About Kandy – Sri Lanka
Kandy is Sri Lanka’s last Singhalese Royal Kingdom, with panoramic geography surrounding magnificent peaks in the aisle, 1,600 feet above sea level. The Sacred Tooth Relic Temple, the most respected Buddhist Temple, and The Royal Botanic Gardens, with over 4,000 designated types of flora, are highly known in the city. Kandy was also a well-planned metropolis during Ceylon’s British colonial period (Sri Lanka).
Considering these considerations, UNESCO designated Kandy as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kandy, the second most populous city in Sri Lanka, has a total area of 1,940 square kilometres and is a popular tourist destination. In addition, Kandy is essential in the different cultures of the Sinhala and Tamil populations. Kandy is one of Sri Lanka’s largest and most culturally significant cities, having a population of roughly 110,000 people.
Kandy comes alive in August because of the Kandy Esala Perehera, an annual ceremony of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. It generally draws many local and foreign tourists who appreciate cultural monomials and Buddhist origins.
With so many attractions and intriguing locations, these are the most well-known spots in Kandy. There is plenty for all sorts of tourists, from galleries to vistas.
History of Kandy
The English bestowed the name “Kandy,” a derivative of “Kanda Uda Rata,” reflecting the city’s elevated geographical setting. Presently known as “Maha Nuwara” in Sinhala, Kandy’s historical essence is “Senkadagalapura.” The roots of this intriguing name lead us down the paths of folklore and legend.
Origins of Senkadagala
Senkadagala’s origins are shrouded in three distinct narratives. It is believed to have been named after a Brahmin named Senkadagala, a queen named Senkada associated with King Wickramabahu, or a precious coloured stone called Senkada gala. These legends intertwine, creating a mystique that adds to the city’s allure.
The Birth of a Regal Capital
During the Gampola Era, the illustrious King Wickramabahu III established Senkadagalapura as a city from 1357 to 1374 AD. However, it was Senasammata Wickremabahu, ascending the throne in the 15th century (1473-1511), who elevated Kandy to the status of the capital of the Kandyan Kingdom. The city’s grandeur was further enhanced by the presence of the Royal Palace and the revered “Dalada Maligawa,” the Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Triumph Amidst Turmoil
Kandy’s history is marked by its resilience against foreign invaders. Despite coastal regions succumbing to Portuguese, Dutch, and English influences, Kandy stood firm, safeguarding its independence. The treacherous mountain routes that led to the city became its shield, thwarting numerous invasions. It was in 1815 that Kandy eventually yielded to British authority, symbolized by the signing of a pact at the historic “Magul Maduwa,” near the Dalada Maligawa by the serene Kandy lakeside.
The Sunset of a Royal Dynasty
The poignant tale of Kandy’s last king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe, adds a melancholic note to its history. Imprisoned by the British and exiled to India, he endured a life of captivity until his passing. With his fall, the illustrious Royal Dynasty, which had suffered since the 6th century BC—spanning over 2350 years—came to a poignant end, marking a turning point in the annals of time.
A Spiritual Haven
Kandy’s enduring significance as the religious capital of Sri Lanka is an indelible thread woven into its narrative. Through invasions and upheavals, the city retained its status as a pilgrimage site for devout Buddhists, practising the purest form of the faith. The legacy of Kandy lives on, a testament to its unwavering devotion to spirituality.
How to Reach Kandy – Sri Lanka
The City of Kandy is accessible by road from all Sri Lankan cities and by rail from Colombo. The most usual way to get to Kandy is to fly to Colombo and then take either the road or the rail, depending on your comfort level. Travelling within the city is very simple, with several taxis and tuk-tuks patrolling throughout the day.
The Inter-City Express is a low-cost and quick method to go to Kandy. Three trains arrive in the city from Badulla and two from Colombo. The trains contain observation saloons and second-class rooms that must be reserved in advance. In addition, third-class compartments need to be secured. The train travels past gorgeous green hills and villages, adding to the excitement of the voyage.
Every day, several air-conditioned interstate buses and other public and private buses go from Colombo to Kandy. In reality, several buses stop at the international airport. Taxis are frequently used because they are readily accessible and provide a safe mode of transportation, despite being relatively expensive. If you travel to a large party, minivans may transport you to Kandy comfortably. The trip should take roughly three and a half hours in total.
Kandy is a small city; therefore, strolling or hiring a scooter is one of the finest ways to explore it. Tuk-tuk taxis, on the other hand, are the most common mode of transportation. They are quick and inexpensive and travel to the city’s outskirts. Within the municipal borders, there are several public and private buses. In addition, there is a bus stop directly outside the city railway station for those coming by train.
Attractions in Kandy
Many visitors come to Sri Lanka for the white-sand beaches and epic surf, but deep in the heart of the island’s hilly, emerald-swathed core is a spiritual, lovely place consisting of tea plantations, misty hills, and the iconic blue train carriages.
Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second city and the island’s total historical and cultural capital, is the entryway to this hill-country excitement (and the world’s best train ride!).
With so many attractions and intriguing locations to visit in Kandy, these are the ultimate familiar spots. There is something for everyone, from galleries to vistas.
Best Places to Visit In Kandy
Shopping in Kandy
Venture into the heart of Kandy, and you’ll find yourself immersed in its bustling markets. Among the most vibrant is the Kandy Central Market, a kaleidoscope of colours, aromas, and sounds. Here, locals and visitors converge to explore a diverse range of goods, from fresh produce and spices to clothing, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
For those seeking a glimpse into Kandy’s artisanal heritage, the Kandy Craft Village beckons. Traditional artisans showcase their skills here, creating intricate items like wood carvings, batik textiles, and exquisite jewellery. Each piece tells a story, reflecting the city’s rich cultural tapestry.
Amidst Kandy’s historical charm, modern shopping establishments also find their place. The KCC Shopping Mall is a testament to the city’s evolving tastes. Boasting an assortment of local and international brands, this mall offers a blend of convenience and style.
For those yearning to carry a piece of Kandy’s allure back home, visiting Laksala is a must. This government-owned emporium showcases an array of handcrafted souvenirs that encapsulate the city’s essence. These treasures make for cherished mementos, from intricately designed figurines to intricately woven textiles.
Shopping in Kandy extends beyond material goods; it’s an opportunity to savour the city’s culinary delights. Amidst your shopping endeavours, indulge in local street food vendors offering delectable treats such as Kottu Roti, a flavorful dish made from chopped roti, vegetables, and spices.
The spirit of Kandy comes alive in its vibrant street markets. The Good Market is a delightful destination where organic produce, artisanal crafts, and eco-friendly products converge. It’s a shopping experience and a movement towards sustainability and responsible consumerism.
Kandy’s allure extends beyond its markets and malls. A visit to Kandy City Center, situated against the backdrop of the picturesque Kandy Lake, provides a unique shopping experience. As you stroll along the promenade, you can explore a variety of shops while basking in the serenity of the surrounding landscape.