Encircled by the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a rich island that offers the world a variety of sights to witness. In brief, the splendours it holds, from its breathtaking sceneries to the ancient cities and cultural sites, are just simply impressive. However, among the significant historical and cultural attractions such as Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa, the splendid city of Kandy competes. Thus, among the other famous cities in Sri Lanka, Kandy should surely be on anyone’s list of places to visit if they are travel enthusiasts.
In fact, Kandy is the city of Kings, Sri Lanka’s second ancient capital city and the island’s undeniable historical and cultural centre, which was also the country’s last royal capital. Thus, the diverse cultural and historical background that this city holds should not be further exaggerated. Moreover, since it serves as an administrative, economic, cultural, and educational centre, Kandy is a significant pilgrimage and tourism destination in Sri Lanka. Thus, we thought of sharing its delight with you!
Exceptional Significance of Kandy
Senkadagalapura, a sacred and significant Buddhist site, was the last capital of the Sinhala kings, whose support encouraged the Sinhala community to flourish for over 2,500 years until the British invaded Sri Lanka in 1815. In fact, it was Sri Lanka’s final capital during the period of the ancient kings. Further, among the most sacred Buddhist worship sites in the world, the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy plays a prominent role. Owing to this religious importance, the sacred city of Kandy was even declared as a UNESCO world heritage site.
At present, Kandy is still a large city and the capital of the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Further, Kandy serves as both an administrative and a cultural centre. Also, the hill country of Sri Lanka is famous for its beautiful scenery and mild climate.
Besides, this city is in the Kandy upland, runs through a region of tropical plantations, primarily tea. Further, rice and other crops grow in the neighbouring areas of this city. Limestone is quarried nearby, as are bricks and tiles. Moreover, Kandy has a lot to offer tourists because it has a lot of fascinations and breathtaking settings in the hills. Also, the city’s layout has several wonderful restaurants, accommodation facilities, and everything that the visitors need.
Is a Trip to Kandy Worthwhile?
Indeed, yes! Here’s why. Kandy is a must-visit destination for locals and tourists as it offers abundant points of interest. Apparently, Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second-largest city, with a fascinating past, rich cultural identity, breathtaking sceneries, and historic beauty. Routinely, travellers seem to stay in Kandy on their trip to Nuwara Eliya and Ella in the hill country. Spending a few days in Kandy makes the trip more exciting as it gives one, enough time to explore this striking city.
Cultural Significance of Kandy
As we highlighted before, this city has great cultural significance. Moreover, this ancient city, surrounded by tropical forests, holds enormous mountain ranges, winding Kandy Lake that is also known as the ‘Sea of Milk’, and a few revered historic constructions and glorious Kandyan influenced architecture. However, Kandy, once known as Senkadagalapura was an iconic and well-established Buddhist location. Besides, before losing to the British in 1815, the city stood as the last capital of the Sinhalese kingdom.
Kandy is a holy city due to the extreme prominence and spiritual significance of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, identified as the house of the sacred tooth of the Buddha. Thus, most of the traditions and rituals of the Kandyans are strongly influenced by religious and cultural values. Besides, seemingly, an important celebration of ten days takes place annually, in Kandy. This religious event that happens every August is the vivid celebration of Kandy Esala Perahera, which is also known as the Festival of the Tooth. Of course, this festival is certainly the main attraction of this city, which reveals to the world, the delight of the rich heritage of the Sri Lankan culture.
Undoubtedly, Kandy is blessed with stunning geographical features that add to its natural beauty.
Amazing Location Encircling the Knuckles and Hanthana Mountain Ranges
Positioned in the island’s high and densely forested inner surface, the city is situated between several mountain peaks, counting the Knuckles and Hanthana Mountain Ranges. It has an altitude of 500 meters which is around 1,600 feet above sea level. Further, it neighbours the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary and the artificial Kandy Lake. However, Udawatte Kele is currently smaller in size.
Infrequent Geographical Spots
The hill country’s varied geographical features include mountains, valleys, clefts, and plateaus covered in greenery, as well as silvery streams and waterfalls flowing through it. River groups, forests, and mountainous terrain define its borders. Also, it contributed significantly to its safety during the rule of ancient kings, to protect the Kandyan Empire or Hill Country. The Mahaweli River, which runs along three sides of Kandy City, supplies natural defences and splendour to the city. Moreover, the passes of Balana, Balakaduwa, Galagedara, Ginigathhena, and Hunnasgiriya cross through the city.
