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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Lesser Known Attractions in Kandy – The more you see the more you learn...
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Lesser Known Attractions in Kandy – The more you see the more you learn...

While Kandy is famous as the city of last Sri Lankan kings and the place where the most revered Buddhist relic is housed, you'll find that the city's attractions do not necessarily stop there.

1

Bahirawa Kanda (The Gnome Mountain)

Situated close to the Temple of Tooth Relic, this mischievous mountain is a place where your haunted childhood memories about greedy and powerful gnomes can come to life. According to the folk stories, there had been a gnome temple at the top of this mountain which called for the sacrifice of a beautiful virgin every year in order to protect the treasures belonging to the kings and queens. The traditions had died out with time and now there is a Buddhist temple with an enormous statue of Lord Buddha standing above the rest.

2

Embekke Dewalaya

The ancestors of the little island of Sri Lanka had always been famed as artistic craftsmen. The Embekke Dewalaya located in Welamboda, Kandy is the best example you can find for intricate woodcarvings of the ancient times. The temple had been built by King Vickramabahu in 1371 AD. Its famous wooden pillars and sandalwood doors adorned with hundreds of beautiful carvings had found their place among the UNESCO records as a collection of finest woodcarvings in the world.

3

Degaldoruwa

Degaldoruwa cave temple in Amunugama is a famous attraction exhibiting the Kandyan Era paintings. The wall paintings including the 'Vessanthara Jathakaya', which is a Buddhist model story about a king who gave away all his wealth and even his queen and children had been painted by four talented artists of that time. The ceiling also depicts a few incidents related to the Lord Buddha's life story including the defeating of Death (Mara Parajaya) and a painting of the Earth Goddess.

4

Hantana Tea Museum

The one thing that anyone who visits Sri Lanka will want to do is, tasting a fresh authentic cup of tea from the hill country. The Ceylon tea industry has reached top heights since its inception during the time of British ruling in Sri Lanka. The Tea Museum at Hantana is an old four-storey tea factory that had been converted to a museum by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters' Association of Ceylon. It relates the story of the origin of Ceylon tea brewery and showcases the ancient machinery and technology used in the industry.

5

Udawattakele Forest Reserve

The Udawattakele Forest Reserve near the Temple of Tooth Relic is a haven for the nature lovers, trekkers, and hikers. Rich in its flora and fauna this lush green tropical rainforest had been known as the 'Forbidden Forest of the Kandyan Kings'. During the reign of Sinhalese kings, this forest had provided cover from enemies and also had been the pleasure garden of the queens including a beautiful secret pond in the middle of the forest.

6

Kandy War Cemetery

Another non-famous but respected monument in Kandy is the war cemetery formerly known as Pitakande Military Cemetery. Many war heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect their motherland from all around the country had been put to rest in this place. All these attractions are easily reachable from the city and you will learn more about the history of Sri Lanka through visiting them. If you like to enjoy the luxuries of a boutique hotel, Kandy City has a considerable number of options like the Kings Pavilion Kandy.