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21 Places to Visit in Kandy

Kandy is the last Singhalese Royal Kingdom of Sri Lanka with panoramic geography encircled by attractive peaks discovered in the centre of the aisle, placed 1,600 feet above Sea Level. The city is well known for the Sacred Tooth Relic Temple, the most revered Buddhist Temple and The Royal Botanic Gardens, with more than 4,000 marked species of flora. Also, Kandy is a well-planned city during the British colonial period of Ceylon (Sri lanka). Considering these validities, UNESCO declared Kandy as a UNESCO World Heritage. Kandy is the second most prominent city in Sri Lanka, with a total of 1,940 SQ KM and is an influential tourist attraction. In addition, Kandy plays a vital role in the diverse cultures of Sinhala & Tamil communities.
During August, Kandy evolves highly filled due to the Kandy Esala Perehera, which is hosted as an annual tradition of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. It usually attracts many local and foreign tourists who value Cultural monomials and Buddhist origin.
With the surplus of attractions and exciting places to visit, here are the ultimate familiar places in Kandy. From galleries to viewpoints, there is something for all types of visitors.

1. Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa)

Kandy Sri Dalada Maligawa is the final site of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Gautama Buddha. The Sacred Tooth relic was carried to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala & Prince Dantha from Kalinga in ancient India during King Keerthi Sri Meghavarna (Kithsirimevan 301 -328).

The temple, which displays a lot of significance to Buddhists worldwide, additionally has tremendous cultural value. The structure is of a novel Kandyan architectural technique with a mixture of the original style applied to build “Dalada Mandira”, the shrines which housed the Sacred Tooth Relic earlier in different kingdoms.
The temple is in the city of Kandy near the ancient Royal Palace, situated to the North of the temple and the forest garden called “Udawaththa Kelaya” to the East. Kandy Lake is known as “Kiri Muhuda” to the South and “Natha & Paththini Devala” to the West. The temple is ornamented with detailed carvings utilising gold, silver, bronze and ivory.

Opening hour’s – Monday to Sunday
05.30 A.M- 08.00 P.M 

2. Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens was established in 1843, and delightful gardens were planted by British Colonialist leaders aback when the Kingdom of Kandy was under their power. Among its long and impressive history, twisted with colonialism and technical development, the garden is viewed as a vital national asset for the island of Sri Lanka.
Over 4000 species of flowers, including a vast collection of colourful orchids, medicinal plants, spices, palm trees, and more, these gardens attract nearly 2 million visitors annually. Significantly adding to floriculture, butterfly and birdlife conservation, and concentrating on the island’s sustainability and biodiversity, Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is genuinely an arcadia of tropical greenery, with abundant bamboo lianas and lofty trees to walk through feels like heaven.

Opening hour’s – Monday to Sunday
08.00 A.M-  05.30 P.M 

3. Gadaladeniya Temple

Gadaladeniya Temple is located in Pilimathalawa, Kandy.And the temple was constructed in 1344 by King Buvanekabahu IV. A South Indian architect, Ganesvarachchari, raised the temple and therefore had a South Indian touch in its intention.
Gadaladeniya temple is also recognised by the names Saddharmatilaka Vihara and Dharma Kirthi Vihara. The rock outcrop upon which the temple attained has a carved inscription with the temple’s structure details. The latter is named “Vijayothpaya” or “Vijayantha Prasada”, after the mythological dwelling of the god Indra.

4. Embekka Devalaya Temple

The Embekka Devalaya Temple is found in Udunuwara in the Kandy district. It was constructed during the Gampola Era (AD1357 – 1374) by King Vikramabahu 111 as a house of worship devoted to Mahasen, also recognised as “Katharagama Deviyo”. It is also where the local idol Devatha Bandara is revered by devotees.
Embekka Devalaya may be the most suitable place to observe the most fragile wood carvings of the past. The main hall presents a feast for the eyes with columns, pillars, and doors decorated with breathtaking wood carvings. The shelter, too, has its special drawing done in wood. A unique characteristic is that everything consists entirely of wood, with no other elements being used, not even metal. Also, the nails utilised have been hewn out of wood.

5. Bahirawakanda Temple

The Sri Maha Bodhi Temple at Bahirawakanda is a beautiful mountainous area near Kandy Town. Numerous tourists are fascinated by the giant Buddha statue built with people’s generous contributions organised by Ven. Ampitiye Dammarama Thero, the monastery, was begun in 1972. The huge Buddha statue displays one of the major attractions in Kandy.
After the opening of the image, more and more people began to visit the temple. As a result, this magnificent white Buddha statue can be seen throughout Kandy city.