Climate of Kandy
The climate of Kandy is unlike the other cities in Sri Lanka. It has a tropical monsoon climate according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification for this location is “Af”.
The Wet and Colder Weather throughout the Year
The city of Kandy receives a lot of rain throughout the year. Surely, this is visible even in the driest months. Kandy has an average annual temperature of 23.5 °C or 74.3 °F. The average rainfall is approximately 1773 mm or 69.8 inches. Kandy has wetter and colder weather than the rest of the country, particularly the coastal regions, due to its position in the middle of the island and at a high altitude. Due to its higher altitude, Nuwara Eliya has a colder climate than Kandy. Despite this, the climate in Kandy is still tropical, with average year-round temperatures of over 18 °C.
The Arrival of Monsoon Rains to Kandy
Besides, the months of January to April are the driest in the region. The region’s monsoon season lasts from May to July and October to December, and the weather is harsh and unpredictable during this period. The inter-monsoonal cycle lasts from March to the middle of May and light rain and high humidity are visible. The air humidity is typically between 70 and 79 per cent.
Moreover, Kandy receives 278.4 days of rainfall and 1466mm (57.72″) of rainfall over the course of the year. March is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 31.5°C (88.7°F) and a low temperature of 19.2°C (66.6°F). Similarly, March is the least humid month receiving an average humidity of 74%. June is the month of the year in which the most sunlight of the year is available in Kandy. The average is considered nearly 10.8 hours.
What is the Best Path to Reach Kandy?
By now, you clearly know that Kandy is a lovely hill town and a popular travel destination. Thus, it has admirable roads linking it to all of Sri Lanka’s towns, as well as rail connections to Colombo. Even so, there are still concerns about how to get to Kandy or the most convenient way to get there. Therefore, we thought of highlighting to you the most popular modes of transportation to Kandy, which are by bus, train, or taxi.
Regularly, a range of air-conditioned intercity buses, as well as other public and private buses, operates from Colombo to Kandy as well as from Kandy to Colombo. Kandy City also offers a public transportation system for tourists based on their bus services, used to travel to different parts of the city. Hence, within the city limits, one can find some public and private buses. For those coming by train, there is a bus stop conveniently, located near the city railway station. Some of the bus routes to Kandy from some of Sri Lanka’s major cities are as follows:
Colombo to Kandy
The trip takes approximately three hours and fifteen minutes. The expected cost for the bus trip is between LKR 40 to LKR 190. Buses run every 20 minutes on average.
Galle to Kandy
Even though there is no direct bus service from Galle to Kandy, there are buses that run from the Galle Bus Station to Kandy Good Shed Bus Station via Kaduwela. The journey takes about 5h and 10m, with transfers.
Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
Since it slices through the mountains on hairpin curves, the express bus from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is much faster than the train. However, this route is not suitable for those who are prone to motion sickness when driving. There are about two buses every hour from Kandy, and the journey takes approximately three and a half hours. Standard bus tickets cost around LKR 100, while luxury bus tickets cost around LKR 150.
Matara to Kandy
Matara and Kandy are 150 kilometers apart. The travel length covered is 248.5 kilometers. The bus from Matara to Kandy is the cheapest choice, costing between LKR 300 to LKR 410. It takes nearly 5h and 40m.
The Inter-City Express is a cost-effective and quick way to get to Kandy. Three trains arrive in the city from Badulla and two from Colombo. Observation saloons and second-class compartments are available on the trains. However, they must be reserved in advance. The third-class compartments are available without reservations. The train travels across lush greenery hills and towns, adding a mindblowing beauty to the excitement of the trip. Also, the Kandy to Ella journey is one of the most prominent train trips along with spectacular and epic sights, that is not only famous in Sri Lanka but the entire world.
The Surprising Train Rides that Begin from Kandy
Yes, taking the train is one of the best ways to see the tea country. And a train ride from or to Kandy is certainly one of Asia’s most spectacular train journeys. As one wind through lush tea fields, majestic peaks, and crashing waterfalls, the breath-taking scenery of the highlands awakens the senses. On the train, one can meet Sri Lankans from all lifestyles, as they make this an opportunity to live this delightful experience. Of course, it is not only a common mode of transportation for tourists, but it is also a popular form of transportation for locals. The reason is obvious for it to be such a popular trip. One will reach the tea country about an hour outside of Kandy.
