KANDY – Spiritual capital of Sri Lanka

Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka. It is situated in the middle of the island country and the capital of central Sri Lanka. It is a city covered with hills. Kandy is a religious city and it is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. The city is known as Maha Nuwara in Sinhalese language.

There are many places to visit in Kandy.

This is the world famous budhist woeship centre because of the presence of Budha’s tooth relic. After budha’s nirvana, his tooth relic brought to Kalinga in India. The same came to  Srilanka around AD 300. It kept many places from time to time and finally placed at Kandy in a temple. Since then this place is a world-famous pilgrim center for Budhism. The Kandiyan kings controlled as per the belief that whoever possessed the tooth relic, he is the owner of the land. The Kandy palace and the tooth relic temple are placed near.

The main festival falls 10 days in July every year is called The Kandy Esala Perahera. The Sinhalese term ‘Perahera’ means a parade of musicians, dancers, singers, acrobats and various other performers accompanied by many caparisoned Tuskers and Elephants parading the streets in celebration of a Buddhist religious event. The purpose of the Kandy Esala Perahera Procession is to seek blessings of the gods to obtain rain for the cultivation of crops and to enrich the lands of the kingdom. The festival is celebrated to honor the Sacred Tooth Relic and the four ‘guardian’ Gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Goddess Pattini. The festival is celebrating with high enthusiasm within the local people and they will carry the tooth relic throughout the streets of Kandy, and this is considering one of the beautiful parade in Asia.

Botanical garden

The Royal Botanical Garden at Kandy situated in Peradeniya and it was developed by King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe around 1750. This qwas converted into a botanical garden in 1821 by British under the leadership of General Sir Edward Barnes. This place is located around 110Km away from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.

Kandy is a city covered with hills and the climate most equal to Mediterranean climate. It is a great location for Botanical garden and it is the largest in Sri Lanka and one of the finest Botanical Garden in Asia. Its three sides covered by the largest River of Sri Lanka named Mahaweli.

After the entrance and a hanging bridge, you can go to several avenues named Double Coconut Avenue, Cook’s Pine Avenue, Royal Palm Avenue, Palmyrah Palm Avenue and Cabbage Palm Avenue. There are around ten thousand plants & trees inclusive of 4000 labeled species.

      The spice garden consists many exotic spices. Cardamom, Coves, Pepper & Vanilla. Near to that we can see the Orchid Avenue which has vivid collection.

The great circle which is an important part of this garden is a grassy central area of nearly 4 acres in extent. Here we can see diverse array of trees planted by dignitaries, who had visited the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens.

Cannonball Avenue is decorated with numerous Cannon ball trees. Sal trees are loved by the Sinhalese. The flowers have a singular shape: a tiny stupa shaped bud in the center is shaded by a cobra like hood & surrounded by tiny florets which resemble a crowd of worshipers.

There is an artificial lake in the center of the Gardens with water plants including the giant water lily & papyrus reeds and some other water plants. Beside the lake is a white-domed a round building with a dom commemorates George Gardener, the Superintendent of the park during 1844-1849.

One of the rarest plants in the world, Coco de Mer (Lodoicea sechellarum) can see in the garden. This plant has the largest & heaviest fruit or nut in the plant kingdom, weighing an average some10 – 20 kg.

There are many crops like tea, coffee, coca, rubber, coconuts & varieties of rice.

Just across the main road from the gardens is Peradeniya campus of Sri Lanka University (1942), built in the old Kandyan style in an impressive setting of a large park with the River Mahaweli running through it & the surrounding hillocks.

Kandy is the primary spot in Sri Lanka’s tourism map, it is considered one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka which at the same time show cases the Sri Lankan Culture at its highest level.

Pinnawala elephant orphanage

The place is situated in the Pinnawala village present in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. This is a great tourist spot in Kandy where gives shelter to stranded and wounded elephants. There are 90 odd elephants in this orphanage. It started in 1975 by forest department. Visitors can do many activities here like provide food and milk to elephants, watch elephants bath, have a safari on elephant, feed coconut and leaves to elephant.

Kandy war cemetery

Kandy war cemetery is the burial place of British army men who died in world war I and II. There are more than 200 persons rest in peace in this cemetery including locals, Europeans, Asians, Canadians. There are many war cemetery in Sri Lanka but Kandy is different because of the natural greenery.

Kandy tea museum

Ceylon Tea Museum located in Hantane three Km from Kandy city which has four floor building and it consists consist of vintage tea making equipment, machinery, libraries, museum.  Ceylon. The visitors can taste a cup of free Ceylon tea. The ground and second floor consists of old machinery used in tea estates.First floor allocated for a library and conference hall with teleconference facility. Third floor using for tea sales outlet which will get finest tea in Sri Lanka. The fourth floor is a tea cafe and also one can view the beautiful scenery and Kandy city view.

Horton Plain National Park

Horton plain National Park at Ohiya is a great place to watch many birds and animals like the Samba deer, wild boars, leopards, Bulbul, Ceylon, hawks  etc. You should reach before 10 am, or else you can not vies anything because of cloud. There is a water fall inside the park called Baker falls. It is a marvelous sight to see. there are two view points as the World’s End with around 870 m. height and the Little World’s end with around 270 m height.

Bahirawakanda Temple

This is a buddhist temple located from 1 Km away from Kandy city. One can view the Buddha statue from any point of the city. It is so huge….. There are many Buddhist conventions happening here. Tourist can walk through the steps or take a tuk-tuk to reach the top of the hill.

Luluganga River waterfalls

Huluganga in Hulu river is a water fall with 72 m height. It is around 30 Km from Kandy city situates in a place called Dumbara. The river starting from Knuckle Mountain ranges( which is another nice tourist destination). The waterfall area remains its natural beauty and the authorities kept no construction in the area. There are many rocks in the river bed and you can take photograph by standing on the rocks with taking required precautions. Also the water level can rise unexpectedly, so you need to take care for that also.

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