If you still haven’t included Kandy, Sri Lanka to your bucket list, do it now. Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island country nestled in the Indian Ocean that will leave you breathless with its spectacular and diverse landscapes, remarkable architecture, rich heritage and history, and fascinating cuisine.
A list of the things to see and do in Sri Lanka is almost endless. From sacred temples, colonial architecture, and jungle expeditions to astounding lush gardens, amazing sandy beaches, and delightful cuisine, this exotic country is a favorite travel destination for a growing number of passionate travelers. And one of definite 'must do's' in Sri Lanka is exploring Kandy, a large city in the heart of the country.
How to get there:
Kandy is nestled on a plateau surrounded by hills, mountains, rainforests, and tropical tea plantations. Also, this city is the home to many sacred Buddhist sites. And the holiest of them is definitely The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
Kandy is located about a three-hour drive from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport in Negombo, Colombo. The exciting drive will take you through Sri Lankan picturesque villages and lush green tea plantations. In addition, Kandy and its surroundings’ elevation of 500 meters provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the stunning view of surrounding mountains, plantations, and rainforests on your ride from the airport.
Kandy’s surroundings, also known as the “Hill Country” has a lot of tourist attractions and other gorgeous places worth visiting. This area is rich in heritage and history, as it used to be the former capital of the country and the place where the royal family last resided.
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Weather in Kandy, Sri Lanka
In case you’re wondering what’s the best time to go to Kandy, Sri Lanka, check the annual weather facts below.
- The season between January and May is the period with the nicest weather with pleasant temperatures.
- On average, the warmest month is April while the coolest month is February.
- The rainy season lasts from April to December, with October being the wettest month.
So, when in Sri Lanka, don’t miss visiting one of its biggest cities, Kandy. And to make your stay unforgettable, here is the list of five things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa)
The Temple of the Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa is known as one of the most sacred places in Sri Lanka and for a majority of visitors, the first stop in Kandy. Together with Adam’s Peak, The Temple of the Tooth Relic is one of the most visited destinations. The temple is located in the royal palace complex of the former kingdom of Kandy.
The magnificent complex includes several museums and temples and it houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha that has played an important role in country's politics since ancient times. Namely, Sri Lankans believe that whoever holds the relic tooth holds the governance of the country.
During the Puja, the time of prayers and offering, you can examine the golden casket in the temple in which the toot is kept.
However, Sri Dalada Maligawa temple is particularly remarkable during the grand Esala Perahera annual procession, when the tooth is paraded around Kandy followed by a large number of colorfully decorated elephants.
Adam’s Peak Hiking Adventure
Adam’s Peak is one of the most famous attractions and one of the best travel experiences in Sri Lanka. The mountain is located in the Ratnapura district on the southern edge of the Central Highlands. Adam’s Peak is 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall and it is the second highest peak in the country. This region is also a wildlife reserve and the home to many different species.
Furthermore, Adam’s Peak is well-known for the Sri Pada or “sacred footprint” – a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the top. In Buddhist tradition, this formation is believed to be the footprint of Buddha while the Cristians hold it to belong to Adam.
In addition, the area to the east and the south of Adam’s Peak is rich in precious stones such as sapphires, emeralds, and rubies, for which Sri Lanka has been worldwide famous.
There are six trails to the mountain and all of them are well linked to major cities by bus lines. However, most of the hikers choose Hatton-Nallathanni trail; although this trail is the steepest, it is also shorter than any of the other trails to Adam’s Peak.
Royal Botanical Gardens
If you love orchids, don’t miss visiting Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, only about 5.5 km west of Kandy. The botanical garden is famous for its collection of orchids as well as more than 4000 other species of plants and palm trees.
Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy cover the area of 147 acres (0.59 km2) and their lush vegetation will leave you breathless. While these beautiful gardens were reserved only for Kandyan royalty in the past, their gates are today open to everyone who wants to enjoy the beauty of the most impressive and largest botanical gardens in Sri Lanka.
The Kandy Lake
After a long day of sightseeing, take a break on the shores of Kandy Lake and simply enjoy the view of this artificial lake and its surroundings. Kandy Lake, also known as Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk is located in the core of the city, right next to the famous Temple of the Tooth or Sri Dalada Maligawa, and it is the most popular gathering place in the city. There is an island in the middle of the lake covered in palm trees, offering truly captivating sight.
The most beautiful Train Ride in the World
Experience one the most beautiful train rides in the world that will take you through mesmerizing green tea plantations, forests, and mountains from Kandy to Ella or Nuwara Eliya. The train winds through picturesque villages, huge tea plantations, and woodland forests. This amazing train route takes seven hours and it is tremendously popular among both tourists and locals, so you may want to book your train tickets well in advance. You can either purchase the tickets directly at the station or through your travel agency or hotel.
This is only a small portion of inspiring things to do in this amazing country. So, make sure you add them to your Sri Lanka itinerary. And enjoy every moment of your trip to Kandy.
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