Saturday 10 March 2018
SRI LANKA: Kandy, Spectacular Tourist Place,Criminals Are Astonishingly Bold And Numerous.Beware Of Crows Over Your Head
Kandy is Sri Lanka's second largest city located in the mountainous center of the island. It is considered by some as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, and was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
A cooler climate and smaller size make it much more pleasant and accessible than Colombo.
Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka located in the Central Province. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka.
The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province.
Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
The city and the region has been known by many different names and versions of those names. Some say that the original name of Kandy was Katubulu Nuwara located near present Watapuluwa.
However, the more popular historical name is Senkadagala or Senkadagalapura, officially Senkadagala Siriwardhana Maha Nuwara which means great city of Senkadagala of growing resplendence, shortened to Maha Nuwara.
According to folklore, this name originated from one of the several possible sources.
One being the city was named after a brahmin with the name Senkanda who lived in a cave near by, and another being a queen of Vikramabahu III was named Senkanda, and after a coloured stone named Senkadagala.
The Kingdom of Kandy has also been known by various names. The English name Kandy, which originated during the colonial era, is derived from an anglicised version of the Sinhalese Kanda Uda Rata meaning the land on the mountain or Kanda Uda Pas Rata the five counties/countries on the mountain.
The Portuguese shortened this to Candea, using the name for both the kingdom and its capital. In Sinhalese, Kandy is called Maha nuwara, meaning Great City or Capital, although this is most often shortened to Nuwara.
It is the second-largest city of the island and the capital of Central Province of modern Sri Lanka. Its geographic location has made it a major transportation hub in the island.
Kandy being the gateway to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, the city can be reached by major motorways in every direction of the island.
The railway line from Colombo, the sea port on the western coast runs via Kandy to the farthest point of Badulla in the Central Highlands.
The main roads Colombo-Kandy and Kandy-Nuwara Eliya are two of the most scenic roads of Sri Lanka; Colombo-Kandy road passes through rubber plantations and rice paddies, Kandy-Nuwara Eliya road cuts through paddy fields and seamless tea plantations.
Both roads claw their way up winding, rounding over the rings of hills. Currently feasibility studies are afoot for another highway between Colombo and Kandy via Kadawata and the scenic city of Katugastota.
Kandy is located in the mountainous and thickly forested interior of the island.
The city is located in between multiple mountain ranges including the Knuckles mountain range and the Hanthana Mountain Range, giving the city an elevation of 500 metres (1,600 ft) above sea level.
It lies adjacent to the artificial Kandy Lake and south of Udawatta Kele Sanctuary.Today Udawatte Kele is reducing its area.
Kandy climate is tropical rainforest. With Kandy located in the centre of the island and in a high elevation.
The city has a relatively wetter and cooler temperatures than that of the tropical climate of the rest of the country, especially the coastal regions.
Nuwara Eliya is south to it and has a cooler climate due to its higher elevation. The city has its dry season from January through to April.
From May through to July and October to December the region experiences its monsoon season, during this time the weather is rough and unstable.
The island being in the northern hemisphere gives Kandy it coldest month in January and its hottest in July.
From March through the middle of May is the intermonsoonal period, during this time there is light rain and strong humidity. The humidity is generally between 70% to 79%.
The city of Kandy lies at an elevation of 465 metres (1,526 ft) above sea level. Its plan developed around two open spaces: an elongated square.
At the end of which are the administration buildings of the old capital, and an artificial lake that is quadrangular in form.
A public garden adds to the openness of the city's spatial organization.
Kandy has now grown out to encompass Peradeniya, home to the University of Peradeniya and the Botanical Gardens, Katugastota to the north, and east to Kundasale, Tennekumbura and Gurudeniya.
Kandy is a Sinhala majority city; there are sizable communities belonging to other ethnic groups, such as Moors and Tamils.
The city remains an important religious centre of the Sinhalese and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, namely those belonging to the Theravada school. The Catholic Church has a diocese headquartered in the city.
It is the second-largest city of the island and the capital of Central Province of Sri Lanka.
Many major corporations have large branch offices in Kandy and many industries include textiles,Sri Lankan Gemstone, furniture, information technology and jewellery are found there.
Many agriculture research centers are located throughout the city.
Historical records suggest that Kandy was first established by the Vikramabahu III (1357–1374 CE), who was the monarch of the Kingdom of Gampola, north of the present city, and named Senkadagalapura at the time.
