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Kandy: A Cultural and Historical Gem in Sri Lanka

Discover the Charm and Beauty of the Hill Capital

By Mohamed JakkathPublished about a year ago 5 min read
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Explore the Fascinating Sights and Sounds of Kandy, from Ancient Temples to Scenic Gardens

Nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka's Central Province, the city of Kandy is a vibrant and cultural hub that showcases the island's rich history and diverse heritage. Known as the Hill Capital, Kandy is situated amidst lush greenery and misty mountains, providing a scenic and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Kandy:

Explore the Ancient Temples:

Kandy is famous for its ancient temples, which are not only sacred religious sites but also architectural masterpieces. The Temple of the Tooth, also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, is the most famous temple in Kandy and is home to the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. This temple is visited by thousands of devotees and tourists every day, who come to pay their respects and marvel at the ornate carvings and intricate artwork.

Other notable temples in Kandy include the Gadaladeniya Temple, which is renowned for its stone carvings and frescoes, and the Lankathilaka Temple, which features a towering brick structure with intricate carvings and sculptures.

Stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens:

If you're looking for a peaceful and scenic escape, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy are a must-visit destination. The gardens cover over 147 acres and are home to a stunning collection of exotic plants and flowers from all over the world. Highlights include the orchid house, the spice garden, and the giant Javan fig tree, which is over 160 years old.

Take in the Scenic Views from Bahirawakanda Temple:

Perched atop a hill overlooking the city, the Bahirawakanda Temple offers panoramic views of Kandy and its surroundings. The temple is home to a giant statue of Lord Buddha, which stands at over 88 feet tall and is one of the tallest Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. The climb to the temple may be steep, but the views are worth it.

Experience the Local Culture at the Kandy Cultural Show:

The Kandy Cultural Show is a vibrant and colorful celebration of Sri Lankan culture, featuring traditional dance performances, drumming, and fire-walking. The show takes place daily in the evening and is a great way to experience the local culture and traditions.

Sample the Local Cuisine:

No trip to Kandy is complete without sampling some of the delicious local cuisine. Kandyan cuisine is known for its bold and spicy flavors, and features a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some must-try dishes include the Kandyan chicken curry, jackfruit curry, and kottu roti.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Kandy has something for everyone. Its unique blend of cultural and natural attractions makes it one of the top destinations in Sri Lanka. But Kandy is more than just a tourist destination. It's also an important center for traditional arts and crafts, such as weaving, pottery, and woodcarving.

If you're interested in learning more about Kandyan culture and its traditional arts, be sure to visit the Kandy Museum and the Kandy Arts and Crafts Center. Here you can see a wide range of traditional handicrafts and watch skilled artisans at work.

Another highlight of Kandy is the annual Esala Perahera festival, which takes place in July or August. This festival is a colorful and extravagant procession featuring elephants adorned with ornate costumes and colorful lights, dancers, drummers, and other performers. It's a true spectacle and a must-see event if you happen to be in Kandy during this time.

When it comes to accommodation, Kandy has a range of options to suit every budget and taste. From luxurious hotels and resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays, there's no shortage of places to stay in Kandy. Many of the hotels and guesthouses are located in peaceful and scenic locations, offering stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Getting around Kandy is relatively easy, with a range of transportation options available. Tuk-tuks (three-wheeled vehicles) are a popular and convenient mode of transportation in the city, and can be found throughout the city. Buses are also available and provide a cheap way to get around, although they can be crowded and uncomfortable during peak hours. Alternatively, you can hire a car with a driver to explore the city at your own pace.

When planning your trip to Kandy, it's important to keep in mind the weather patterns. Kandy experiences a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season from December to April and the wet season from May to November. The best time to visit Kandy is during the dry season when the weather is warm and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

In terms of safety, Kandy is a relatively safe city for travelers. However, it's important to take common sense precautions, such as avoiding carrying large amounts of cash or wearing expensive jewelry in public places. It's also advisable to avoid traveling alone at night, especially in deserted areas.

When it comes to food, Kandy is known for its spicy and flavorful cuisine. The city is home to a variety of restaurants and eateries, serving up traditional Sri Lankan dishes as well as international cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes in Kandy include rice and curry, hoppers (a type of pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk), and kottu roti (a dish made from chopped roti bread, vegetables, and spices).

Kandy is also known for its tea plantations and production, and a visit to one of the many tea estates in the area is a must-do activity. Here, you can learn about the process of tea production, sample a variety of teas, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

For those who love the outdoors, Kandy has plenty to offer. The city is surrounded by lush hills and valleys, and there are numerous hiking trails and nature walks that offer stunning views of the landscape. One of the most popular hikes is the Knuckles Mountain Range, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and peaks.

Overall, Kandy is a city that has something to offer for every type of traveler. With its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and delicious cuisine, it's no wonder that Kandy is one of the top destinations in Sri Lanka. So, if you're planning a trip to Sri Lanka, be sure to add Kandy to your itinerary and experience the magic of the Hill Capital.

In conclusion, Kandy is a city that captures the heart and soul of Sri Lanka. Its rich culture, fascinating history, and stunning natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka. Whether you're interested in exploring ancient temples, strolling through lush gardens, or experiencing local culture and cuisine, Kandy has something to offer. So pack your bags and head to the Hill Capital for an unforgettable journey through Sri Lanka's cultural and natural treasures.

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About the Creator

Mohamed Jakkath

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Comments (2)

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knockabout a year ago

    Well written, informative & inviting. As always, just a few editorial suggestions: The paragraph beginning with, "When it comes to food, Kandy is known for...," would probably work better combined with your section on "Sample the Local Cuisine". (BYW, is that a rock candy swizzle stick resting over a cup of tea? It looks very good & would be nice to include in your list of edibles to check out, especially if the tea is locally sourced.) After that section ("Sample the Local Cuisine"), you quit using section headers & the pictures became less frequent. I missed both of them. I would love to see pictures of the artisans, museum, elephants, hiking trails, etc. Having the header directly above the associated picture followed by the paragraph was very effective. Finally, you have two concluding paragraphs. I would probably keep the first & simply drop the second. It's unnecessary & that first concluding paragraph is about as perfect as it can be. Well done. Kandy was not high on my list of priorities based on your previous article (there were so many other places that sounded better). With this one, it sounds like a place where you'd want to spend more than just a day or two. You could spend a good amount of time & still not run out of beautiful things to see, fun things to do, & interesting things to learn. (So long as you remember not to wear expensive jewelry or carry large sums of cash in public & to avoid deserted places after dark, lol.)

  • The Invisible Writerabout a year ago

    This was a very informative article. Kandy sound like an amazing place to travel!

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