6. Kandy National Museum

Showcase of National Museum Kandy

The Kandy national museum building built during the Sri Wickrama Rajasingha era was then identified as “Palle Vahala” This was managed as the castle where the king’s Queens remained. This building was built according to the architectural features of the Kandy period. This pallevahala building was used to keep the various objects of historical importance made by the Kandy Art Association, established in 1832 and professionals of the Matale district. Museum was initiated to the public in 1942.
This museum has over 5000 museum objects representing many aspects of historical and cultural events of the Kandyan era. (17-19 century A.D.)

7. International Buddhist Museum

The international Buddhist Museum was established in Kandy to showcase the extent of Buddhism throughout Asia and the rest of the world and is the only museum demonstrating the expansion of Buddhism all around the globe. By the 2600th year of the sambuddatva Jayanthi, the Buddha dhamma had developed its status from the simple philosophy of the lifestyle of humankind enunciated in early Buddhist thought to a highly developed ritualistic religious system. From its motherland, India, Buddhism as a belief has extended to different parts of Asia, the South–East and the far East. At the same time, the message of the Buddha is currently being perused in the broad context of the current world. Therefore, it is interesting to note the different systems obeyed in the practice of Buddhism, both Theravada and Mahayana, by the respective countries.

8. Lankatilaka Temple

The Lankatilaka Viharaya(Temple) was built by the king’s chief minister Senalankadhikara. The architect, as named in the Lankatilaka engraving, was Sthapati Rayar from South India. Lankatila Viharaya is built on an irregular stone surface with brick and granite. According to the Lankatilaka copper-plate writing, the original structure was 32 cubits or 80 feet high.
According to the area design, the building is cruciform. The square screen is surrounded by an outer casing wall leaving space along three sides. On the outside of each of the three sides is a niche with an illustration of one of the traditional gods of the period.

9. British Garrison Cemetery

The British Garrison Cemetery is found in the centre of the city of Kandy, opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The conclusive resting place for many colonial-era British officials and their families is one of the several cemeteries in Sri Lanka solely devoted to foreigners who passed away on the land. It was built in 1817 and was formally terminated for burials in 1873. Although, the cemetery was repaired in 1998 and is now maintained by a private group of British individuals. Indeed, a walk through the graveyard accompanied by the caretaker can be a relatively exciting and insightful experience.

10. Ceylon Tea Museum

The Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane hills, three kilometres from the city of Kandy, is served by simple access and enough parking facilities for cars and tourist coaches. The museum consists of four levels. The ground floor and the second-floor display ancient items of machinery, and the first floor consist of a library and a theatre with facilities for audiovisual performances. The third floor is earmarked for tea sales outlets, where the diversity of Sri Lanka’s fine tea is available. The whole top floor is a tea cafe. A telescope installed on the fourth floor can observe a panoramic view of the Kandy town surrounded by the beautiful Hunasgiriya, Knuckles Range and the Matale range of mountains. The grounds encompassing the Tea Museum are landscaped with different varieties of teas. Kandy is a mandatory stop virtually on every tourist’s plan, and the place of Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane has become the attraction of the hill country to visitors.

11. Victoria Dam – Teldeniya

The Victoria Dam is located near Teldeniya Kandy, crossing the Mahaweli Ganga. The direct path from Teldeniya to the site is along the jungle road, 5 Km long. Building work was ceremonially inaugurated on this Project by President Jayawardana on August 14, 1978. It was ceremonially referred to on April 12 1985.
Chief contractors for the Dam and Subway were the Joint British Venture, Balfour Beatty Nuttal and the Power Station was undertaken by Costan International.
This is the highest dam in Sri Lanka and has the most central power station. It consists of a double curve arch dam of maximum height of 122m, a circular concrete-lined tunnel of 6 meters diameter leading to 3 Francis turbines, each of 70 MW capacity and generating 780 GIGA Watt-hours, housed in a reinforced concrete power station 52 m long and 30m (98ft) wide.

12. Katusu Konda ( Knife-edge ) – Hanthana

Katusu Konda, also known as Knife-edge, is an unforgettable adventure to experience the excellence of the environment at the Hanthana mountain range. It gets its name because it is a high peak with a narrow tip similar to a lizard’s backbone. You are gazing down from here, a dangerously steep slope.
The easiest route is to run towards Peradeniya. You have to move about 7km from Peradeniya to lead the Sarasawigama. Following that, you can take a bus till you arrive at Sarasawigama. If you want to go past that, you must go on a tuk-tuk or hike. It’s another 4km from Sarasavigama to Upland. About 2km along the difficult road in front of the little temple and shop in Upland, you will see a few tiny houses. The footpath to the mountain is discovered only after you have gone through those little houses.