Sena Sammatha Wickramabahu (1473–1511) was the first king of the Kingdom of Kandy, he was a royal from the Kotte Royal Blood line and ruled Kandy as a semi-independent kingdom under the Kingdom of Kotte.
He made it the new capital of the Kandyan Kingdom. Sena Sammatha Wickramabahu was followed by his son Jayaweera Astana (1511–1551) and then by Karaliyadde Bandara (1551–1581) who was succeeded by his daughter Dona Catherina of Kandy (1581–1581).
Dona Catherina was succeeded by Rajasinha I. Rajasinha I however, preferred to rule the hill country from the Kingdom of Sitawaka on the west of the island.
A period of turmoil for power ended with the ascent to the throne by Konappu Bandara who came to be known as Vimaladharmasuriya I.
Having embraced Buddhism, he consolidated his authority further by bringing the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha to Kandy from a place called Delgamuwa.
In 1592 Kandy became the capital city of the last remaining independent kingdom in the island after the coastal regions had been conquered by the Portuguese.
Several invasions by the Portuguese were repelled, most notably in the campaign of Danture. After the Sinhalese–Portuguese War and the establishment of Dutch Ceylon, attempts by the Dutch to conquer the kingdom were repelled.
The kingdom tolerated a Dutch presence on the coast of Sri Lanka, although attacks were occasionally launched.
The most ambitious offensive was undertaken in 1761, when King Kirti Sri Rajasinha attacked and overran most of the coast, leaving only the heavily fortified Negombo intact.
When a Dutch retaliatory force returned to the island in 1763, Kirti Sri Rajasinha abandoned the coastline and withdrew into the interior.
When the Dutch continued to the jungles the next year, they were constantly harassed by disease, heat, lack of provisions, and Kandyan sharpshooters, who hid in the jungle and inflicted heavy losses on the Dutch.
The Dutch launched a better adapted force in January 1765, replacing their troops' bayonets with machetes and using more practical uniforms and tactics suited to jungle warfare.
The Dutch were initially successful in capturing the capital, which was deserted, and the Kandyans withdrew to the jungles once more, refusing to engage in open battle.
The Dutch were again worn down by constant attrition. A peace treaty was signed in 1766.
The Dutch remained in control of the coastal areas until 1796, when Great Britain took them over, while the Netherlands under French control due to the Kew letters during the Napoleonic wars.
British possession of these areas was formalized with the treaty of Amiens in 1802. The next year the British also invaded Kandy in what became known as the First Kandyan War, but were repulsed.
As the capital, Kandy had become home to the relic of the tooth of the Buddha which symbolizes a 4th-century tradition that used to be linked to the Sinhalese monarchy, since the protector of the relic was the ruler of the land.
The Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth were placed in close proximity to each other.
The last ruling dynasty of Kandy were the Nayaks. Kandy stayed independent until the early 19th century. In the Second Kandyan War, the British launched an invasion that met no resistance and reached the city on February 10, 1815.
On March 2, 1815, a treaty known as the Kandyan Convention was signed between the British and the Radalas who were the Kandyan aristocrats.
With this treaty, Kandy recognized George III as its King and became a British protectorate.
The last king of the kingdom Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was captured and taken as a royal prisoner by the British to Vellore Fort in southern India along with all claimants to the throne.
Some of the family members were also exiled to Tanjore now known as Thanjavur, in Tamil Nadu. Their erstwhile living place is still referred to as Kandy Raja Aranmanai on the eastern part of Thanjavur town on Old Mariamman Koil Road.
The city has a compact downtown area surrounded by a beautiful tropical rain forest hill country on all sides with exotic animals such as monkeys running around in the wild.
The downtown area is really crowded and polluted by day, and filled with some of the world's most aggressive touts by night.
But it is also a major shopping destination where all kinds of goods imaginable can be purchased at surprisingly low prices.
There are also numerous bakeries, offering delicious local treats all over downtown. Overall Kandy is a great place to experience Sri Lankan culture and cuisine surrounded by a beautiful natural environment.
Public transit terminals in Sri Lanka are intensely watched and patrolled by very large gangs. Criminals in Kandy are astonishingly bold and numerous.
Buses serve almost all destinations. From Bandaranaike International Airport 1.2 km to the bus terminal. You can simply wait on the side of the road for the Kandy bus, but because the bus leaves the terminal when it's full, likely standing room only.
From Colombo public buses start from the CBT or private ones from the bus terminal opposite the CBT 3 h, about LKR130.
