Kandy, City in Sri Lanka
Kandy, located in the central part of Sri Lanka, is a historic and cultural city that holds great significance for both locals and tourists. It is the second-largest city in the country and is known for its charming atmosphere, rich history, and stunning natural surroundings. Here's an overview of Kandy:
Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic: One of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world, the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. It attracts pilgrims and visitors who come to witness the daily rituals and experience the spiritual ambiance.
Kandy Esala Perahera: This grand festival, held annually in July or August, is a vibrant procession featuring traditional dancers, drummers, and beautifully adorned elephants parading through the streets of Kandy. It celebrates the sacred tooth relic and is a captivating cultural experience.
Kandy Lake: Situated in the heart of the city, the picturesque Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake) adds to the city's charm. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake, enjoy the serene views, and capture stunning photographs.
Royal Botanical Gardens: Just a short distance from the city center, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens showcase a vast collection of exotic plants and trees. It's a peaceful retreat with beautiful landscapes, giant bamboo groves, and a stunning orchid house.
Royal Palace of Kandy: The remnants of the Royal Palace (Maha Maligawa) offer a glimpse into Kandy's royal history. Though only a few structures remain, it provides insights into the city's past.
Gadaladeniya and Lankatilaka Temples: Located on the outskirts of Kandy, these ancient temples showcase remarkable architecture and intricate Buddhist artwork.
Nature and Outdoor Activities:
Udawattakele Forest Reserve: A lush forest reserve adjacent to the city, Udawattakele offers nature trails, a variety of bird species, and panoramic views of Kandy.
Hanthana Mountain Range: Ideal for hiking enthusiasts, Hanthana offers scenic trails, tea plantations, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
Victoria Golf Course: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at this picturesque golf course surrounded by stunning mountain vistas.
Arts and Crafts:
Kandy Cultural Centre: Experience traditional Kandyan dance performances and enjoy a glimpse into the city's vibrant cultural heritage.
Kandy Market: Explore the bustling market to discover local handicrafts, spices, fruits, and vegetables. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.
Kandy's unique blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and historical significance make it a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka. Whether you're exploring its religious sites, enjoying scenic landscapes, or experiencing its vibrant festivals, Kandy offers a captivating experience that showcases the essence of Sri Lankan culture.
- Arrive in Kandy and check into your accommodation.
- Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) and explore its surroundings.
- Attend an evening puja (prayer) ceremony at the temple.
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Kandy Lake and admire the scenic views.
- Optional: Watch a traditional Kandyan dance performance at the Kandy Cultural Centre.
- Start the day with a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. Explore the vast collection of plants, flowers, and trees.
- Head back to Kandy and visit the Bahirawakanda Temple. Climb up to the viewpoint for a panoramic view of the city.
- Explore the Kandy Market and shop for souvenirs, spices, and local crafts.
- Optional: Take a boat ride on the Mahaweli River or enjoy a picnic by its banks.
- In the evening, visit the Kandy View Point for a stunning sunset view.
- Take a day trip to the nearby Udawattakele Forest Reserve. Enjoy a peaceful walk amidst nature and spot bird species.
- Visit the Gadaladeniya and Lankatilaka Temples, located outside Kandy. Admire their unique architecture and Buddhist artwork.
- Head back to Kandy and indulge in a traditional Sri Lankan lunch at a local restaurant.
- Explore the streets of Kandy and soak in the city's vibrant atmosphere.
- Optional: Visit a tea plantation and factory in the surrounding hills for a tea-tasting experience.
- Take an early morning visit to the Peradeniya Railway Station and experience the scenic train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya.
- Enjoy breathtaking views of the hill country and tea plantations during the train journey.
- Arrive in Nuwara Eliya and spend the day exploring the city's attractions, such as Gregory Lake, Victoria Park, and the tea estates.
- Return to Kandy in the evening and relax at your accommodation.
