Kandy in Sri Lanka is a significant city known for its cultural and religious richness. Kandy is situated in the center of Sri Lanka. It has many exotic tourist attractions and natural landscapes which you cannot afford to miss. It is filled with nature walks, elephant rides, Buddhist temples, gardens, lakes, museums for you to explore. You will find yourself immersed in mild and soothing chants, magical natural vibes, mind soothing charm and lot of memories. In the following section, you can find top things to do in Kandy and places to go in Kandy.
Temple of the Tooth - The Sacred Tooth Relic
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the holy places in Sri Lanka. This temple, also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, is supposed to have the tooth of Buddha placed in a golden casket. During special occasions and prayer, the tooth is displayed for the public, tourists and followers to see it. The temple is built around the 16th century and you need to follow a strict dress code with covered shoulders and knees to visit this temple.
Kandy Esala Perahera - ( Festival of the Tooth)
The Esala Perahara aslo known as the Festival of the Tooth is a historical event and festival in which the sacred tooth of Buddha is paraded through the streets. Its consists of a beautiful procession with more than 50 decorated elephants, local dance, drums, and fire plays. This is also called The Festival of the Tooth or Dalada Perahara. This festival is celebrated every year in the months of July and August in Kandy. The Perahara or procession consists of elephants adorned with grand and elegant costumes. You can find people dressed in lavish garments, paying homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha as the procession moves through streets.
The festival starts with sanctifying a jack fruit tree and planting to four Devales or gods who guard them. It has three major processions called Kumbal Perahara, Randoli Perahara and Maha Randoli Perahara. The Kumbal Perahara is the first procession of Sacred Tooth Relic for driving away evil spirits and ill will. The Randoli Perahara parades the street for 5 days with Sacred Tooth Relic. The Maha Randoli Perahara is the last procession and is the grandest event with elephants adorned in garlands, ceremonial costumes.
The Kandy Lake is an artificial lake in Kandy created by Wikrama Rajasinhe, then the last king of Sri Lanka. You will find the lake to be half incomplete which is due to a British invasion in 1815. It is believed that there is a secret tunnel from its island to kings palace. You can stroll along the lake to enjoy its serene and natural beauty.
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden
This botanical garden was constructed around 1371 and spread across 147 acres of land. It attracts a massive 2 million visitors every year for its huge variety of rare and exotic plants. It holds about 4,000 different species of plants including medicinal herbs, flowers, bamboo forest. It also habitat to local bats, birds and monkeys. It has a good collection of orchids in the garden.
Bahirawakanda Buddha Statue
The Bahirawakanda Buddha Statue is a huge Buddha statue located on a hilltop. You can see this statue from most places in Kandy. Its looks magnificent during nights when this is lit up with lights. You can get a fantastic view of the city below from this spot. Its an hour to climb to the top of the hill and its hot during the afternoon as the temperature rises.
Dalada Maligawa Museum
The Dalada Maligawa Museum has unique collections of exhibits related to relics, the spread of Buddhism in Asia. This museum is only of its kind displaying the spread of Buddhism around the world. It provides information on the development of Buddhism, simple teachings of Buddha to groups of followers. You need to visit this museum to learn about the cultural roots of Sri Lanka and the spread of Buddhism around the world.
Udawattakele Forest Reserve
The Udawattakele forest reserve is a vast forest reserve spread across 257 acres of land. It is located on top of a hill ridge in Kandy. It has rich and dense vegetation for nature lovers and provides an adventurous and thrilling curvy road for bike riders. It has rare species of plants including giant lianas, shrubs. You can find many nature lovers and botanical students visiting this forest reserve. You can also find three Buddhist meditation hermitages and a magnificent rock shelter dwellings used by Buddhist monks. The sanctuary used to be called as Uda Wasala Watta or upper palace garden during the Kandyan era and hence it got its name.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has a large number of elephants which are well trained and tamed. You can take an elephant ride, feed the elephants and also take a shower from their trunks. The elephant ride to the nearby village is the most important fun activity here.
Millennium Elephant Foundation
The Millenium Elephant foundation is a vast estate with 15 acres of land and home to countless elephants. It is the only foundation where you can ride the elephant on its bareback. You can interact, feed the elephants. It also provides you an Elephant walk where you need to walk 30 minutes along with the elephant.
Royal Palace of Kandy
The Royal Palace of Kandy is built during the Kandyan era and this is the last remains of the King of Kandayan, Wickrama Rajasinhe. The palace is built around 14th Century and you can still find some of its glory of the kingdom in a stupendous form inside the palace. You can also find various marks and signs of wars and foreign invasions on the palace. The Royal court in the palace is an architectural masterpiece where kind used to hold meetings.
Ceylon Tea Museum And Tea Factories
The Ceylon Tea Museum is a vintage place of the year 1925 year which now has the tea museum. The tea museum has four floors depicting tea and its related processing. The first two floors have old machines, library, and auditorium The tea factories of Sri Lanka produce about 300,000 tones of tea every year which is the 4th largest in the world. You can visit the Embilmeegama Tea factory in Kandy, which is an old factory founded in 1940 to take a tour around the factory to know the machines and various tea processing steps. You can take a sip of these exotic tea served at the factory to know for yourself.