From Negombo bus terminal by direct public buses over CBT for LKR150 (June 2017).
Bus number 245 comes straight past the airport. stand on the main road, on the other side of the fence bus will come from town, from the right 140rupees only. very frequent at 6am, just takes 3 hours.
From Colombo, the bus number 1 goes between Colombo and Kandy. Also, the bus route number 17 goes from Panadura to Kandy, and you can catch that bus from the Nugegoda area for a faster travel time.
Intercity air-conditioned bus from Colombo is the next best option to the hired taxis.
If you are female and traveling alone it is best to either sit next to another female or try to sit as close to the conductor as possible i.e. up front to avoid any unnecessary surprise.
Private A/C bus from the private bus stand in Pettah bus stand. A/C buses cost LKR 285 (Nov 2016).
From Kandy, Colombo A/C buses depart from its own small bus stand. The bus stand is to your left as you walk towards the Kandy railway station from the Clock tower.
If you do not find a bus, there are some long distance buses that go past Kandy, Colombo - Walasmulla, Colombo-Matale. The Colombo-Matale bus skips the Kandy town at Peradeniya.
If you happen to get a Colombo-Matale bus, get off at Peradeniya, and it should be LKR 300-500 by Tuk Tuk to go to the Kandy center, or about LKR 15 by bus, take any bus that has the "Kandy" sign in it.
They are just regular service buses without air-conditioning, or guaranteed seats. This can be, however, quite helpful if you arrive Colombo at the mid night and want to go to Kandy instead of spending the night in Kandy.
Just do not expect to sleep with the loud music in the bus and 70 other passengers looking for some space to sit.
Train from Colombo or Badula - Intercity express train are hassle free and scenic.
Reservation are needed for these trains, it can be done just before the departure depending on the period but is best done in advance especially if you are traveling on a weekend or holiday.
There is a decent observation saloon 1st class in this particular train. Normal trains are slower and 3rd/2nd class unreserved tends to be crowded.
The trip from Colombo to Kandy costs LKR220 in second class, reservation however will set you back another LKR600, but apparently the first class is just LKR750 wherever you get off Kandy, Badula, Ella, etc.
Taxi. If you're just arriving in Sri Lanka, heading for Kandy, you can hire a taxi from one of the stalls in the arrivals hall at Colombo airport for about LKR6,000.
The journey takes about 3 hours. This saves the hassle of going into Colombo, and is a lot quicker.
Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges, e.g. The road to Kandy is astonishingly chaotic and frightening even for seasoned travelers.
Be prepared for a long slow slog in traffic, or, if your driver decides to make the journey at a more practical speed, a hair-raising adventure replete with passing around blind corners and games of chicken with the ubiquitous intercity buses.
A day trip from Mt. Lavinia (Colombo) to Kandy, including seeing the sights in Kandy, costs around LKR10,000.
Air Taxi from Colombo is the latest option to travel to Kandy. The De Havilland Twin Otter float planes operated by Sri Lankan Airlines leave Colombo at 9 am currently from Kelani River and touch down at Mahaweli River in Polgolla, Kandy at 9:30 am.
The travel time between Colombo and Kandy is just 30 minutes. It costs LKR4,900 for a one-way fare and LKR9,800 for a return fare. Update May 12, 2016 - One way fare Colombo to Kandy is LKR 25,000.
Cinnamon Air, operates daily scheduled flights that depart from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport which reaches Polgolla Reservoir.
Kandy in an hour and from Colombo City Waters Edge which reaches the destination in 30 minutes. One-way fare per person is listed as USD 153 without tax.
Walking is recommended as the center is not that large. It is a good way of seeing temples, shops, shopping area and other sights around the lake.
Local busses can be used to visit nearby places 10 km. There are three bus stands, with only one of them with sign boards. All three bus stands accommodate both government-run buses and private ones.
Private buses outnumber the government buses by quantity by far. The first and largest bus stand is called Good shed, and is right next to the Railway station.
All long distance buses depart from here, and now have signs indicating the destination. Even the locals have hard time finding which platform has which buses, and is quite difficult to explain in this article.
Almost every bus in here are long distance buses, but you can hop on and get off at your destination. If you get on to a long-distance bus, try offer the seat to someone going all the way.
Secondly, there is a bus station near the Clock tower. Bus routes 654, 621 and 620 among others start from here.