What is the Most Scenic Train Ride in Sri Lanka?
Undoubtedly, the Kandy to Ella train journey is one of the most attractive and epic train trips not only in Sri Lanka but also in the entire world. The scenery shifts from palm groves to steep hills covered in tea bushes with expansive views. The lush hill country of Sri Lanka unfolds in front of the travellers which is a dense shag pile carpet of green tea fields and misty hills. In addition, the brightly coloured sarees of the pickers who keep the country’s renowned tea industry alive dot the landscape. While one can enjoy the picturesque, one can also breathe in the fresh breeze coming across the mountains.
How much is a Train Ride from Kandy to Ella?
Surprisingly, the train trip is very affordable. Meanwhile, the trains are comfortable too. Moderately, longer bench-style seats are available on the train, than the individual seats in groups of two in second class. Although the most practised thing by train travellers is hanging out on the train, it is better to have a seat to fall back on if it starts raining or one feels uncomfortable. Moreover, the train ride approximately costs LKR 100 – LKR 150 from Nuwara Eliya to Ella if it is a second-class compartment.
How Long does it Take to Get from Kandy to Ella by Train?
Seemingly, the train journey from Ella to Kandy takes about 6-7 hours in total, passing through Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. If the train ride seems to be tiring, one can cut it up by halting in Nuwara Eliya by spending a few days in this lovely mountain village around tea plantations.
How to Buy a Train Ticket in Advance in Sri Lanka?
Either, one can make a reservation in person by purchasing a ticket at any of the relevant stations up to 30 days before the departure date. Moreover, one can call up to make a reservation. One can book in advance by calling the Mobitel number or Hutch number 365 or Dialog number 444. Making an online reservation is also possible.
Frequently, travellers choose taxis, as their mode of transportation, as they are readily available. Further, they provide a safe mode of transportation, even at a high cost. For anyone travelling in a large group, minivans can transport to Kandy in comfort. However, it could cost more than the other modes of transportation. Specifically, hiring a private taxi from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya costs around LKR 2500 – LKR 3500 one-way. It takes about two and a half hours to get there. This is the best option if one is short on time and money is not an issue. If one books a private taxi or transfers through a tourist-oriented company, one might get a driver who also serves as a tour guide.
Is it Worth Travelling Kandy by Taxi?
Certainly, the benefit of using a taxi service is that one can enjoy the trip to Kandy calmly and will not have to worry about catching the train station or getting to the hotel as one arrives in Kandy. Thus, taxis are extremely convenient even though it comes with a great price.
Best Things to do in Kandy
Many tourists travel to Sri Lanka for the beautiful sandy beaches. However, the spiritual, quaint town full of tea plantations, misty hills, and iconic blue train carriages in the island’s mountainous region, surprisingly, grabbed the attention of both locals and tourists. Presently, the area’s several prominent cultural, historic sites and natural beauty, continue to preserve the city’s significance. Moreover, it provides the foundation for all the best things to do in Kandy. There are plenty of fascinating things to do in Kandy. Let us go through each of them.
- A stroll around the Kandy Lake
- City Exploration
If you are planning to explore Kandy any sooner, you will surely need more information with regard! Keep calm, because the following briefs would offer you a detailed overview of these activities.
1. A Stroll around the Kandy Lake
A stroll around the beautiful Kandy Lake is a must-do when in Kandy. Kandy Lake, also known as the ‘Sea of Milk’ or ‘Kiri Muhuda’, is a man-made lake in the heart of Kandy. It is situated about 0.3 km from the Radh. Kandy Lake, with its flowing fascination, dominates the heavenly setting. A relaxed stroll around the lake, with rest zones of several benches on the lakeside, is a great place to spend a few hours, away from the busy lives and distracted from the tranquillity. This place around the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the most pleasant environment to walk through.
History of Kandy Lake
Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the very last emperor of Kandy’s kingdom, built the artificial lake in 1807. However, a few minor local heads opposed their citizens being pressured to work on the project. Unfortunately, they were put to death on stakes in the lake bed to bring an end to the disturbances. Sri Wickrama Rajasinha’s harem was on the central island according to several stories. Additionally, the small island at its nexus, used for bathing by the king’s harem, was linked to the palace by a hidden tunnel. Later, the British stored weapons in it and added the fortress-style parapet all around the perimeter. However, it has changed shape over the years.
