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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must See Attractions in Kandy – Ancient Heritage City

Kandy was the last kingdom of Sri Lanka & is today a heritage city of many attractions. Remnants of this monarchy, as well as colonial influenced sites, promise to capture the interest of all tourists.


The Elephant Orphanage

On the way to Kandy, you will most likely stop at the Pinnawela elephant orphanage. The place is a testimony to the amazing adventures one encounters on holidays to Sri Lanka. The orphanage has successfully bred the Asian elephant thus hoping to protect and stabilise the dwindling population. A one on one encounter is promised here with feeding sessions open to eager visitors; make it at the allotted feeding times and you can attempt to bottle feed the adorable elephant calves. Later join the adult herds as they cross the road and head down to the river for a refreshing bath and frolicking fun in the water. Take along the cameras folks for some of the best encounters of Sri Lankan elephants are promised at Pinnawela.


The Kandy Lake

Situated right in the middle of the Kandy city centre the Lake sits in front of the ancient palace and Dalada Maligawa. The artificial lake was created by Kandy's last monarch and has a bathing spot which was accessed via a secret tunnel from the palace; this was reserved for the Queen and her handmaids who managed to make a discreet journey to the lake. Kandy Lake offers beautiful environs around which a footpath circles. Enjoy late evening walks as the breeze wafts across the lake and indulge in feeding popcorn to the hundreds of fish thriving in the water. Mind you declared a sacred sanctuary, fishing is prohibited in the lake but you can enjoy fun boat rides across its waters.


Kandy Lake Club and Cultural Centre

Culture buffs and those of you interested in traditional up-country rituals should head over to the Lake Club and cultural centre. There you are treated to marvellous performances of kolam dancers, fire dancers and other classical dances. The drumming performances, as well as acrobatics like plate spinning, are real crowd pullers and well worth the minimal entry fee. Performances depend on season hence it is better to check the programmes before planning a visit.


The Kandy Perahera

This is the city's most elaborate parade that has magnificent tusker's parading the streets of Kandy. The sacred golden casket containing the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha is a carried on the back of the largest and most elegant elephant that's decked up in royal attire. The festival takes place around July and August depending on the Esala full moon poya days. Held over a number of days the final nights parade is the most regal with traditional aristocrats dressed in kingly robes, fire dancers weaving amongst the performers, drummers announcing the arrival of the pageant and colourful dancers performing along the way. These are some of the spectacular encounters that one can experience when booking custom holidays with Sri Lanka Tailor-made.


Royal Palace

The Kandy Royal Palace is in part occupied by the Dalada Maligawa – temple of the tooth relic; while the rest constitutes the National Museum. The museum is a fine browse housing relics from the last Kandyan dynasty as well as artefacts from the British colonial period. The Dalada Maligawa is one of the country's most revered pilgrimage sites offering holistic environs to relish; mind you dress accordingly and comply with the modest Buddhist traditions practised there.