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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Things to Do in Kandy on Your Vacation – The cultural capital

Kandy is a historic city, with many fascinating things to do and see when you're there. Located in the very heart of Sri Lanka and the central highlands, Kandy is a must-stop during your vacation.


Kandy Lake

Situated at the heart of Kandy town, the Kandy Lake was constructed several years ago by the last king of Sri Lanka, King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. This artificial lake was mainly built as an additional beauty for the Temple of the Tooth complex, which lies right beside this massive lake. Several legends state that the King build secret tunnels leading from the temple to the lake, but this is yet to be proven. The lake remains to be incomplete, mainly due to the invasion by the British in 1815 but is as scenic as ever. Enveloped by all types of huge trees and a walking path that goes all the way around the lake, make sure you allocate some time in the evenings to drop by here and go on a lovely stroll or get on a boat for a quick spin, before you head back to a property such as Cinnamon Citadel Kandy, one of the best hotels in Kandy, Sri Lanka.


Temple of the Tooth Relic

Referred by the locals as 'Sri Dalada Maligawa', this temple is considered one of the holiest places in the entirety of Sri Lanka, alongside Adam's Peak. The huge temple complex, which houses the tooth relic, has a number of temples within the complex and even an insightful museum. Every year, there is a festival called the Kandy Esala Festival, where the tooth is paraded around the city and is accompanied by many dancers and brightly decorated elephants. A lot of locals flock to the temple during Poya days, which are usually holidays, to pay their respects.


Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens

If you want to escape the busy city and get lost in between trees and flowers of all colours and types, you must pay a visit to the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Within the garden walls, you'll find plants that smell good from spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Although this garden is located just outside of the city, it's quite easy to get to if you visit during the morning hours. You can walk through over 4000 different plants and trees, which is quite a memorable experience for all involved.


The Commonwealth Cemetery

Visit a part of the country's colonial past by stopping by the very well-maintained Commonwealth Cemetery. These memorial honours those who died defending Sri Lanka in WWII. You can walk among the tombstones and read the information on all the fallen heroes.


Kandy City Centre

This stop is for the shopaholics! Kandy City Centre is located right by the Kandy Lake and houses many stores, restaurants and even a movie theatre! If you want a bit of shopping to elevate your experience in Kandy, KCC is where you need to go!

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    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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