How Can You Enjoy an Evening at Kandy Lake?
The monks’ bathhouse is a circular structure on the south shore, in front of the Malwatte Maha Vihara. It’s now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with locals and visitors seemingly delighted to feed the shoals of wild fish that move freely in the waters. A quiet walk, particularly at sunset, while listening to the sounds of nature, is a wonderful way to get connected to Mother Earth and enjoy the blissfulness. The entire walk is about 2.1 miles long and features captivating visuals where visitors can sit and admire the Temple’s and the lake’s peace and serenity. A small island with palm trees in the middle of the lake adds to the lake’s visual appeal.
2. A Hike to the Knuckles Mountain Range
Indeed, travellers should consider hiking the Knuckles Mountain, as it is a lifetime experience. The Knuckles Mountain Range, called after its eerie resemblance to human knuckles, is a beautiful site and a popular hiking destination.
A Memorable Experience of Strenuous Hiking at Sri Lanka
The beautiful hiking trails are visible in the thick forest, walled by 34 mysterious mountains ranging in height from 900 to 2,000 meters. This 234 square kilometre area shows the best of Sri Lanka’s diverse natural beauty, with cascading waterfalls in every path, small villages concealed among the mountains, many terraced rice fields, and multiple rare and endangered species. Besides, the Knuckles Mountain Range is one of the country’s most difficult hiking trails, and it’s better done by those with previous hiking backgrounds. On the contrary, regardless of the hikers’ level of experience, hikers must have a qualified guide, due to the area’s massiveness and the risk of getting lost.
Enriched Bio-diversity at the Knuckles Mountain Range
The Knuckles Mountain Range is of great scientific significance in addition to its attractive appearance with thick clouds often covering the upper area. The place is a climatic microcosm compared to the rest of Sri Lanka, as it displays the conditions of all of the country’s climatic zones. A series of isolated cloud forests are visible at higher elevations, each with its own flora and fauna. Despite accounting for just 0.03 per cent of the island’s total territory, the range is habitat to a far greater percentage of the country’s biodiversity. Several endemic flora and fauna that are distinctive from the central mountain range can be visible in the isolated Knuckles range. These forests are home to more than 34% of Sri Lanka’s endemic trees, shrubs, and herbs.
As a part of Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands, Knuckles Conservation Forest entered the UNESCO natural world heritage list in 2010. This is one of the best tourist destinations in Kandy particularly, for the hiking enthusiast.
3. City Exploration
Truly, Kandy is a city of delightful chaos, with busy avenues, colonial architecture, and the magnificent Kandy lake forming the backdrop to a perfect few days amid Sri Lanka’s lush green hills. Further, Kandy is well-known for its stunning temples, gardens, and national parks. Thus, Kandy houses a number of wonderful places to visit. Some of its main attractions are featured in the below sections.
Best Places to Visit in Kandy
Among the several important places in and around Kandy, we would highlight the below as the best!
- Temple of Tooth Relic
- Arthur’s Seat
- Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya
- Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
- Ambuluwawa Tower and Biodiversity Complex
- Horton Plains National Park
- Embekka Devalaya
- Lankathilake Temple
- Gadaladeniya Temple
The below sections highlight the significance of these places in detail.
1. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
The Temple of the Holy Tooth Relic is one of Sri Lanka’s prominent shrines, situated near the Udawattakele Sanctuary. In fact, Buddhist consider a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic as a spiritual awakening. This temple, also known as Dalada Maligawa, is in the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Kandy. The holy tooth of Lord Buddha preserved in the temple makes it a popular tourist destination in Kandy. Worshippers are welcome to worship in the room where the tooth is set aside. However, the tooth, locked in a golden casket inside a stupa-like structure, is not visible to anyone. The temple is located inside the former Kingdom of Kandy’s royal palace complex.
Significant Architecture and Inner Beauty
The temple, which houses the legendary Budda tooth was built between 1687 to 1707. Undoubtedly, it is a beautiful sight for tourists, with its amazing ornamentation, golden fence, and extravagant Kandyan architecture. Within the temple, the atmosphere is exceptionally cozy and inviting, with the scents of freshly plucked flowers and coconut oil-lit candles and lamps lighting the place. The Pallemaluwa on the ground floor of the temple is where the regular pujas take place.
