Kandy: The Cultural Heart of Sri Lanka

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Kandy is a city in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in Sri Lanka, after Colombo, and the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is located amid hills and mountains and is surrounded by lush vegetation. The city is known for its rich culture and history and is home to several important Buddhist temples and shrines.

Kandy was founded in the 16th century by King Vimaladharmasuriya I, who made it the capital of the Kingdom of Kandy. The city was built on the site of an earlier Buddhist monastery and quickly became a centre of learning and culture. Kandy was the last independent kingdom in Sri Lanka and was finally conquered by the British in 1815.

Despite its colonial past, Kandy has managed to preserve much of its traditional culture and heritage. The city is home to several important Buddhist temples and shrines, including the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. Kandy is also home to several other cultural attractions, including the Kandy Esala Perahera, which is a major Buddhist festival that is held annually in July or August.

Kandy is a popular tourist destination and is known for its beautiful scenery, its rich culture and history, and its friendly people. The city is a great place to learn about Sri Lankan culture and experience the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer.

Things To Do & Visit In Kandy

Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa)

Step into the realm of sacredness and spirituality at the Temple of the Tooth, also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, a revered UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historic temple is not only a religious icon but also a significant cultural & architectural marvel that draws visitors from around the globe.

The temple is home to a precious relic—the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha. Encased within a golden casket, this relic is believed to be one of the holiest Buddhist artefacts in the world. Devotees & curious travellers alike gather at the temple to pay their respects, seeking solace and blessings.

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic Kandy Sri Lanka

As you enter the temple complex, you’ll be enveloped in an atmosphere of reverence and tranquillity. Intricate carvings, vibrant murals, and ornate architecture adorn the temple, reflecting the rich heritage of Sri Lankan craftsmanship and spirituality. The fragrant aroma of incense wafts through the air, creating a sensory experience that heightens your spiritual journey.

The highlight of any visit to the temple is the daily ceremony known as the “Pooja.” During this sacred ritual, the casket containing the tooth relic is unveiled, accompanied by traditional music, chanting, and offerings. Witnessing this ancient ceremony is a deeply moving experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who attend.

Beyond its religious significance, it holds historical importance as a symbol of the ancient Kingdom of Kandy. It served as the royal palace during the reign of the Kandyan kings & became a centre of spiritual and political power.

Delve deeper into the sacredness and splendour of the temple. Explore its fascinating history, rituals, and architectural wonders & plan your visit to this revered sanctuary. Allow it to immerse you in a profound spiritual journey and ignite a sense of awe and wonder.

Cultural Dance Show 

Experience the vibrant and captivating traditions of Sri Lanka through a mesmerizing Cultural Dance Show. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats, graceful movements, and colourful costumes that bring the country’s rich cultural heritage to life.

The Cultural Dance Show showcases a diverse range of traditional dance forms that have been passed down through generations. From the energetic and acrobatic Kandyan dances to the elegant and lyrical Low Country dances, each performance tells a story and reflects the unique traditions of different regions in Sri Lanka.

As the dancers take the stage, their skill and artistry will leave you spellbound. Their precise footwork, intricate hand gestures, and expressive facial expressions transport you to a world of folklore, mythology, and celebration. The performers, adorned in vibrant costumes and adorned with traditional accessories, create a visual spectacle that delights the senses.

The Cultural Dance Show is not just about the dance itself. It is a celebration of Sri Lankan culture, where music, song, and storytelling play an integral role. Traditional musical instruments such as drums, flutes, and strings accompany the performances, adding depth and rhythm to the experience.

Attending a Cultural Dance Show is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the living traditions of Sri Lanka and gain a deeper appreciation for its cultural diversity. Click here to learn more about the fascinating dance forms, their significance, and where you can witness a captivating Cultural Dance Show during your visit. Let the enchanting performances and vibrant energy of the dancers transport you to the heart of Sri Lankan culture, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Royal Botanical Garden

Step into a verdant paradise at the Royal Botanical Garden, a true horticultural gem nestled in the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka. Spanning an impressive 147 acres, this botanical wonderland beckons nature lovers and avid garden enthusiasts alike. Stroll through a captivating landscape adorned with an incredible diversity of flora, from vibrant orchids to towering palm trees and fragrant roses.

