Kandy

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Kandy is located at the center of Sri Lanka and is generally recognized as the island nation's cultural capital. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Kandy

  • The Temple of the Tooth +94812234226, fax: +948112236201, e-mail: maligawa@sltnet.lk. The temple is open from dawn to dusk. locally, this temple is known as "Sri Dalada Maligawa". It houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and is consequently considered one of Sri Lanka's most holy shrines. Although you may not view the actual tooth itself, the casket within which it is said to be is displayed twice a day. The best time to view this ornate casket is around 6.30PM. The entrance fee to the temple is LKR. 1,000 for foreigners and LKR. 500 for South Asian passport holders..
  • University of Peradeniya , the second university of Sri Lanka, established in 1942 in affiliation with former 'The University of Ceylon'. This has the largest university library in South Asia which is seven storyed. Tremendous beauty of this university has been appreciated over decades. Off the university bounds, Hanthana mountains can be hiked. In the opposite side, largest river of Sri Lanka,River Mahaweli flows. The beauty of site can be markedly seen in March-April season.
  • The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage has about seventy semi-tame elephants roaming freely around this wonderful sanctuary. Feeding and bathing times are especially enjoyable. You can either hire a taxi to take you there or, if travelling on a budget, get a bus to Kegalle (about an hour away) for about R40/-, asking the driver to drop you off at the turn for Pinnewala which is 3 miles or so before you reach the town, and catch another local bus for the last 6 km or so. Definitely worth the trip especially if you have children.
  • The Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya [1] is the best botanical garden in Sri Lanka and one of the best in the region. It dates back to the ancient kings of the country although the British changed the look of it. The British are said to have used the gardens to grow trees that could not be grown at Kew gardens. The large banyan tree, the orchid house, the suspension bridge, and the bats are some of the main attractions. Foreigner entrance: 1100 LKR. Drive there through the University of Peradeniya the most scenic and the largest university in the country.
  • New Ranweli Spice Garden. Located in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden is a place to see and learn about sri lankan spices and herbs.After seeing around the garden,spices can also be purchased as a souvenir,but there is no obligation to buy.(Entrance free/free pick up service from any destination within kandy and peradeniya for foreigners)/T.P 94-77-1351931
  • National Museum (just behind the Temple of the Tooth),  0094 81 2223867. houses an interesting collection of Sri Lankan relics. It is usually quiet and the museum workers are more than happy to provide a free tour. 500 LKR, with an optional 250 LKR photography permit.


  • The Kandy Garrison Cemetery is located a literal stone's throw below the National Museum, just our of view of the Temple of the Tooth, and is a highly recommended detour to any visitor of either the Museum or the Temple. Here lie the remains of several dozen, mostly British, soldiers who died from various causes during the colonial era. The cemetery is extremely well-maintained by its caretaker, who will gladly complement some of the more fascinating tombstones with a little back-story. Entrance is free.
  • Bahirawakanda temple. The ominipresent Buddha statue seen from everywhere in Kandy city. Take a tuk tuk ride to the Temple or walk, just 1 km away from the Kandy city. The way to the temple may not be easy to locate, you might have to take a three wheeler or ask a local, when in doubt just walk up and follow the colourful Buddhist flags over the road. Entrance fee 200 LKR. This Buddha statue is best viewed from far away. Once you get onto the premises it is no longer easy to see. Plus it is not a very peaceful place as temples go.
  • The Tea Museum, Hantane, Kandy. The ancient Tea Factory of Hantana Estate is converted into a Museum dedicated to the history of Sri Lankan Tea. Run by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
  • Udawattakele Royal Forest Sanctuary, the forest located "in the Kandy city", was planned and maintained as the part of the Royal palace complex of the Sinhala Kings. A patch of tropical rain forest still survives and if you don't come across it it is still a wonderful walk. You are guaranteed to come across plenty of monkeys and some tranquil ponds. Wear long trousers after rain, and take some salt as there are lots of leeches about.
  • Temples situated around Kandy are some other popular tourist attractions. The most famous temples are: Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka Viharaya, Embekke Devalaya, Dodanwala Devalaya, Degaldoruwa, Hindagala Viharaya, Madawala Viharaya and Galmaduwa Viharaya.
  • Visit Athur's seat for a panoramic view of the Kandy city.
  • Commonwealth War Cemetery is located at Deveni (2nd) Rajasinghe mawatha down by the Mahaweli riverside. Formerly known as Pitakande Military Cemetery, it is one of the most beautifully landscaped and maintained war cemeteries in the world. There is one Commonwealth burial of the World War I and a further 196 Commonwealth burials of the World War II commemorated in the cemetery. In addition there are four Foreign National and two non world war burials. The range of nationalities laid to rest comes from the records of the War cemetery, and include 107 Britons, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians, six Canadians, three Italians and one Frenchman.
  • Kandyan Art Association., No. 72, Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy (The Kandyan Art Association is almost at the rear end of the Maligawa – Temple of the Tooth Relic and can be reached by walking along the lake road from the “Ulpenge” situated at the Southern entrance.Only five minutes walk from the Temple of the Tooth, Kandyan Art Association is definitely worth a visit when you are in Kandy.),  094 81 2223100. from 9. 00 a. m. to 5. 30 p. m.. Visitors get the rare opportunity to see for themselves how these articles are turned out. This is a center for traditional arts and crafts with a government-sponsored sales room and fixed prices. Vision: To promote and market the production of genuine high quality hand made items. Mission: To ensure the earnings from our sales go to the benefit of our craft members. Entrance free.

