Snuggled between the imposing mountains and verdant peaks of Sri Lanka defined by calmness and serenity Kandy. Known for spirituality and laid-back charm, Kandy has everything peaceful and balmy about it. The beautiful Sri Lankan city is also a popular attraction for the Buddhists as there are quite a few temples, meditation centers with dense nature around, and exciting trails. Go around and discover comfort in one of the most scenic cities amidst the hills of Sri Lanka.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Nestled close to the Udawattakele Sanctuary, The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most important shrines of Sri Lanka. Also named as Dalada Maligawa, this temple is based in the royal palace of the Kingdom of Kandy.
Housing the legendary Budda tooth, the temple is a World Heritage site though very little are the remnants of the original temple built around 1600. Amazing ornamentation with a golden fence and extravagant Canadian architecture makes it a blissful sight.
The Royal Palace of the Kandyan Kingdom
This is the last reminiscence of the Kandyan King, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. The palace dates back to the 14th century, and the glory and glamour of the kingdom is stupendous. The Palace has seen scars from many wars and tremors of foreign invaders like the Portuguese.
The Royal court, another architectural capture has confronted many meetings formed by the king and it is here that the end of Kandyan Kingdom convention was signed.
The Udawattekele Sanctuary, also known as Royal Park Palace
Located on the hilly terrains of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, this sanctuary scatters around 257 acres and is said to be the most important Bio Reserve of the country.This forest reserve was made into a sanctuary in 1938.
International Buddhist Museum
Located close to the Temple of the Tooth, inside the royal palace complex, The International Buddhist Museum is a complete knowledge base and a showcase of the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. It is one of the famous religious places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Commonwealth War Cemetery
This graveyard is a humble reminder of those brave hearts of the country who sacrificed their lives protecting the nation’s honour during World War II. The cemetery is beautifully kept and has over 190 tombs. It was earlier known as Pitakande Military Cemetery and was owned by the Military authorities until it was taken over by the War Commission.
There are 6 Commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka, but the Kandy War Cemetery is considered the best amongst all because of its stunning landscape and well kept land.
Another great attraction and a must do for the visitors to the hill country, Kandy, is to take a walking tour around Kandy Lake and take in, its cascading beauty. A silent stroll especially during the sunset time, enjoying the sounds of nature is a splendid way of coming close to Mother Earth and devouring the blissfulness. Based next to the Temple of the Tooth this is an artificial lake built in 1807 by the Royal King of Sri Lanka.
Sit down at one of the several rest zones and enjoy the harmony and serene beauty of the Temple and the lake. In the midst of the lake, there is a small island with palm trees making the lake look more breathtaking.
Kandy View Point
This mesmerizing view point is located on Rajapihilla Mawatha and is ranked 5th out of 105 tourist attractions in Kandy. Just near the Kandy Lake, it is enclosed in breathtaking landscapes of mountains and meadows. The panoramic view of the city of Kandy worth the pain of the ascent.
Elephant Orphanage Pinnawela
Situated just outside the town of Kegalle, some forty kilometers west of Kandy, the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist attractions. Set up in 1975 to look after seven orphaned baby elephants, the elephant population has now mushroomed to around 90 to 100 making it the world’s largest collection of captive elephants.
The elephants here range in age from newborns to elderly matriarch and include orphaned and abandoned elephants, as well as those injured in the wild (often in conflicts with farmers). There are also some baby elephants born here.
Most of the orphans join the ranks of Sri Lanka’s many working elephants when they reach maturity, as they cannot easily be returned to the wild.
The milk feeding is an important and eye-catching event taking place daily at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This gains a lot of national and international interest as it is a unique event. You can observe the antics of the elephants when they are driven across the road to the Ma Oya river for a leisurely bath; It is a beautiful sight to watch the elephants splashing around and playing for about an hour after which they are fed fruits.
Hulu River Waterfall
Beautiful Huluganga Falls is located at Huluganga Town, about 30 kilometers away from Kandy Town. The river originating from the scenic Knuckles Mountain Range is the perfect escape to leave the onlookers awed. The cascading water sprinkles the villages of Elliyadda and Aratthana, before flowing to the Victoria Reservoir. Some years ago this fall was a primary location for filming one of the most popular Sri Lankan tele dramas “Ella Langa Walauwa” ( Mansion by the Fall).
Knuckles Mountain Range
Experience a side of Sri Lanka in a waterfall-trekking tour of Knuckles Mountain Range. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has one of the most adventurous trekking paths in the country—about 6 miles (10 kilometers) both ways. The rugged peaks of Knuckles - named by the British for their resemblance to the knuckles of a clenched fist is one of the loveliest nature attractions of Sri Lanka. The changing terrain of grasslands, rugged mountain peaks interspersed with streams and cascading waterfalls make Knuckles mountain range a trekker’s paradise.