- If it falls on the right time of the year, witness the spectacular Kandy Esala Perahera festival (usually held in July or August).
- Otherwise, visit the International Buddhist Museum and learn more about Buddhism's history and practices.
- Explore the Royal Palace of Kandy and learn about the city's royal heritage.
- Enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan dinner at a local restaurant.
- Optional: Attend a cultural show featuring traditional music and dance performances.
- Depart from Kandy and continue your journey to your next destination in Sri Lanka or head back to Colombo.
- Accommodation: The itinerary may include a specified number of nights at a hotel or guesthouse in Kandy.
- Transportation: This typically includes transfers from the airport to Kandy and transportation within Kandy for sightseeing activities.
- Sightseeing: The itinerary may include visits to popular attractions in Kandy, such as the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy Lake, Royal Botanical Gardens, Gadaladeniya and Lankatilaka Temples, and Bahirawakanda Temple.
- Cultural Experiences: Depending on the itinerary, you may have the opportunity to witness a traditional Kandyan dance performance, visit the Kandy Cultural Centre, or attend the Kandy Esala Perahera festival (if it aligns with the travel dates).
- Guided Tours: In some cases, the package may include the services of a local guide who will provide insights and commentary during sightseeing tours.
- Flights: The package generally does not include international flights to Sri Lanka or domestic flights within Sri Lanka, unless specified otherwise.
- Meals: Meals are typically not included, unless specifically mentioned in the package. This gives travelers the flexibility to choose their own dining options according to personal preferences and dietary requirements.
- Optional Activities: Some activities, such as boat rides, tea plantation visits, hot air balloon rides, and entrance fees to certain attractions, may not be included in the package and may require additional payment.
- Travel Insurance: It is advisable to have travel insurance coverage for the duration of your trip, but it is typically not included in the package.
- Personal Expenses: Expenses such as shopping, additional snacks or drinks, and any personal purchases or services are generally not covered in the package.
What is the best time to visit Kandy?
The best time to visit Kandy is during the months of December to March when the weather is generally pleasant and rainfall is minimal. However, Kandy can be visited throughout the year, but it's important to note that the city experiences monsoon seasons from May to July and October to November, which may result in heavier rainfall.
How do I reach Kandy?
Kandy can be reached by air, train, or road. The nearest international airport is Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo, from where you can take a taxi or a pre-arranged transfer to Kandy. Kandy is also well-connected by train, with regular services from Colombo and other major cities. Additionally, buses and private taxis are available for travel to Kandy from different parts of Sri Lanka.
What are the must-visit attractions in Kandy?
Some of the must-visit attractions in Kandy include the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy Lake, Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Gadaladeniya and Lankatilaka Temples, and Bahirawakanda Temple. The Kandy Esala Perahera festival, if it coincides with your visit, is a highly recommended cultural event to experience.
Are there any accommodation options in Kandy?
Yes, Kandy offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. There are luxury hotels, boutique guesthouses, budget hotels, and homestays available in and around the city. It's advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or festival periods.
What is the local cuisine in Kandy?
Kandy offers a variety of local Sri Lankan cuisine. Some popular dishes to try include Kandyan rice and curry, string hoppers, roti, hoppers (appa), and various seafood and vegetable curries. Don't forget to taste traditional sweets such as Kiri Pani (milk toffee) and Konda Kavum (oil cake).
Are there any shopping opportunities in Kandy?
Yes, Kandy has several shopping options. The Kandy Market is a bustling local market where you can find spices, fruits, vegetables, textiles, handicrafts, and souvenirs. The city also has shopping malls and stores offering traditional handicrafts, gems, and jewelry.
Can I visit other nearby destinations from Kandy?
Yes, Kandy serves as a convenient base to explore other nearby destinations. You can plan day trips to places like Nuwara Eliya, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and the hill country. These destinations offer scenic landscapes, tea plantations, historical sites, and cultural experiences.