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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Top 5 Things to Do in Kandy – The best sights and sounds of Kandy
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Things to Do in Kandy – The best sights and sounds of Kandy

The UNESCO World Heritage city of Kandy is a place of religious significance and cultural value in Sri Lanka. Located in the central hillsides, the city surrounded by mountain ranges holds many attractions like ancient temples and forest reserves.


Visit the Temple of the Tooth

Also called the Sri Dalada Maligawa, this beautiful temple holds the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. Thus, it's one of the most sacred sites on the island and a must-visit for those visiting Kandy. A golden canopy hovers above where the tooth relic is placed inside a golden casket within an ornate chamber. Devotees gather here each day to worship the sacred relic and gain blessings. Many rituals are performed each day at dawn, noon and dusk. The temple complex also contains the Royal Palace, the King's audience hall, and a museum detailing the long history of the tooth relic.


Discover Kandyan art at Gadaladeniya Viharaya

Dating to the 14th century, this temple is made of stone and lies on a gravel cliff and was constructed by King Buwanekabahu IV in 1344. Its architect was Ganesvarachari, a South Indian national. The stupa, sculptures, shrine rooms and murals date to the Kandyan era of art.
Inside the temple grounds stands another small stupa constructed of rock. It sits on four pillars with four smaller stupas encircling it. This temple design remains among the rarest on the island!


Visit Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue

The pristine white Buddha statue on top of the Bahirawa Kanda Hill was built in 1972. At the hill's summit, there is a temple to which many devotees flock during the evenings. At 27 metres in height, it is among the tallest on the island and is viewable from anywhere in central Kandy. Bahirawakanda delivers stunning panoramic vistas overlooking the verdant mountains of Kandy. It is best visited at sunset, just as the sun bathes the entire city and its mountainsides in its twilight glow. Make sure to wear suitable clothing covering shoulders and legs.


Explore Kandy's Old Market Streets

Found between Sri Dalanda Veediya Road and Colombo Road, the Kandy old town market is where you will encounter a labyrinth of stores selling textiles, electronic items, food, plastic items, fresh produce and so much more. This is just the place to get a feel for what it's like to live in Kandy. Other notable sites nearby you can visit include the Giragama Walawwa - Kandyan-style aristocratic home, the stunning Red Mosque and the Kataragama Devalaya. If you're looking for a Kandy 5-star Hotel, away from the hubbub of Kandy Town, the likes of Earl's Regency Kandy are among the best options around.


Amble along Udawattakele Forest

Udawattakele forest reserve behind the Temple of the Tooth Relic is just the respite you would need from the bustling Kandy Town.
Udawattakele was once the pleasure garden of the Kandyan Kings, their consorts and the nobility. It is presently a protected forest and a sanctuary for resident wildlife. A hiking trail of around 5km will take you to some interesting sites within the sanctuary, like the water pond, Senkanda Cave, the tallest cliff of Kodimale, and Buddhist temples.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    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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