Rituals that Take Place at the Temple of the Tooth Relic
On Wednesdays, the bathing of the relic with a herbal preparation takes place. This function is called Nanumura Mangallaya. The temple offers its devotees this holy water, which is held in high regard spiritually. Further, the prayers of Malwatte and Asgiri happen three times a day, at dawn, noon and evening, at the internal temple, by a group of dedicated monks.
Besides, the entry fee to visit to the Temple of Tooth Relic for a tourist is $10 per person, and the hours of operation are from 5.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
2. The Arthur’s Seat
Arthur’s seat, known as Kandy’s highest point, is a truly stunning location with a panoramic view of the magnificent city. It’s so calming that one will want to relax there all day and look at the incredible view beneath. Arthur’s seat isn’t far from the lake as it is a 10 minutes walk. A proper observation area is set aside to take in the breathtaking scenery. It’s a spot where one should carry the camera to click a few stunning pictures and videos. Arthur’s Seat is situated southwest of Kandy Lake. It is not a tough process if one enjoys long walks, or one can take a taxi or tuk-tuk to the top of the hill.
Things to do at Arthur’s Seat
The great White Buddha monument is visible to one’s left, as well as miles of hillsides stretching out beyond is visible from where one is standing. Moreover, in the viewpoint, there are copies of cultural paintings and crafts from the Kandyan Kingdom for sale. Street vendors sell arts and crafts abound in Arthur’s Seat district. They can be very persistent when it comes to selling wooden Buddhas, postcards, or books to tourists.
In addition, the discovery of this viewing point occurred during British law. According to legends, just above where the current Arthur’s Seat is located, there was a Bungalow owned by Mr. Arthur, a planter. Arthur, the planter, used to observe Kandy City from a stone seat beneath a tree in front of his bungalow. And yes, it is the place which is now known as Arthur’s seat. Also, Arthur’s Seat viewpoint is one of the best tourist attractions from which the entire Kandy city appears and happens to be spectacular at night or during the day.
3. Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya
The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a popular hill country tourist fascination that attracts a large number of visitors every day. Besides, the Royal Botanical Garden is the biggest park in Sri Lanka, spanning 60 hectares and offering a secret beauty to discover. The park is close to the Mahaweli River and is in the city of Peradeniya.
This Botanical Garden has over 4000 plant species, including some of the most beautiful orchids. The Giant Bamboo of Burma, which grows 12 inches per day to a height of 40 meters, is the most unusual and rare collection in these gardens. Other impressive specimens include the Javan fig tree, Cannonball tree, Double Coconut Palm, around 200 other palm tree varieties, and a diverse flora collection. The National Herbarium of Sri Lanka, attached to this Royal Botanical Garden, is a must-see. Most tourists spend their day, visiting the entire 147-acre garden. The garden isn’t new as it was built in 1821 and originally contained mostly coffee and cinnamon plants. King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary planted the Cannonball Tree in this garden in the year 1901.
Things to do at Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
Visitors can bring food and have an open-air picnic here, or one can eat at the cafeteria inside, which serves both local and western food. A picnic in the garden with family and friends is also a great idea. Romantic couples, on the other hand, are often visible in the garden area. To make an interesting Kandy sightseeing tour, most cab drivers offer to include the Botanical Garden as well as the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage or the Kandy temple. However, the park welcomes visitors from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Moreover, Kandy is 5.5 kilometres away from the park. Tourist adults have to pay nearly LKR 2400, while children have to pay nearly LKR 1200 as the entree fee.
4. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Surely, a visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an experience worth relishing. The site is in the Pinnawala village of Sri Lanka’s Sabaragamuwa Province. The orphanage was founded in 1975 by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation. The birth of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage took place to provide shelter and food to orphaned, sick, or maimed elephants. Thus, the project’s philosophy revolves around the treatment of orphaned baby elephants that are unable to live without their mothers.
Things to do at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
In recent years, this area transformed into a fantastic tourist destination. If you visit there, you can witness how the elephants are well-cared by the orphanage. When visiting this place tourists can ride elephants, pet them and play with them at the local park. The orphanage also accepts donated elephants and rehabilitates them. Further, this orphanage is a well-known elephant breeding ground with over 90 elephants left in their natural habitat. Visitors can have a close encounter with these Asian elephants by spending the day and watching these cute elephants close as they bathe, play and eat fruits. Moreover, elephants there are well tamed and they will even splash visitors with water from their trunks if they accompany them in the water. For those, intrigued by nature, this is one of the best places to visit in Kandy.
