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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Places to Visit when in Kandy – Exploring the Capital of the Hill Country

Kandy, the last capital of the Sinhala Kingdom, is one of Sri Lanka's most historic and famous destinations. Given its heritage and popularity, the city has many must-visit places and attractions.


The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the most iconic and revered Buddhist temple in Kandy. As its name suggests, the Relic Chamber of this holy temple houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Each day hundreds of locals and tourists visit this sacred temple to homage to the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. While the tooth relic is the main feature of the temple, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic also houses many other remarkable artifacts and boasts amazing architecture and design. If you happen to visit Sri Lanka in the month of July make sure you witness the Esala Perahera; an annual procession with immense grandeur where the sacred tooth relic mounted in the back of an elephant and paraded along the street traditional dancers and performers.


Peradeniya Botanical Graden

Located about 5km away from Kandy is the breathtaking Peradeniya Botanical Garden. Spreading over a vast are of nearly 150 acres, this botanical garden is home to thousands and trees and plants. It is believed that there are at least 4000 species of flora at this garden, making it a must-visit place for all nature-lovers. This vast botanical garden is divided into various sections, each known for its unique beauty and landscape. The gardens are also known for their beautiful and well-maintained lawns and pathways, which make getting about this vast garden a real treat. Some of the highlights of the mesmerizing Peradeniya Botanical Garden include the Spice Gardens, The Great Circle, the Memorial Trees, Chinese and Japanese Bamboo gardens, Cannonball Avenue, and the Orchard House. The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is easily accessible from hotels such as Hotel Hilltop Kandy.


Ceylon Tea Museum

The story of the tea industry of Sri Lanka is an intriguing tale, one best experienced by visiting the Ceylon Tea Museum. Accessible from any centrally located hotel in Kandy, the Ceylon Tea Museum is housed in the Hantane Tea Factory. The Hantane Tea Factory was built in 1925 and was a chief manufacturer of tea. Although the factory was thereafter abandoned for many years, upon the initiative of Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters' Association of Sri Lanka the factory was revamped and converted into a museum. A visit to the museum allows you to experience the growth of the tea industry in Sri Lanka over the years, as well as witness old machines. You will also gain insights into local practices and customs in tea manufacturing, as well as insights into the lives of tea pioneers such as Thomas Lipton and James Taylor.


Udawatte Kele Sanctuary

Formerly the Royal Garden of the Kandyan Royal Family, the Udawatte Kele Sanctuary is a spectacular forest garden that is home to many species of flora and fauna. Hiking through this amazing garden allows you to witness over 500 species of trees and plants. You will also have the opportunity of witnessing the many species of wildlife such as civets, deer, flying squirrels, vipers, and porcupines, in addition to the 80 species of avifauna that inhabit the sanctuary. All in all the Udawatte Kele Sanctuary is a great place to visit if you want to trek through a beautiful forest garden.


National Museum

The National Museum in Kandy is one of the few museums in Sri Lanka that showcases the life and times of Royal Families of Sri Lanka. Showcasing Royal regalia, coat of arms, and many other artifacts, the museum is a great place to learn about the history of Sri Lanka. Some of the highlights of the museum include a copy of the 1815 Proclamation of British dominium over Sri Lanka, collections of Buddhist artifacts, and a collection of art.

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    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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