13. Nelligala International Buddhist Center

Nelligala International Buddhist Center is a mountain located in Muruthalawa, Kandy. Temple, well known as Nelligala Temple, was established in 2015 on Nelligala hill.
We are continually seeking healing in our thoughts as we think about obtaining clearance from a hectic lifestyle. It is deserving considering the Nelligala Vihara, built on an effortlessly convenient hill in such a setting. The structures of the Nelligala temple are majestic, with a high construction style of architectural excellence. The Mahayana Buddha statue, a fascinating feature of the temple, is an extreme display of the golden Buddha statue, the Bo tree in the golden bowl and the golden stupa combined with the blue sky calms our souls.

14. Kandy Lake

The Kandy lake, furthermore known as the Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk, is an artificial lake. It is a famous tourist site in the heart of the city and beside some of the well-known attractions of Kandy. There is furthermore an island in the middle of the lake. Around the lake is built the Wakulla Bamma, or the Clouds Wall, is built around the lake, which boosts its magnificence. Tourists visiting Kandy can also see the Ulpan or Queens Bathing Pavilion, a party in Kandy Lake.

15. Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya Temple

Located less than an hour from the city of Kandy, on the road between Negombo and Peradeniya, the Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Vihara is one of the most prominent and beautiful temples in Sri Lanka. The temple was built in a manner that permitted it to take full advantage of its surrounding natural environment. It intertwines with the terrain, the walls moving in and out of the sculpted rock front, and one of the major themes of its architecture is its relationship with the earth. A giant statue of a walking Buddha stands at the vanguard of the temple, while a line of Buddhist monk statues follows near rearward.

16. Royal Forest Park (Udawatta Kele jungle)

Found on the hilly terrains of the tooth relic temple, this forest reserve acted as the retreat for the Kandyan rulers in the ancienter periods. After that, altered into a sanctuary, it became a vital bio reserve of Kandy. The sanctuary is laid over 104 hectares and is mainly known for its various species of birds. Delivering numerous species of birds and animals, it is one of the visiting locations in Kandy. You can also visit the three Buddhist forest monasteries at this site and the wildlife. Another attraction is the three Buddhist cave dwellings. Moreover, tourists will love the thick forest cover of the area, which looks stunning in the monsoon months.

17. Kandy View Point

The central highlands of Sri Lanka are one of the country’s many natural wonders. This area is a must-visit for environment lovers thanks to its gently rolling hills, stunning mountains, and lush woods. Visitors have a rare chance to witness this natural beauty from above at the Kandy View Point, which is situated above Kandy Lake. You can follow the instructions in this article to visit Kandy View Point.

18. Galmaduwa Rajamaha Viharaya

The Galmaduwa Rajamaha Viharaya provides proof that several architectural elements may coexist together. Its local name alludes to its fundamental shape, a pavilion made of stone and brick. However, a soaring gopuram gives the building a distinctly Hindu flavor. This blending of styles illustrates how Tamil and Hindu components coexist inside the boundaries of a Buddhist temple of worship.

19. St. Paul's Church

St. Paul's Church Kandy side View

In the centre of Sri Lanka’s “Hill Capital Kandy,” St. Paul’s Church offers a plethora of historical, architectural, and cultural value. The construction of a separate church tower was necessary, as Reginald Heber, the second Bishop of Calcutta, realised in 1825 when he was there for a confirmation service. An old Audience Hall of the Kings of Kandy was used for prayer by a few Ceylonese people and the British military garrison.

Importantly, in recognition of the church’s support to the British military garrison, King George III gave a communion set made of silver and gilded to the institution. This equipment is still in use, especially for Easter and Christmas services. Due to the church’s close vicinity to the Temple of the Tooth, a revered Buddhist shrine, the British government later granted Crown land for its construction in 1843, emphasising religious tolerance and cooperation.

20. Kandy War Cemetery

The Kandy War Cemetery honours those who gave their lives in battle and serves as a sad reminder of the turbulent period during the World Wars. This location in Kandy, Sri Lanka, formerly known as the Pitakande Military Cemetery, captures the tales of soldiers from all across the British Empire.

Kandy War Cemetery was founded in memory of the British Empire soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. A soldier killed in World War I is also commemorated there, making it a historically significant location.

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21. Madawala Inscription

The highly esteemed Madawala Inscription demonstrates Sri Lanka’s rich cultural and historical legacy. This inscription, locally known as “Madawala Giri Lipiya,” commemorates an important period in the island’s history. Situated close to Madawala town in the picturesque Dumbara district of Kandy, it enthrals historians and enthusiasts with its fascinating intricacies and historical significance.

A treasure in Sri Lanka’s historical landscape, the Madawala Inscription lies tucked away in the steep hills of Dumbara, Kandy. Its accessible yet mysteriously concealed location, about 500 metres off the major highway from Kandy to Wattegama, beckons travellers to immerse themselves in a bygone era.

Places to Stay in Kandy 

 

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