Sri Dalada Maligawa

Royal Botanical Garden

Asgiriya Stadium

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About Kandy

Background

This is the last kingdom of the country. Since it was conquered by the British only around 1815 you can still see the living traditions. Kandyans are usually proud of their heritage. Since the western elements has played a comparatively little role in the city most Kandyans are upholding Buddhist values. Since it is in the cultural triangle the authorities try to retain this values as much as possible. Situation had changed recently because of many immigrants coming from other parts of the country. So don't expect to find the honest Kandyans they describe in the colonial literature now. Be careful with your belongings and the people whom you associate with. But this is a peaceful city compared to most other parts of the country with a lesser crime rate.


Activities

  • Perahera is the most famous festival in Kandy usually in August. It's a pageant where many elephants participate. You can buy expensive seats or can see it with the crowd. Buy a seat from the Queens hotel. This will be around $40. Buy the tickets from the officials or otherwise through middlemen you will be paying exorbitant prizes.
  • Kandyan dancing you can see this traditional form of dancing in the "Kandyan Cultural Center" near the Kandy lake.
  • Buddhist Publication Society this is located near the lake. You can participate in discussions about Buddhism, meditation or you can buy some introductory materials about Buddhism.
  • Nilambe meditation center. Have to take a "Galaha" bus passing Peradeniya (Get down from Nilambe "office junction". Is a Buddhist retreat which offers experiences of a monastic lifestyle. You can engage in daily activities which involves yoga classes, meditation and discussions.
  • If there's a cricket match on, spend a day at the Asgiriya Stadium, possibly the world's prettiest test match venue, and certainly the only one that for most of the year is simply a school sports ground (Trinity College).

Treks

  • Within the Kandy city the short walk of Asgiri Maha Viharaya via Bahirawakande hill is an interesting.
  • Udawattakelle forest reserve (Udawatta Kele (Udawatta Forest, උඩවත්තකැලේ )) in within the city limit, gives valuable walking in nature.
  • The secret Walkers Forest upper Hantane trek is on special permission from the Municipal Council of Kandy.
  • The famous Western Shrines of Kandy Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake temples and Embakke shrine are connected by a very scenic footpath.
  • Other part of the west of Kandy, a part of Portuguese War Route, via Ihalakotte railway station to Dodanwala Devale shrine is passing forest reserves, Alagalle Mountain, tea estates and kandyan traditional villages.
  • East of Kandy city the temples Gangaramaya, Galmaduwa, Degaldoruwa temple are well known for paintings, sculptures and architectural techniques.Knuckles mountain range and its forest trails are the most suitable for trekking in Sri Lanka. It has many nature trails cleared trough the forest by forest department with campsites. For example Mini world’s end trails in the west and east, Pitawala pathena trail, Ash cave trail, Nitre cave trail, Knuckles summit trail are very exciting. Also there are interconnected footpaths of cardamom planters, toddy tappers, tea plantation workers, farmers and villages.
  • Traditional villages of the Knuckles foothills with so mach of treks and short walks such as Last King of Kandy, Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe’s (1798-1815) hideout place, Rathna water fall trek, Sitakotuwa limestone cave and waterfall trek, etc.South of Kandy the longest rice field scenery of the island, Lamasuriyagama the rice field was belonging to royal court of Kandy a very spectacular trek. It is undisturbed from electricity wires for photographs and with terrace rice fields by a Loggaloya river with watch huts of farmers. Loggaloya riverine forest trail to Victoria – Randenigala – Rantambe sanctuary is also a very interesting trekking

