Sri Dalada Maligawa is the Sinhalese name for this holy shrine. Famously called Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, it is touted to be the most sacred Buddhist temple in the whole world. It houses the tooth of Buddha nestled in a golden chamber and is within the premises of the royal palace complex (formerly a princely state). Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is said that whichever state holds the tooth relic, maintains an essential place in the governance of the country.
Timings : Sun - Sat 05:30 AM - 08:00 PM: Puja Timings: Morning: 5.30 AM -6.45 AM, 9.30 AM-11:00 AM; Evening: 6.30 PM -8:00 PM
Entry Fee : Foreigners LKR 1500.00; SAARC Countries LKR 750.00
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was launched to provide shelter and nourishment to abandoned, injured and maimed elephants. The ideology behind this project revolves around the care of abandoned baby elephants, who cannot survive without their mothers.
Timings : 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM (Ticket Counter shuts at 5:30PM)
Time Required : 2 hours
Entry Fee : Locals: Adult - LKR 110
Children - LKR 30
SAARC Countries: Adult - LKR 2800
Children - LKR 1000
Foreign Tourists: Adult - LKR 1400
Children - LKR 700.
The ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya is only a bus ride away from Kandy, with direct buses taking only an hour to make the journey. The Sigiriya Rock is 650 metres high, and visitors can climb two of the rocks at this fortress. Lion’s Rock is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the gorgeous view atop the Rock is well worth the Rs 4,500 entrance fee. Pidirunga Rock is much cheaper to enter, at Rs 450, and offers excellent views of Lion’s Rock and the mountains around Kandy. Visitors can also check out Sigiriya museum’s exhibits on the excavation of the citadel.
Sri Lanka is known as the land of spices, and Kandy is home to its two most famous spice gardens - the Ranweli and New Ranweli Gardens. They sport over twenty species of well-kept, diverse medicinal plants and herbs, such as turmeric, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and mace. They also provide information about the age-old spice industry. In addition, visitors can take home freshly harvested organic spices.
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Among the many names given to this island country like Lanka, Lakdiva, Serendib, Sri Lanka was also named Ceylon - during British Colonialism - reminding us of the famous Ceylon tea that origins in Sri Lanka. Situated at Hantana, 3 KM away from main Kandy city, Ceylon Tea Museum was structured in 1925 as the former Hantana Tea factory. Later in 1998, this tea factory was converted into the famous Ceylon Tea Museum.
Timings : Tuesday - Saturday : 08:30 AM to 03:45 PM; Sunday : 08:30 AM to 03:30 PM; Closed on Monday
Entry Fee : Adult is 800 LKR; Child is 400 LKR; Guided Tour: LKR 650 per person
Being a hilly region with lush tropics, Kandy is home to scenic hidden waterfalls perfect for hiking, family picnics, and escaping city hustle. Ramboda Falls is the most beautiful, with multiple cascades, standing 109 metres tall. Tucked in a small village, Hunas Falls is a honeymoon paradise. Adventure lovers can also enjoy hiking and camping at St. Claire’s Falls, Rathna Ella, Nagasthenna Waterfall, and Kadiyanlena Falls.
Regarded as the best hiking destination in the country, Alagalla Mountain Range was once the Kandyan empire’s stronghold. This 3-hour hike begins from Pilimathalawa Tea Factory, and two trails finish with a rocky climb. From the 1,140-metre-tall peak, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the eastern countryside, mountains like Bible Rock, Devanagala, Bathalegala and Knuckles Mountain, and Kandy city. Overnight camps are available.
Kandyan dance is a traditional art form peculiar to central Sri Lanka that has flourished since the 16th century. Kandyan dance often depicts elegant moments of birds and animals and is accompanied by fire acts, ritual dances and acrobatics. Watch Sri Lanka’s best male and female dancers performing in their skirt-like garments and silver regalia at shows such as the Kandy Lake Club Dance Show, Kandy Cultural Centre, and “Dances of Sri Lanka” at Red Cross Hall.
Kandy is famous among tourists and shopaholics for its unique silk fabrics, traditional fashion and plethora of souvenirs. Featuring state-of-the-art architecture, restaurants, department stores and entertainment areas, Kandy City Center is the best shopping destination in Kandy for designer wear, boutique accessories and apparel, handicrafts and books. Contrastingly, selling everything under the sun for Kandy’s locals and visitors, the Main Market is a must-visit for bargain-hunters and street food lovers.
Known For : World’s End (Horton Plains) Gommolli Kanda Ohiya
Located at an elevation of 2,300 metres, Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka’s central highlands encompasses montane grassland and cloudy forests. It is a government-protected area which is home to many endemic flora and fauna species, with spectacular jungles and mountains on one side and a plateau on the other. The park is popular for housing the famed ‘World’s End Cliff’, a long, steep plunge of 880m where the plateau comes to a dramatic stop.
The Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is an important bio-reserve located on a hillside beside the Dalada Maligawa and spans 257 acres. Trekking through the forest’s dense and diverse vegetation, tourists can visit three Buddhist monasteries here. Wide varieties of orchids grow in the forest, as well as several indigenous species of trees and shrubs. The toque macaques, barking deer, and slender loris are only some of the animals visitors can come across, while around 80 species of birds make this a birdwatcher’s paradise.
The 7-hour train ride from Kandy to Ella takes tourists through the most scenic route Sri Lanka has to offer. The open doors and windows of the old-fashioned train mean travellers can literally experience the wind in their hair as they take in the green rolling hills, tea farms, waterfalls and hilltop villages. The train stops at hilltop towns like Haputale and Nuwara Eliya, and tourists can explore the tea plantations there.
Spas in Kandy are some of the best places to rejuvenate and relax your mind. Almost all the centres have their speciality and essence to attract visitors and help them gain an enjoyable experience. Some of the treatments are situated in some exotic locations, setting the right mood. Most of the spas adopt the traditional method of Ayurvedic massages while some infuse traditional with the modern.
Kandy Esala Perahera, famously known as The Festival of the Tooth, is celebrated across Sri Lanka and brings in a unique crowd of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. The festival lights up the town for a ten-day celebration in July or August. Kandy Perahara procession is a procession where one can experience and witness the displays of traditional customs.
Kandy Esala Perahara 2023 Dates: August 21, 2023 - August 31, 2023
Almost synonymous with cricket, Sri Lanka has eight stadiums all over the country. The Pallekele cricket stadium, capable of hosting 35,000 spectators, was established in 2008 and is half an hour’s drive to the east of Kandy city-centre. It was built for the 2011 Cricket World Cup and hosts both test and one-day international matches. Visitors could catch an international match here or watch the local Kandurata cricket team play. It is open from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
The International Buddhist Museum or World Buddhist Museum is the first of its kind in the world and is in the cultural and administrative capital of Sri Lanka Kandy. It is nestled in the complex that once served as the King’s residence along with the National Museum and Temple of the Tooth, hence its structure exhibits royalty, grandeur and elegance at its best. It compiles Buddhism, the extensive history of its teachings and depth of knowledge through scrolls, artefacts and souvenirs from all over the world.
Timings : 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Time Required : 1.5 hours
Entry Fee : LKR 1250
Wales Park, also known as The Royal Palace Park, offers majestic views of Kandy Lake and the city. Tourists can walk through the walking trails and the woodlands and check out the Japanese field gun on show. Lord Mountbatten had presented this field gun to the city of Kandy, and it is on display under a pavilion guarded by statues of lions and separated from the main walkway by a moat.
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