The Royal Botanical Garden is not only a feast for the eyes but also a sanctuary for rare and exotic plant species. Explore themed gardens that transport you to different corners of the world, such as the Japanese Garden with its serene ponds and meticulously pruned bonsai trees. Marvel at the towering bamboos in the Bamboo Grove or immerse yourself in the sensory delights of the Spice Garden.

Royal Botanical Garden Peradeniya Sri Lanka

Beyond its natural beauty, the garden also holds historical significance, dating back to the reign of King Wickramabahu III. Delve into the intriguing stories and architectural remnants of the past as you wander through the pathways lined with ancient trees.

Whether you seek solace in nature’s embrace, wish to learn about botanical wonders, or simply desire a peaceful escape from the city bustle, the Royal Botanical Garden offers a perfect retreat. Click here to discover more about the breathtaking Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy and let your senses come alive amidst this botanical haven.

Udawattakele Forest Reserve

Embark on a captivating journey through the lush emerald expanse of the Udawattakele Forest Reserve, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka. This enchanting rainforest reserve offers a sanctuary of natural beauty and tranquillity, beckoning adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Udawatta Kele, also known as “Udawatta Forest,” showcases the remarkable biodiversity of Sri Lanka’s tropical rainforests. As you traverse its winding trails, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a canopy of towering trees, their branches adorned with vibrant orchids and other epiphytic plants. The melodious songs of native bird species fill the air, creating a symphony of sounds that resonates throughout the forest.

This pristine ecosystem is home to a myriad of wildlife, including macaques, civets, porcupines, and a rich diversity of bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for colourful butterflies fluttering amidst the foliage, adding a touch of wonder to your rainforest adventure.

Udawatta Kele is not only a natural treasure but also a cultural heritage site. Explore ancient cave dwellings, meditation chambers, and Buddhist shrines that offer a glimpse into the region’s storied past. Marvel at the intricate murals that adorn the walls of the forest’s hermitages, showcasing centuries-old artistry.

Discover the magic and serenity of the Udawatta Kele Rainforest, where nature and history intertwine in a harmonious embrace. Click here to delve deeper into the wonders of this remarkable rainforest reserve and plan your immersive adventure amidst its captivating beauty.

Lankatilaka Temple

Enter the realm of architectural splendour and spiritual serenity at the Lankatilaka Temple, a captivating gem located near Kandy, Sri Lanka. This ancient temple stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance and religious devotion of the bygone eras.

As you approach the Lankatilaka Temple, you’ll be awestruck by its towering structure and intricate craftsmanship. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the temple overlooks breathtaking vistas, providing a tranquil setting for spiritual contemplation. The temple’s design, a fusion of South Indian and Sinhalese architectural styles, showcases elaborate carvings, exquisite stone pillars, and a soaring image house.

Step inside the temple, and you’ll be greeted by a sense of peace and reverence. The sanctum houses a towering statue of Lord Buddha, radiating a sense of tranquillity and spiritual grace. The temple’s walls bear intricate murals depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.

Beyond its architectural marvels, the Lankatilaka Temple holds historical significance. It is said to have been built during the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great, who ruled in the 12th century. Legend has it that the temple served as a place of refuge for scholars and monks during tumultuous times.

Immerse yourself in the sacred ambience of the Lankatilaka Temple and witness the harmonious blend of art, spirituality, and history. Click here to explore the awe-inspiring details and hidden stories of this ancient temple that continues to captivate visitors from around the world.