The amazing thing is that this factory also recycles elephant poop to produce paper, and it is the only place in the world that does so. The elephants have mahouts who bathe them and feed them properly on a regular schedule. Regularly, the elephant orphanage welcomes visitors from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the expected amount to pay is around LKR 1300.
5. Ambuluwawa Tower and Biodiversity Complex
The Ambuluwawa Tower is situated near the Gampola town which belongs to the Kandy district. There has been a rise in popularity in recent years, owing to the spectacular views that can be seen from the top of the Ambuluwawa Tower. According to historical facts, the first Multi-Religious Centre in Sri Lanka is the Ambuluwawa Tower. A Temple, Kovil, Mosque, and Church can all be seen on the site. Ambuluwawa Temple stands at a height of 48 meters. This Multi-Religious Centre clearly demonstrates the unity and harmony among Sri Lankans who belong to different religions and ethnic groups from the very beginning. Moreover, it is world-famous for its winding spiral staircase, which some visitors find difficult to navigate. Ambuluwawa site is located 3567 meters above sea level and you can easily find out 200 plants in total, with 80 different species.
Stunning Views of the Surrounding Mountains
As you might be aware, the most difficult climbs often have the best views. And making it a truth, this site offers visitors opportunities to enjoy some of the best views like Sri Pada or Adam’s Peak from the South, the Knuckles Mountain Range from the North, Bathalegala Mountain from the West, and Piduruthalagala Mountain from the East. You can see the stunning view of the Hunnasgiriya, Hanthana Mountain Range, and the other mountains in the Nuwara Eliya district if you visit on a day with a clear sky.
6. Horton Plains National Park
Undeniably, Horton National Park is a spectacular location that provides “food for the soul”. Basically, the national park is a hill that rises to a height of 2000 meters. Moreover, it is one of the best places to witness the wild. Kirigalpotta and Thotupola, the country’s second and third highest mountains, are visible from the park. The location is also known as the world’s end. The undaunting mystical views of waterfalls, misted lakes, and earthy species of flora and fauna, add to the attractiveness of the park. Besides, they have been a reason for the park to earn the name, World’s End. However, it is preferable to explore this place early in the morning in order to witness this divine place well.
Wildlife at Horton Plains National Park
The park consists of numerous unique animal species such as Samba deers, leopards, wild boars, and purple-faced langurs. Also, the location is perfect for birdwatchers, as one can easily spot bulbul, Ceylon blackbird, Ceylon white-eyed arrangers, mountain hawks, and other flying wonders. Indeed, this epic 4km walk to the world’s end is a pleasing experience. Nature enthusiasts will surely enjoy the beauty of wildlife in this national park. Framed by Sri Lanka’s second and third largest mountains, Kirigalpotta and Thotupola, the valley is rich with biodiversity. The wide range of flora and fauna adds to the uniqueness of the place. The place welcomes its visitors from six in the morning to six in the evening.
7. Embekka Devalaya
Embekka Devalaya, also famous as the Embekka temple, is a wonderful attraction in Sri Lanka that delights visitors with some of the best wood crafts in the world. Even UNESCO confirms this fact. However, this place is located in the Udu Nuwara area of this beautiful Kandy city and belongs to the era of the Gampola Kingdom. Hence, this is not only a place that reveals to the world the fascination of the traditional arts and crafts of the island, but also a place with a historical value.
Besides, the Embekka temple is a shrine that both Buddhists and Hindus honour. Hindus believe that this shrine is dedicated to the god known as ‘Murugan’. Moreover, the Buddhists believe that this temple is dedicated to the ‘Katharagama deity’. Despite these religious beliefs, many visit this wonderful attraction, just to witness the splendours of the ancient woodwork.
8. Lankathilaka Temple
Lankathilaka Temple is an ancient Buddhist religious attraction located in Udunuwara, at a distance of around 17 kilometers from Kandy. This construction also belongs to the Gampola Period, of ancient Sri Lanka, and displays to the world the fascinating architectural styles of that era. Besides, the location of the temple in a natural rock is simply impressive. Moreover, the murals and paintings there, are surely going to delight any of the travellers who visit there.
