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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for 5 Things to do in Kandy – The much acclaimed cultural capital of Sri Lanka
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Things to do in Kandy – The much acclaimed cultural capital of Sri Lanka

The hill capital, Kandy has long been considered the epitome of Sri Lanka's vibrant culture. A congested city that hides plenty of delights, Kandy is a sensory overload, to say the least.

1

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

The massive golden-roofed temple regularly graces the covers of Sri Lanka's travel brochures. Housing the tooth of Buddha, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is probably the holiest of Buddhist locations in the country. Sadly, the tooth cannot be viewed by the public but visitors can stroll through the grounds and the rest of the massive temple. You can find a museum and many smaller shrines and temples within the premises. With plenty of car rentals in Sri Lanka, for example like Car booking Sri Lanka, getting to Kandy from the airport or Colombo is not as difficult a task as you might think.

2

Kandy Lake

Sitting right in the middle of the city, the man-made tank dominates the city. A leisurely stroll around the lake is highly recommended. With plenty of seats, trees, ducks, and pelicans to keep you company, it is a delightful experience, although the smoke spewing buses on the southern side can ruin the experience a bit. The lake was built in the nineteenth century and has a tiny island in the middle.

3

Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara

A little-known attraction in the city, the Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara is a cave temple whose history dates back to the eighteenth century. Every inch of the interior is covered in eye-catching murals from the Kandyan Era. However, if you look a bit closer, you will notice out of place paintings of men with firearms. These are thought to be paintings of the first men to arrive in the country with firearms.

4

Udawattakelle Sanctuary

Located on the north of the Kandy Lake, the Udawattakelle Sanctuary hides an untouched forest that is a stone's throw away from the city centre. Hiding massive hardwood and bamboo trees, the forest is home to a range of birds and other species like monkeys and snakes. Often frequented by bird watchers and hikers, the Udawattakelle Sanctuary hides hermitages and rock dwellings too. It was also the pleasure garden of the Kandyan Kings. All in all, this intriguing forest steeped in history deserves a peek for the hungry explorer.

5

National Museum

Once the living space of royal concubines, the National Museum in Kandy is a relatively unknown attraction. However, just because it does not have the spotlight doesn't mean it is lacking in any way. You can find many royal artefacts and other items that give a glimpse into the life of Sri Lankans before the European era. The highlight of the museum is the gold crown of Rajasinha II. You can also preview the 1815 declaration which gave the British full power of the last kingdom out of their reach. For those looking to discover every bit of Sri Lanka's culture, a visit to the National Museum is a no-brainer!

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