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How to Explore Kandy in 48 Hours

The hill capital of Sri Lanka

By Amie GinendraPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
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Image via Pixabay

Regarded as one of the most breathtaking tourist hotspots in Sri Lanka, the hill capital of Kandy is an ancient city with a rich cultural heritage. Home to the iconic Temple of the Tooth and countless other landmarks, Kandy is also known as the hill station that most tourists find the most accessible from various corners of the island. Although two days are not sufficient to explore all that the city has to offer, here are some tips on how to make the most of 48 hours in Kandy.

Secure a Strategic Base

Those who are in Kandy for a limited period of time should first and foremost secure a resort or hotel that's centrally located. A conveniently placed base can make up for the lack of time available on holiday as easy access to the main points of interest will be a given. A centrally situated rest also allows travellers to spend more time at each venue as they will be spending less time on the road or on their way to key attractions. This is especially true for a city such as Kandy which is notorious for traffic jams and congested roadways. So whether you select the Cinnamon Citadel Kandy or any other base make sure it is among the best-located hotels in Kandy Sri Lanka.

Start with the Temple of the Tooth

As the main reason why most tourists head to Kandy in the first place, the first half of your first morning in Kandy should be spent exploring the Temple of the Tooth. As the sacred dwelling of the tooth relic of Lord Buddha, the vast compound is a former palace with its own museum. There are various rituals and rites that are performed to pay homage to this holy relic daily and visitors can catch a glimpse of these activities during a tour of the temple. It is necessary to dress modestly when visiting the Temple of the Tooth as those who are indecently clad will be given sarongs to conceal their bodies. The adjacent museum is also worthy of exploration due to the taxidermy remains of elephants that once took part in the Kandy Perahera are on show.

Head to Peradeniya

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy is actually situated on the outskirts of the city in Peradeniya. The parkland is a nature lover's dream come true and lined with thousands of flora species including those that are endemic to Sri Lanka. As one of the oldest botanical gardens to have been established in the country the Peradeniya Gardens, as it is locally known, remains a favourite picnic spot for couples and families.

Pay Homage to the Big Buddha

Officially dubbed the Bahiravokanda Vihara or the Big Buddha Temple, this hilltop sanctuary is another must-visit highlight during a trip to Kandy. Travellers who trek up to the summit can not only gaze upon the mammoth sculpture of Lord Buddha but also enjoy breathtaking views across the city. Known as one of the best places to catch the sunrise or sunset, this hillside temple is easy to reach on foot.

Spend Time by the Kandy Lake

There's nothing like a boat tour across Kandy Lake to begin your second day in Kandy as this manmade body of water is connected to many a local legend connected with courtiers and their families who are known to have been executed next to the lake. Feeding the duck population occupying the lake is another great way to spend a morning in Kandy while exercise fanatics and joggers can walk or run around the lake to work up a sweat.

Catch a Cultural Performance

Kandyan dance is an integral part of the city's culture and traditional Kandyan dance performances are staged across the city in various cultural institutions and the Red Cross building daily. Employing Sri Lankan music, drums and even elements of fire, the dance recitals are enigmatic showcases of artistry.

Enjoy High Tea

Wind down your last few hours in Kandy with some high tea at a local hotel or bakery. As a local tradition with colonial roots, enjoying a cup of Ceylon tea with tasty baked goods is the perfect way to say goodbye to the city in the hills.

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About the Creator

Amie Ginendra

Traveller | Writer | Foodie Lover | Blogger

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