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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 05 Things to Do in Kandy, Sri Lanka – Beautiful Hill Capital
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 05 Things to Do in Kandy, Sri Lanka – Beautiful Hill Capital

Kandy was the last kingdom of Sri Lanka, a city rich in tradition, customs and a proud heritage. The place has much to offer the culture buff, nature lover and seeker of inner peace; read on and start planning your adventures in Kandy.


Visit the Dalada Maligawa

The Dalada Maligawa or Temple of the Tooth Relic is located within the ancient royal palace. Sitting in front of the famed Kandy Lake the shrine holds the blessed tooth relic of the Buddha and is one of the islands most revered pilgrimage sites. A mere 15-minute drive from Cinnamon Citadel Kandy, the temple is a must-visit site for witnessing traditional rites and understanding Kandy's proud heritage as a pinnacle for Buddhism in the country.


Explore a Tea Factory

Nothing is more comforting than the warm confines of a tea factory filled with the scent of freshly dried tea. The salubrious climes of Kandy are highly conducive to tea plantations thriving amongst the hilly environs. Founded in 1940, the Embilmeegama Tea Factory, easy to reach from Kandy hotels, offers visitors a comprehensive tour; this covers all stages in the production of tea from drying the fresh leaves to packing. At the end of the tour, you can look forward to tasting some of their best brews at the cosy café.


Witness Some Traditional Kandyan Dancing

Another aspect of Kandy's proud heritage is Kandyan dancing, traditional folk dances that comprise of captivating movements danced to the rhythm of drums and very elegant costumes the dancers wear to perform the ritualistic movements which tell a tale or act as an exorcism or religious ritual. The Kandy Cultural Centre is a good place to catch a few acts.


Enjoy the Ambience of Kandy Lake

Kandy Lake or Kiri Muhuda as it is known locally, translating to 'sea of milk', is a manmade body of water established by the ancient kings of Sri Lanka. Sitting right smack in the middle of the city centre facing the Royal Palace, the lake is adorned with a vintage bathing site the queen used to grace via an underground tunnel from the palace grounds. Deemed a sacred lake one cannot fish there, but feeding the millions of fish seen swimming on the surface of the water is wholly encouraged with popcorn sellers offering little packets to passers-by for this purpose. You can opt to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the path skirting the lake or take a boat ride to the little islet located in its centre.


Enjoy Some Street Food

Kandy is a busy city and walking along its hilly streets is much more relaxing than fighting your way through the traffic. While you're out exploring make sure to refuel by stopping off at some of the fab food kiosks located along the main streets. Choose from the likes of Café Diving Street serving local and western favourites, Licensed to Grill for a roadside wrap or juicy burgher at very low prices and the Cool Corner Ice Cream Parlour where a 3-page menu of varied ice cream dishes will keep you going back for more.