Mini World’s end (1192m) is an escarpment situated at the southern end of the Knuckles range. This is a fine observation point as from this location, the panoramic view of the knuckles range and some of the villages situated in the foothills of knuckles can be seen.
Bahirawa Kanda Vihara Buddha Statue
Rising from a hill adjoining the holy city of Kandy is the giant Buddha statue of Bahirawa Kanda. The statue is a mere 2km from the Temple of The Tooth Relic and was built in 1972. According to folklore, many legends surround the hill of Bahirawa Kanda which means ‘gnome mountain’; and about how this statue came to be.
This beautifully sculpted white statue displays Buddha in the seated Nirvana pose and can be seen from the entire city of Kandy that sprawls out before it. It stands at 88 feet in height and is one of the biggest Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. Visitors can climb to the top of the hill for panoramic views of the City of Kandy, the inside of Bogambara Prison, and the mountain range nearby. There is a set of stairs that run behind the Buddha statue, that allow visitors to climb to a greater height for better views of the landscape. However, the best time to visit Bahirawakanda is at night, when the entire statue is lit up and the city of Kandy spreads out in a map of twinkling lights which is a spectacular sight.
Ranweli Spice Garden
Visit this spice garden to see many the different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. Just 25 km from the hill capital of Kandy, this spice gardens is among the best in the island. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. The Gardens is a delightful place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom, a relative of ginger which grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand.
Visitors may buy spices, traditional remedies and cosmetics, taste herbal brew and in some venues, enjoy the full flavors of Sri Lankan spices over lunch or get an Ayurvedic massage with natural products from the garden.
Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, commonly known as Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is a place that is wrapped in spectacular natural beauty. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Hill Country of Sri Lanka with annual visitor numbers reaching 2 million. It is the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka and is ranked among the top botanical gardens in Asia. Located about 5 kilometres from Kandy, the Royal Botanical Gardens is a must visit destination in the region.
Within the enchanting territories of the gardens you will find over 4000 types of plants. Palm trees, medicinal plants and orchids are quite prominent among these. The orchids in the park easily steal the hearts of all visitors with their exquisite colours which are breathtaking indeed. The calming green territories of the beautiful park and the soothing climate of the region will definitely make your exploring experience magical! Do check out the Cannonball Tree present in this garden which King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary planted in 1901.
The history of the park wouldn't take a backseat to its geography, terrain or vegetation. Conceived originally in 1371 as the Queen's pleasure garden, it was developed by King Kirti Sri Rajasinhe (1747-1778) where royal visitors were entertained. It was converted into a Botanical Gardens in 1821, by the British during the deputy governorship of General Sir Edward Barnes, six years after the fall of the last King of Sri Lanka.
Ceylon Tea Museum
Beautiful landscapes, interesting museum, and a great cup of tea is no doubt a call for a visit. Calm and quiet with breathtaking scenery, the Hantana Tea Museum (or Ceylon Tea Museum) provides a good history of tea cultivation in Sri Lanka. Situated 3 km away from Kandy City, the Ceylon Tea Museum is located in the former Hanthana Tea Factory, which was originally constructed in 1925. The museum consists of four floors. The ground floor and the second floor exhibit very old items of machinery and the first floor consists of a library and an auditorium with facilities for audio visual presentations. The third floor is allocated to tea sales outlets, where a selection of Sri Lanka's fine tea is available. While the entire top floor is a tea cafe, a panoramic view of the Kandy town surrounded by the beautiful Hunasgiriya, Knuckles Range and the Matale range of hills can be viewed through a telescope mounted on the fourth floor. The grounds surrounding the Tea Museum are landscaped with different varieties of teas.
For that perfect fun time along with your family and friends, Wales Park is the best option for you while you are visiting Sri Lanka. Situated at the top of a small hill this park overlooks the Kandy Lake, this park is known for its majestic view. This park is also known as The Royal Palace Park.
The two spectacular waterfalls present here, Sera Ella and Bambarakiri Ella are breathtaking beauties. To reach the waterfalls one must trek through the marvelous forest.
It is one of the most beautiful hilltops of the knuckles mountain range. Here you can experience a heavenly feeling when the mist sets in a climate that’s cold and breezy. Riverston boasts of a rich biodiversity and is home to many endemic species of fauna and flora. You can take a trekking trip to the Riverston peak across Pitawala-pathana where you can visit the mini worlds end and also visit the Duwili Ella Falls located 28 km from Riverston.