9. Gadaladeniya Temple
Located in close proximity to the Lankathilaka temple, Gadaladeniya is another ancient Buddhist temple that belongs to the Gampola era. It is a wonderful religious attraction and an old monastery built over a rock in Diggala, which is around Kandy. As per the records, some of its historical Buddha statues have been destroyed by the Portuguese, during the colonial era of the country. Yet, the statues, pillars, and carvings in this premises, that hold shades of South-Indian Architecture still preserve the charm and the fascination of this place.
Best Time to Visit Kandy
The main seasonal change in Kandy occurs with the arrival of the monsoon season. The dry season, which follows the monsoon, is unquestionably the best time to visit Kandy. Lack of rainfall and more significantly, low humidity are the features of the dry season in Kandy. This combination creates the potential for visiting the island and taking in all of its attractions, such as hiking, sightseeing, and city exploration. During this season, the temperature will range from 18 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius. It is much more comfortable compared to the rest of the island due to its elevation above the sea.
Restaurants and Lodging Facilities in Kandy
Kandy is capable of offering delight to one’s eyes and tongue. Certainly, there is a wide selection of local cuisine to choose from when dining in Kandy. Sri Lankan and Continental cuisines are commonly available in restaurants. However, only a few restaurants serve Chinese or Thai cuisine. However, Kandy is home to all of the biggest fast-food chains in Sri Lanka.
Besides, alongside all the captivating tourist attractions in Kandy, the city also offers its visitors the best accommodation facilities along with the most stunning and comfortable settings. As Kandy is a cultural capital, there are a variety of mid-to-high-end accommodations to choose from. Here are few places to treat one’s taste buds and to stay, when in Kandy.
1. Soya Center
Being only a vegetarian food served restaurant, Soya Centre serves a wide range of typical Sri Lankan street food made entirely of soya beans. The open-air diner serves delicious vegetable buns, roti rolls, and soya sausage sandwiches. Among the varieties of desserts, particularly the soft ice cream cones made with soya, are delightful.
2. Kandy Muslim Hotel
The Muslim Hotel, despite its name, is a simple and vibrant eatery that serves the best of traditional and delicious Sri Lankan cuisine. This restaurant, which is near the Lord Kataragama Temple, is always active. It serves authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, including plate-sized naan and highly spicy curries, as well as tasty samosas and scrumptious koththu.
3. Devon Restaurant and Bakery
The large and bustling Devon restaurant and bakery offer a diverse menu of typical Sri Lankan and Chinese dishes, as well as a few European specialties. Locals frequent the casual two-story restaurant, which is especially busy during lunchtime.
Riverscape is a restaurant that combines the best fresh items with excellent preparation and a royal aura to create a pleasurable dining experience. The place is best to enjoy delectable meals with loved ones in an atmosphere where the scenery is as stunning as the food on the plate.
5. Kandy City Hotel by Earl’s
The Kandy City Hotel is just 700 meters from the Kandy Railway Station. The elegantly designed rooms consist of attached bathrooms.
6. Queen’s Hotel
The Queen’s Hotel is 50 meters from Kandy Lake in a historical structure. It features colonial-style lodging, an outdoor pool, three dining options, and free parking.
7. Earl’s Regent Hotel
Earl’s Regent Hotel is just 4.5 km from Kandy Railway Station and includes an outdoor pool, in-house restaurant, and soothing spa treatments.
8. Sevana City Hotel
The Sevana City Hotel is just 1.3 kilometers from the Kandy Railway Station and 6 kilometers from the Bogambara Stadium. There is the availability of free WiFi and a work desk in each room.
The Bottom Line
Conclusively, Kandy is a popular pilgrimage and tourist destination as it serves as an administrative, commercial, traditional, and educational hub. Thus, visiting Kandy will make one’s trip more useful as one can learn about the city’s unique cultural significance and enjoy the picturesque scenery. Surely, from strolling through Peradeniya’s beautiful Botanical Gardens and many more beautiful gardens, winding the way through beautiful temples, stopping by fragrant tea stalls to speak with the locals, and visiting the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which is a religious pilgrimage site, undoubtedly prove the delight of Kandy. Thus, visiting this sacred city with rich history and picturesque beauty, and exploring it deeply, is undeniably worthwhile. Thus, simply, Kandy is a miraculous Sri Lankan city. So, why not? Visit it and experience the delight yourself. Happy and Safe Travelling!