Kandy is the last Sinhalese Kingdom till occupied by the British in 1815. Defeating Kandiyan Kingdom by a war was never easy because of its geographical location, being surrounded by three mountain ranges such as Udawatta Forest, Hantana Range, and Bahirawakanda Range. The kingdom built in the valley hence was a superb natural fortress for defense. A world heritage city ,Kandy is Sri Lanka’s most visited tourist destination .Kandy is a valley in the middle of mountains. Bogambara Lake, Udawatta Forest, Mahaweli River and Peradeniya Botanical Garden are the other features that enhance the beauty of the city.
TEMPLE OF THE SACRED TOOTH RELIC (SRI DALAGA MALIGAWA)
The Sri Dalada Maligawa which enshrines the Tooth Relic of the Buddha is the most venerated Temple in the Buddhist world and to the Buddhists of Sri Lanka. According to history the Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka from Kalinga Deshaya in India. Since then it has been referred to as the palladium of the kings. Hence protected and venerated by kings. When the kingdom were changed, the sacred Tooth Relic was also removed from Anuradhapura to Pollonnaruwa ,Dambadeniya,Yapahuwa, Kurunegala, Gampola, Kotte and finally to Kandy. Whatever the Kingdom, the sacred Tooth Relic was housed at specially built well decorated Temples. It is believed by Buddhists that the blessings of the Sacred Tooth Relic has being protected this country for the past 2500 years. Hence much rituals come to be centered on worshipping the Sacred Tooth Relic .
The Sri Dalaga Maligawa is a world heritage site and is visited by Buddhists all over the world. The museums in and around Dalada Maligawa are very well arranged & rich with many articles and books which describe the history of the sacred Tooth Relic and the Temple. The Royal Place Mahawasala is located on the North of the Temple and it is now an Archeological Museum. The taximerdized replica of the Maligawa elephant “Raja” is kept in the museum of “Raja”. This elephant had served the temple for over 50 years. The Royal Audience Hall (Magul Maduwa) is another interesting feature and its intecrated wood carvings in the timber columns are remarkable. The Bathing House (Ulpange) rest in the Kandy lake is bathing chamber for queens. Queens’s palace is the two buildings on the east of the Maligawa.
SRI DALADHA PROCESSION (KANDY ESALA PEREHERA)
This grand festival consists of dances and procession of more than hundred caparisoned elephants ,and it now become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. It also consist with fire dances, whip crackers, Kandyan dances, and many other cultural elements. The format of the perehera remained unchanged for ages. This Procession takes place every year in July -August in accordance with auspicious times and it attracts thousands of local & the tourists,
UDAWATTA KELE FOREST
This was the main royal forest in Kandyan era and was prohibited for the public to enter .It is a tropical wet evergreen forests that provided security to Kandyan Kingdom. This was used by t kings as an amusement park. It is now a forest reserve rich in natural beauty and is opened for tourists to walk on the demarcated tracks.
PERADENIYA BOTANICAL GARDEN (The Royal Botanical Garden)
The Horse Shoe shaped Botanical Garden located in a curve of the Mahaweli River (the longest river of Sri Lanka) are just 6km southwards from Kandy .The unrevealed horticultural variety offers a visitor an unforgettable experience. This 60hectare garden contain about 4000 species, varieties, cultivars
The Botanical Garden are a place of recreation an experience of nature, and a place of discovery, hence more than a million people visit here annually. Sri Lanka is a paradise for every Botanist and a lover of flowers ,then Peradeniya Botanic Garden deserves to be called the very heart of paradise .Its treasures consist of tropical flora and a fine collection of orchids ,roses, medical herbs & palms. The history goes back to 1371 A.D ,there it was. a part of Royal Gardens of the king’s palace. The English established a Botanic Garden here and opened to the public in 1822.
THE FOUR DEWALES (SHRINES FOR DEITIES)
Natha Devale is a temple dedicated to a deity named Natha, is the oldest building in Kandy built in the 14th century. This stone built structure contains a vaulted roof and an inner sanctum which house a bronze image of God Natha. Kandy city is dedicated to God Natha as per the traditions.
Vishnu Devale is another temple dedicated to God Vishnu, consist of a verandah with timber pillars. The coronation of kings of the Kandyan Kingdom was held here. The Perahera (procession) of the four devales of the Kandy Esala Perahera starts from here.
Katharagama Devale is dedicated to God Katharagama or Skanda. God Katharagama is one of the four guardian Deities of Sri Lanka as per folk religion and a warrior who serves the Sinhalese race from enemies.
Pattini Devale is dedicated to Goddess Pattini, and it has followed a very simple architectural design.
It is a man-made lake created in 1807 by the last Sinhalese king of Kandy ,and a fantastic decorative wall called Walakulu Bamma (a wall of clouds) runs along the banks of the lake. The Royal Summer House is in an island in the middle of the lake. Kandy lake has a perimeter of 2.1miles and the road around the lake is a fantastic path to have a mild walk.
It is one of the oldest hotel in Sri Lanka and located in front of the Temple of Tooth Relic. It consists with purposely built verandas to see the Kandy Esala Perahera .This was an ancient Walawwa (Mansion) in Kandyan era.
This was constructed in 1943 and taller than the Temple of Tooth Relic. It is decorated with fantastic wood carvings.
The land area separated to bury English military men who died Sri Lanka is known as the Garrison Cemetery it is located behind the Temple of Tooth Relic. Dated tombstones are being protected here.
Traditional Kandyan & Sabaragamuwa music and dances are performed here by traditional families and other well trained dancers . It is worth to witness this show for locals as well as foreigners.
Meditation is a technique of improving and relaxing one’s mind while concentrating on a centered object or a feeling. It is the best way to release the stress and improve the mindfulness. There are several Meditation centers around the country where you can follow meditation classes .
AGRO TECHNOLOGY PARK
Located closer to Kandy with the Objective of giving information, related to modern & traditional Agriculture systems attracting visitors on eco agro tourism, creating a sales center for plants, seeds and other related products. The entire area is landscape with vegetables.
You can enjoy by visiting several sections of the park such as rice section, vegetable garden, banana garden, citrus garden jack fruit garden, fruit garden, roots and tuber gardens, leafy vegetable garden, and dry zone crops. The entire park is a crop museum and traditional tools and equipment are demonstrated wherever possible in each section of the park. Some other value added elements of this park are model nursery ,mushroom house, site to demonstrate traditional agriculture in Sri Lanka. Traditional slash and burn cultivation ,heritage crop museum, indigenous rice garden ,the live insect collection and the bee keeping area.