Gadaladeniya Temple 

Step into a realm of divine beauty and architectural marvels as you visit the Gadaladeniya Temple, a cherished gem nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Kandy, Sri Lanka. This ancient Buddhist temple, with its serene atmosphere and exquisite craftsmanship, offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The Gadaladeniya Temple, dating back to the 14th century, stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of the era. The temple’s distinctive design showcases a harmonious blend of South Indian Dravidian and Sinhalese architectural styles. Its impressive structure, adorned with intricate stone carvings and ornate embellishments, is a sight to behold.

Upon entering the temple, you’ll be enveloped in a sense of tranquillity and reverence. The main shrine houses a revered statue of Lord Buddha, exuding a serene aura that invites contemplation and spiritual reflection. Admire the ornate wooden pillars, intricately painted ceiling panels, and vibrant murals that depict scenes from Buddhist scriptures.

Surrounded by lush greenery, the Gadaladeniya Temple offers a serene escape from the bustling world outside. Take a stroll around the temple grounds, where you’ll discover peaceful meditation areas, beautifully manicured gardens, and an ambience that encourages inner peace and harmony.

The Gadaladeniya Temple is not only a place of worship but also a treasure trove of historical and cultural significance. Uncover the fascinating stories behind its construction and its role in shaping the religious landscape of Sri Lanka.

Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty and spiritual serenity of the Gadaladeniya Temple. Click here to delve deeper into the captivating history and architectural wonders of this sacred site, and embark on a journey of discovery that will leave you enriched and inspired.

Embekka Dewalaya

Experience the captivating blend of intricate woodwork and spiritual devotion at the Embekka Dewalaya, a remarkable temple nestled in the lush landscapes near Kandy, Sri Lanka. This architectural masterpiece, dating back to the 14th century, stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Embekka Dewalaya is renowned for its awe-inspiring woodcarvings, which adorn every inch of its structure. As you approach the temple, you’ll be mesmerized by the intricacy and artistry displayed in the wooden pillars, beams, and shrine houses. Each carving tells a story, depicting mythological figures, animals, and symbolic motifs that reflect the deep-rooted beliefs and traditions of the era.

Venturing inside the temple, you’ll discover a spiritual haven steeped in history. The main shrine, dedicated to the guardian deity Kataragama, exudes a sense of tranquillity and reverence. The interior walls feature vivid murals, depicting religious scenes and tales from ancient folklore.

Embekka Dewalaya is not only a testament to architectural brilliance but also a site of cultural significance. It is believed to have been constructed by the renowned woodcarver, Devendra Mulachari, under the patronage of King Vikramabahu III. The temple serves as a testament to the intricate craftsmanship and artistic prowess of the bygone era.

Visit the Embekka Dewalaya to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of its woodwork and the spiritual ambience that pervades the temple grounds. Click here to explore the captivating stories and marvel at the exquisite woodcarvings that have enthralled visitors for centuries. Let the Embekka Dewalaya ignite your imagination and deepen your appreciation for the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.

Kandy Lake 

Discover a serene oasis at the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka, as you set foot on the shores of the picturesque Kandy Lake. Also known as Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk, this man-made lake is a symbol of tranquillity and natural beauty, offering a respite from the bustling city.

Surrounded by lush greenery and embraced by the misty hills, Kandy Lake exudes a serene ambience that captivates both locals and visitors alike. Take a stroll along the tranquil pathway that encircles the lake, and immerse yourself in the scenic vistas that unfold before your eyes.

The calm waters of Kandy Lake perfectly mirror the surrounding landscape, creating a breathtaking sight, especially during sunrise and sunset. Capture the vibrant hues of the sky reflecting on the surface of the lake, painting a picture of sublime beauty.

The lake holds historical significance as well. It was constructed in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Kandy, as a part of the royal palace complex. Explore the islet at the centre of the lake, which is home to the enchanting Royal Summer House, known as the “Walakulu Bamma” or Cloud Wall.