Food

  • White House, opposite the Bakehouse (below) for Sri Lanken short eats. Good quality food and inexpensive. You have to try the White House Special Milk Shake!
  • Bakehouse, for snacks or traditional Sri Lankan meals. Scenic view of the City, from its first floor balcony, where they serve a Sri Lankan buffet, but this tends to sell out by about 7:30PM
  • Devon Restaurant is famous for quality snacks. Captain's table is at Upstairs of Devons. Good Sri Lankan and South Indian food.
  • Avanhala, is just in front of the Kandy lake. Good food and best scenery.
  • SRIRAM Indian Restaurant located in the Colombo Street offers nice south Indian food.
  • The Flower Song Chinese Restaurant on Kotugodelle Vidaya is just north of the town centre. It sells excellent Chinese food - with huge portions of rice or noodles. It's clean, air-conditioned, and serves beers and wines.
  • Dog Lovers - Quality Western short meals available here with fair prices and high quality. Located in Peradeniya Road Kandy, just off Hindu Vidyalaya.
  • Dinemore - Just opposite to the Anniewatta tunnel. On the top of Nihal's Super. Quality Mid-Eastern and South-Indian food for affordable prices.
  • Lyons restaurant located in front of the Hindu Kovil. Serves quality food, both Western and Eastern.

Drinks

  • There are two popular bars on the main street (Dalada Vidaya), The Pub and The Pub Royale. The former serves quite good (but pricey, perhaps R700/-) meals, has a large screen for sports inside and a 1st floor outside verandah.
  • There are a number of cheap bars (R100/- or less for a 650ml bottle of beer) scattered throughout the sidestreets near the town centre. They can be rather seedy and the kind of place where unaccompanied women could be made to feel very uncomfortable. (Usually Local women do not drink)
  • Victory Hotel, 79 Colombo Road This bar is a great way to see real Sri Lankans and what they do, downstairs is full of locals knocking back Arrack the atmosphere may be less than salubrious, in fact it gives the Sidney Hotel, Galle a run for its money, but the people are friendly. Upstairs is slighty less dingy as it serves food, Arrack starts at 700 lkr, beer 195 lkr and a cigarette from a waiter 30lkr

Shopping

  • Laksala is the state owned handicraft shop. You will be able to buy a lot of genuine handicrafts made by traditional artisans (don't be deceived by the fake products available with most tourist shops). Laksala is by the lake.
  • Kandy City Centre opened up in January 29, 2009. It is an ultra modern shopping complex with space for over 400 shops. By the time of its opening it is the country's most modern and biggest shopping complex.
  • Waruna Antiques, 761 Peradeniya Road (10 minutes from Kandy, Old Peradeniya Road),  0094777710013. 9AM. Kandyan masks, jewellery, coins, plates, textiles, etc.
  • Upali Jayakody Batiks, No.192/2, Dharmashoka Mawatha, Lewella,  094777833938. Exclusive Batiks By Upali Jaykody. You will be able to buy many more high quality uncommon artistic modern batik.
  • Central Market, open only on Fridays. Stocking the same range of foods, spices, herbal tonics, crafts, textiles and factory-reject designer-brand clothing, it caters to the locals and is government run so there is one price and it is 200-300% cheaper than the tourist shops. Sri Lanka is known for its fabulous spices in diversity, quantity and quality. Cardamon and cinnamon, nutmeg and chili, pepper and turmeric and amazing smelling vanilla.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Kandy on Wikivoyage.

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