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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 21, 2020
Headline for 5 Must Visit Places in Kandy - of rolling hills and historic allure
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must Visit Places in Kandy - of rolling hills and historic allure

When one thinks of the royal citadel of Sri Lanka's hill country, the beautiful town of Kandy is often mentioned with optimism and fondness; an oasis of rich history entwined in the beautiful scenery.


Temple of the Tooth Relic

What better place to commence one's journeys in Kandy than at the Temple of the Tooth Relic itself? Arguably, the crown jewel in the city's list of attractions worth visiting, the temple which was once an invaluable part of the ancient royal palace was believed to have been constructed during 1687 – 1797 and later on beginning 1747 – 1782. Currently, housing the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha in a golden casket, the shrine is a popular choice for the Buddhist faithful and travellers on Poya days as well as when the Kandy Esala Perahera runs through the streets of Kandy in July and/or August. Fine architectural elements that date back centuries would greet the curious visitor with stone monuments and open-air pavilions featuring prominently.


Kandy Lake

What once was limited to mere rice fields was soon transformed into a lake in 1807 by then King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha. The Kandy Lake which is found in the heart of the city provides an excellent means of strolling past a white-stone parapet wall in the cool evening breeze for those seeking to acquaint themselves with Kandy's mesmeric appeal. The island that is located in the middle of the lake was used by the king for his personal requirements and also provided a sanctuary for the British forces to store their ammunition in later years. Further, found nearby is the Hunas Falls Hotel Kandy from where trips to the lake can be easily arranged.


Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

Covering over 60 hectares in its entirety, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens though, found a short distance from the city itself paves the way for hours to be spent moving past rows of sweet-smelling flowers, lines of towering trees and awe-inspiring lawns. On average, one will need anything between 3 to 4 hours to complete a tour of these impressive gardens and for travellers residing at any resort in Kandy, an excursion to Peradeniya will prove to be a breath of fresh air. The gardens are the largest botanic gardens in Sri Lanka with a wide collection of orchids and an array of medicinal & spice plants being amongst the most cherished and lauded of its possessions.


Kandy Garrison Cemetery

Retrace the country's colonial influences, at least to a certain extent when you enter the shady yet silent grounds of the Kandy Garrison Cemetery. Nestled amidst a thick covering of foliage and within the ease of access to the Temple of the Tooth Relic or 'Dalada Maligawa' as it is known, the cemetery contains row after row of graves that have been well taken care of. A visit to the cemetery can be considered, especially if you seek a different form of appeal; one that goes back as far as the 19th century.


Embekka Devalaya

The Embekka Devalaya built during the reign of King Vikramabahu III is considered one of the finest examples of woodcraft the world has ever witnessed. Dedicated to Kataragama Deviyo and Murugan by Buddhists and Hindus respectively, the temple depicts outstanding woodcarvings where decorative patterns and roof & lotus designs dominate the 3 sections of the temple. The Drummers' Hall would be of particular importance as this was where varying musical events were held amidst large gatherings.

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