisurely walk around the Kandy Lake early morning, just as the sun peeks through the many large shady trees. Or you can walk or bike during the cool of the evening; perhaps you could hire a bicycle and mend your way round the lake. You will get a better view as you walk around it. The lake is an artificial lake built during the reign of the last King of Kandy, Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe.

There are many garden seats dotted among the pavement where you can sit and relax and enjoy the gentle breeze upon your face. Watch the ducks and swans swim in the lake and if you like you can also take a boat ride up to the island in the middle of the lake Kandy Lake. The island in the middle of the lake is thought to be the Kings bathing place and also said to have a secret tunnel going across the Royal Palace. Full of legend and interesting stories.

 

Have a blast at the Kandy City Center

 

This Shopping Mall is the largest in the heart of this beautiful town. There are two entrances to this Mall one from the Dalada Vidiya and one from the Torrington road way. You will definitely love this place as everything is housed under one roof, whether you need to do some shopping, or buy some grocery stuff you get it all here. Change your currency at the many banks at the Kandy City Center.

Grab a bite or drink from the many good food restaurants and food court, need a new pair of shoes?

Or your phone camera needs a new battery you can get it all here. It is just about 10 minutes’ walk to all the major sites in town like the Kandy Lake, Dalada Maligawa, Food City, banks, or Wales Park, or you happen to be staying in one of the budget hotels or guest houses in the nearby town.

 

Shop till you drop! Kandy Shopping

 

In addition to getting all your many shopping treasures at the Kandy City Center walk outside and you get a whole town full of shops for your needs, sometimes you can bargain at the pavement shops as well, and you are sure two carry a bargain or two, from the shopping stalls at the Torrington shopping arcade.  Everything is found in these shops too. Saunter along the Dalada Vidiya if you feel like having KFC, this is housed at the Cargill’s building which is known as Food City. Or feel like having a tasty cheesy pizza? Then walk down D.S.Senanayake Vidiya where the Pizza Hut is located, right opposite the great Queens Hotel, of course if you are staying at the Queens Hotel which faces the Kings Palace or Temple of the Tooth, then it is just a hop skip and jump! The famous Government owned Laksala Handi Craft Center is also in very close proximity to Queens Hotel, if you need any souvenirs to take back home. There are more souvenir shops way up the Wales Park and Rajapihilla Roadway, where you can get batiks, trinkets, murals, wall hangings, T shirts etc. there many pavement hawkers selling many a Sri Lankan souvenir try and bargain with them, as they out for a buck!  Be aware, and shop at reputed shops to do your souvenir hunting at Kandy Shopping.

 

Getting to know Kandy Tourism

 

As mentioned above, Kandy is steeped with religious and cultural heritage. So, the main attractions are the Dalada Maligawa, the Kandy Lake, Botanical gardens, Wales park, and the Bahirawkanda Temple are some of the great tourist attractions. In addition outside of town which is a few kilometers away you should also visit the Lankathilaka temple and view its beautiful stone statues and intricate architecture and elaborate carvings

The Embekke Devalaya is also another temple world famous for its great structure and architecture, carvings and stone pillars. The temple of Gadaladeniya is also a scared place of worship and Buddhist site. There are many ancient monasteries built on this rock.

Garrison Cemetery is where all the soldiers lost their lives in Ceylon during World War II.  This cemetery was built in 1817.  It is the resting place of British Nationals and soldiers during the period 1945 in the then Ceylon.

Knuckles Mountain range– the beauties of the Sri Lanka forests and mountains must see place.

Royal Palace of Sri Lanka – now known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa

Tea Museum – Hidden among the mountain range of Hantane. This museum is housed in an old tea factory and maintained by the Ceylon Tea Board Association.

National Museum here is just adjacent to the Royal Palace or Sri Dalada Maligawa. The artifacts of the Kings and Queens of the Royal Palace are housed here at the museum; every year there is an annual Esela Perahera with elephants and drummers parading the streets. The Royal Tusker is bedecked in all its glory as he carries the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy Tourism.

 

The Amazing view at the Kandy City View Point

 

Climb the road way leading to the Kandy Wales Park go further and you will come to the Kandy City View point.  There is a nice platform here where you can stand on and watch to your heart content the gorgeous view of the Lake and the Royal Palace atop this hillock. It is a famous place for all tourists to make a pit stop here. The view is out of this world with its far away mountain ranges that can be see miles and miles away, along with the 80 foot Bahirawakande Buddha statue, Kandy City View Point.

 

Remember to carry a map with you – Kandy Sri Lanka Map

Always be sure to have a handy map among your person, when exploring around the town area and vicinity, comes in very handy when you are by yourself looking places. Kandy Sri Lanka Map

 

A visit to the Temple of the Tooth

 

No visit to Kandy is complete without visiting the Temple of the Tooth. This is where the Buddha’s sacred tooth relic is housed. It is the most venerated temple to all Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is also known as the last Kings of Kandy’s Royal Palace complex. The temple is of a massive construction done by the last king and renovated from time to time. Buddhist sermons and rituals are performed here in the morning afternoon and evening hours.  Remember to dress accordingly when visiting the Dalada Maligawa. The interior of the temple is very cool to the feet as the floor in area is made out of stone and cement, it is also very beautiful with intricate carvings on columns and beautiful and traditional wall murals on the walls.

These murals depict the story of the Buddha and his teachings. There are only certain times that the tooth relic can be viewed. You have inquired about the times and days they open for the exposition of the tooth relic from the office of the Temple of the Tooth.

 

There are many Hotels in Kandy – the choice is yours

 

There are many hotels in this town, too numerous to mention here.

Actually; they are all within easy access to the main town. Whether you want a budget hotel, guest houses, or pamper yourself in sheer luxury living, there are many to choose from. Just to name a few are the oldest hotel in Kandy and situated in the heart of this historic town is the old Queens Hotel, on the Dalada Vidiya road and faces the Dalada Maligawa. Many tourists book here, as it is walking distance to all the major places in town. The Hotel Suisse is also a very good hotel that can boast of many a luxury.  If you want to stay around the lake area then the Hotel Suisse is yours to book and enjoy the best views. There are many other hotels dotted along this roadway including quaint guest houses in Kandy City hotels.

 

A few of the uncommon places to visit in Kandy

 

Besides all of the above there are still hidden wonders in and out of the town area, which is the Knuckles mountain range, The elephant orphanage in Mawanella, also called Pinnawala Elephant orphanage, Hulu River Waterfall, Ranweli Spice Garden, Horton Plains National Park, Riverton Gap, tour of the Highlands, the Pallekelle Cricket Stadium, and the former Dutch period Bogambara Prisons are some of the more exciting things of uncommon places to visit in Kandy.