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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 22, 2020
Headline for Top 7 Things to Do in Kandy - Must Experience Activities in Kandy
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Top 7 Things to Do in Kandy - Must Experience Activities in Kandy

Tipped to be Sri Lanka's most dynamic hill station, Kandy truly packs in a punch in terms of touristic value. Here are some of the must-experience activities in the verdant hill capital.

1

Pay Homage to the Temple of the Tooth

As the most revered UNESCO World Heritage Site in the entire central province, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or the Sri Dalada Maligawa as it is known among locals is a religious hotspot like no other in Sri Lanka. The former royal palace turned iconic temple houses the actual dental remains of Lord Buddha, making the venue one of the most sacred precincts for Buddhist devotees the world over. As the main attraction in Kandy, no visit to the hill capital would be complete without a tour of this sprawling compound which also plays host to the Kandy Perehara during the month of July each year. Don't forget to stop by the museum located adjacent to the temple proper which contains royal regalia and other relics that date back centuries.

2

Cruise on the Kandy Lake

Regarded as one of the most charming attributes of the city of Kandy, this manmade lake is a prime recreational hotspot for locals as well as travellers who enjoy the great outdoors. Having been built back in 1807 by the last monarch of the Kandyan Kingdom, King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the lake is connected with many a local legend including the demise of local hero Madduma Bandara who was famously beheaded along with the rest of his kin at this very location. The best way to experience the lake is to sign up for a boat ride across the water which allows travellers to catch a glimpse of the many bird species that call the massive body of water home.

3

Go for a Hike at the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

Occupying a whopping 257 acres, this verdant forest reserve is the ideal venue for hiking enthusiasts to get their boots wet during a trip to Kandy. Popular for the sheer variety of avifauna found within its confines the extensive grounds laden with small trees, shrubs and other foliage is perfect for those looking for an easy trail set in a picturesque forest landscape. Declared a protected reserve as early as 1856 the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary was named a sanctuary in 1938.

4

Stroll around the Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya

Having opened its doors to the public back in 1750, the Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya is not only one of Kandy's finest horticultural attractions but a thriving playground for nature lovers. Covering an area of more than 146 acres, an impressive four thousand species of plant life are on display in this sprawling garden space. Ideal for a picnic or an afternoon stroll, exploring the Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya is a must for all first time visitors based at Hunas Falls and other rests in the hills.

5

Enjoy High Tea in Kandy

Those who are visiting Kandy should also take the time to experience the time honoured tradition of high tea at a local restaurant, bakery or five star hotels in the hills. Certain hotel deals in Sri Lanka also include vouchers for high tea at some of the area's best hotels and resorts so travellers can make the most of this British colonial convention where an array of delectable tea time snacks are served alongside a cup of piping hot Ceylon tea.

6

Tour Lankathilaka Viharaya

Dating back to the 14th century, the Lankathilaka Viharaya is an ancient place of worship commissioned to be built by King Bhuvanekabahu IV. Travellers can pay a visit to this splendid temple and lay flowers as an homage to its sacred legacy and discover the many stunning murals and other sculptures decorating the venue.

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