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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Top Places to Visit in Kandy – Capital City of the Hills
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Places to Visit in Kandy – Capital City of the Hills

Kandy the last kingdom of Sri Lanka is a beautiful city framed by green mountains, holding within its folds a rich culture & history. Attractions there are varied and fascinating as you will find out.

1

The Temple of the Tooth Relic

The Dalada Maligawa is home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. Once held in possession by kings, legend states the holder of the relic would rule the country. Today the Dalada Maligawa is one of the nation's most revered pilgrimage sites and is a beautiful shrine to explore. The sacred tooth of the Buddha is hidden within a golden casket which is paraded along the city streets, on the back of a magnificently dressed elephant, during the annual Dalada Perahera. Convenient flights to Kandy, Sri Lanka via domestic airlines mean you can catch the annual perahera even when staying at a Colombo hotel. Make sure to dress modestly, with knees and shoulders covered, when visiting the sacred temple, and you will be able to mingle amongst the many worshipers; experiencing the peace and tranquillity which pervades there.

2

The Royal Palace

The Dalada Maligawa occupies one portion of the Royal Palace, the structure dates back to the 14th century and was residence to the last king of Sri Lanka, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. If you do decide to hop on a Cinnamon Air flight to Kandy, make sure to give the palace a visit. Withstanding foreign invasions and even a world war, the palace is built in traditional Kandyan style architecture and even though the outer walls were torn down and rebuilt, much of the interior remains authentic.

3

The Udawattekele Sanctuary

This sanctuary which skirts around the backwoods of the Dalada Maligawa is also called the Royal Park Palace. The hilly terrain is spread across 257 acres and is considered to be one of the country's most important bio-reserves. This bit of forest reserve was deemed a sanctuary in 1938, with the forests catchments offering fresh water to the famous Kandy Lake and other parts of the city. There one will come across a number of Buddhist shrines, a garrison cemetery, a water pond, the Senkanda cave and the Kodimale Peak.

4

The Commonwealth War Cemetery

Looked after and serviced by the Commonwealth war commission office, this graveyard stands as a sad reminder to the brave souls who lost their lives during WWII defending the nation. Home to over 190 tombs, the well maintained cemetery is a serene sanctuary, which offers one a quiet place to reflect on the past.

5

The Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF)

The MEF is a huge estate which is also home to a large gathering of elephants. Visitors are offered supervised rides on the bare backs of the gentle mammals and are taught to interact with the creatures. You can opt for an 'Elephant Walk' which is a walk alongside the animal through the lush foliage. On offer is an educational tour, a chance to bathe an elephant, visiting the museum and a scout of the elephant dung paper factory.

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