Kandy Lake offers a peaceful retreat, where you can find solace in nature’s embrace and unwind amidst its tranquil surroundings. Click here to learn more about the captivating history and natural wonders of Kandy Lake and plan your visit to this enchanting destination. Let the serenity of Kandy Lake rejuvenate your senses and create lasting memories of your time in Sri Lanka.

Victoria Golf Course 

Tee off amidst breathtaking natural beauty at the Victoria Golf Course, a golfer’s paradise nestled in the stunning landscapes of Kandy, Sri Lanka. Set against a backdrop of rolling hills, lush forests, and panoramic views, this championship-level golf course offers an unparalleled golfing experience.

The Victoria Golf Course is renowned for its impeccable design and meticulously manicured greens. Designed by renowned golf course architect Donald Steel, the course seamlessly blends with the surrounding terrain, incorporating natural features and water bodies to create a challenging yet enjoyable playing experience.

As you make your way through the course, you’ll be greeted by stunning vistas at every turn. Picture-perfect fairways lined with vibrant vegetation, shimmering lakes, and distant mist-clad mountains provide a serene and awe-inspiring backdrop to your game.

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, the Victoria Golf Course caters to all skill levels. Its diverse range of holes, strategically placed hazards, and undulating greens ensure a stimulating round of golf that will put your skills to the test.

Beyond the golfing experience, the Victoria Golf Course offers a range of facilities and amenities to enhance your visit. From a well-appointed clubhouse to practice areas, pro shops, and dining options, every aspect of your golfing journey is carefully curated for your comfort and enjoyment.

Indulge in a golfing adventure amidst the natural splendour of the Victoria Golf Course. Click here to explore more about this prestigious golfing destination and plan your visit to experience the thrill of swinging your club in paradise. Let the Victoria Golf Course be the backdrop to unforgettable moments on the green.

Bogambara Prison 

Uncover the intriguing history and eerie tales of the Bogambara Prison, a significant landmark nestled in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This former colonial-era prison holds a captivating past that intrigues both history enthusiasts and curious visitors.

The Bogambara Prison, constructed during the British colonial period in the early 19th century, stands as a testament to Sri Lanka’s tumultuous past. As you approach its towering walls and imposing gates, you’ll sense a lingering aura of mystery and melancholy.

Stepping inside, you’ll discover a place that witnessed the confinement of prisoners during a bygone era. Explore the atmospheric corridors and cells, each whispering stories of incarceration and human resilience. The prison’s architecture reflects its colonial heritage, with its solid stone walls and iron-barred windows.

As you delve into the history of the Bogambara Prison, you’ll learn about its significance in Sri Lanka’s struggle for independence. It became a symbol of resistance and defiance, with many nationalist leaders being held within its confines. The prison’s walls echoed the voices of those who fought for freedom and justice.

Today, the Bogambara Prison has been transformed into a multi-purpose complex that houses a range of facilities, including shops, restaurants, and cultural spaces. Its unique blend of history and modernity offers a distinctive setting for visitors to explore.

Unravel the secrets and stories held within the walls of the Bogambara Prison. Click here to delve deeper into the intriguing history of this landmark and discover the tales that continue to captivate the imagination. Let the echoes of the past guide your exploration of this intriguing site in Kandy.

Events Celebrated In Kandy

Kandy Esala Perahera

This is the most famous and grandest festival not only in Kandy but in the entire country, held annually in July or August. The Esala Perahera is a 10-day procession featuring traditional dancers, musicians, fire dancers, whip crackers, and beautifully adorned elephants. The procession parades the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed in the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy.

Kandy Flower Festival

This annual event showcases a wide variety of flowers and floral arrangements. It takes place in August and September at the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, located near Kandy. The festival attracts both locals and tourists, offering a delightful display of vibrant colours and fragrances.

Kandy Food Festival

Organized to celebrate the diverse culinary traditions of Sri Lanka, the Kandy Food Festival is a popular event that takes place in Kandy or its vicinity. It showcases a wide range of traditional Sri Lankan dishes, street food, and culinary delights from various regions of the country.

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