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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Top 5 Places to Visit near Getambe Temple, Kandy - Exploring the city of Kandy
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Places to Visit near Getambe Temple, Kandy - Exploring the city of Kandy

Kandy has several beautiful places to experience culture, nature and history. Here are the top 5 places to check out during your stay.

1

Royal Botanical Gardens

Located in Peradeniya, the royal botanical gardens are the most popular botanical gardens in the country, attracting millions of visitors every year. Encompassing over 147 acres of lush greenery, the botanical gardens are celebrated for its wide variety of trees, a large collection of colourful flowers and intricate system of pathways that allow visitors to view the very best of each section. A small park once reserved exclusively for the use of the royal court, the grounds was officially turned into the botanical gardens by the British in the mid-18th century. Since then it has continuously grown to include spice plantations, medical plants and the largest collection of orchids in the country. Prominent exhibits include the Giant Bamboo of Burma, the Cannonball tree which was planted by King George V and the decade-old giant Javan fig tree.

2

Ceylon Tea Museum

The Ceylon tea museum occupies a refurbished tea factory just outside of Kandy. The museum contains excellent exhibits on the fathers of Ceylon tea - James Taylor and Thomas Lipton, along with numerous old teas processing equipment. In addition, there are several archived prints including the life and work of James Taylor. A quick tour by a knowledgeable guide is included with the entrance fee, and the whole tour ends with a free cup of tea in the tearoom which overlooks the plantation.

3

Kandy Lake

Situated in the heart of the city, Kandy Lake is a man-made lake that was commissioned in the early 18th century by King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last king to rule Sri Lanka. Luxury resorts, modern stores and white 'cloud walls' fringe the lake, which according to historians, was once twice the size. In addition, the Kandy Lake also has a small island in the middle which is covered by pockets of bamboo groves and palm trees.

4

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Adjacent to the Kandy Lake is the revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a 17th-century temple that enshrines a tooth relic from Lord Buddha. The temple draws thousands of pilgrims and tourists daily, bearing fresh blossom to lie near the shrine and attain blessings. The temple's interior contains exquisitely detailed carvings designed out of wood, ivory, and lacquer. Visitors to the temple are required to dress modestly and remove their footwear before entering.

5

Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

Not far from the serenity of the 'Temple of the Tooth Relic' lies the lush Udawatta Kele Sanctuary. A former royal hunting ground that covers over 257 acres of dense forest reserve. The forest is home to several ruins for its royal past, including a fortress hidden deep inside the dense foliage; as well as 3 Buddhist temples. There are numerous hiking trails through the forest and if you're lucky you may spot monkeys, hares, reptiles and a variety of birds. A full day is needed to walk through the forest and really explore all the hidden ruins and temples. If you're staying at a nearby resort such as Earl's Regency, check whether they can organise a guided tour for you.