Most notably, Digana is in bus route 654, Polgolla is in route 621. Matale is bus route 8, but note that if you want to visit Sigiriya, it is still a long way from Matale. Other bus routes include 603, 604, 606, 607, 609, and 613.
Third, there is a bus station near the market and Torrington park. This is where you will find most of the buses to the interesting destinations.
Buses cost from LKR9-20 for most of the nearby places. The conductors themselves will not speak good English, but Kandyans are quite helpful and will not hesitate to help you anytime.
Note that these buses can be quite crowded in rush hours because most of the offices and schools are located in these roads. It is best to avoid 6AM-9AM, and 4PM-7PM if possible.
Arguably, the most authentic way to experience Sri Lanka is by hiring and driving your own Tuk-Tuk. Some travellers report that they have been able to strike a deal directly with local owners for the use of their vehicle.
This is not recommended, however, due to licensing and insurance concerns. Since December 2016, Tuk Tuk Rental Sri Lanka has been providing socially responsible, self drive Tuk Tuk hire for tourists and travellers visiting Sri Lanka.
Tuk Tuks can be collected from Mount Lavinia, Colombo, or delivered nationwide.
As Tuk Tuks are hired directly from local owners, the company provides a good and reliable income for some of the poorest Tuk Tuk drivers in Colombo, who would otherwise be working long hours as a driver to support their family.
All Tuk Tuks provided are no more than 5 years old, and rentals include comprehensive insurance, 24 hour support and a number of other extras to make your trip safe and hassle-free.
They even provide you with your own Sri Lankan driver's license! Travel like a local and drive your own Tuk Tuk around Sri Lanka!
Tuk Tuk taxis are cheap compared to European prices and a hassle-free way of seeing the greater city. They run virtually all night long.
Rent a Scooty, normally one scooty will be LKR 2000per day.
The Temple of the Tooth. The temple is open from dawn to dusk. 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.
Make sure to cover up below the knees with pants and everything on the shoulders. There are plenty of people at the entrance that will hire you a shoal to cover for 150 to 200 LKR.
There is also a foreigner only shoe drop just before you enter the temple where they ask for a donation there is a local shoe drop for free behind it so don't feel like you need to give a donation as you have already had to pay 1,000 LKR. Foreigner entrance: LKR1,000.
The Bogambara lake. You can walk all the way around the Bogambara lake, right next to the temple of tooth relic.
Beware of crows over your head, and the air is not the best. But locals and foreigners alike love to walk through the bank in early mornings.
The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage has about 70 semi-tame elephants roaming freely around this wonderful sanctuary.
You can either hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to take you there directly or, if traveling on a budget by bus.
On the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north heading towards Rambukkana for about 6 km.
The bus price from Kandy to the junction is about LKR40, ask the bus driver to drop you off at the turn for Pinnewala.
Alternatively, take a train to Rambukkana and walk from there. Follow the road through the village back in the direction the train has just come from and then turn right at the large sign for the Elephant Orphanage.
It's about 2 km. Rambukkana is on the main line to Colombo and the journey is quite scenic, passing through jungle drenched mountains, definitely worth the trip especially if you have children.
The best time to visit is the feeding time from 09:30-10:00AM and 01:30-02:00PM, and the bathing time from 10:00-10:30AM and 02:00-02:30PM when all the elephants are taken to the river close by. Entrance: LKR2,500.
Alternatively but slightly different, the Millenium Elephant Foundation is right next to Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage.
On the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north by bus heading towards Rambukkana for about 3-4 km. The foundation is on the eastern side of the road.
You can ride and wash elephants in the river. Entrance: LKR1,000.
The Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya 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: Drive there through the University of Peradeniya the most scenic and the largest university in the country. There are plenty of buses going from Kandy to Peradeniya which stop in front of Botanic Garden.
New Ranweli Spice Garden located in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden on the other side of the suspension bridge inside botanical gardens is a place to see and learn about Sri Lankan spices and herbs.
It is a fun place to guess the spices. After seeing around the garden which is actually just about 15 spice plants, spices can also be purchased as a souvenir, but there is no obligation to buy.
Entrance free. Directions-It is much easier to visit New Ranweli Spice Garden for those who visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden.
Simply take the SUSPENSION BRIDGE inside the botanical garden and make it to the other side of the river, ignore the STOP sign, take the road Gannoruwa Muruthalawa RD directly opposite the SUSPENSION BRIDGE, from there it is just around 800m to New Ranweli Spice Garden.
A path on the right side of the road leads to the garden.
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 colorful Buddhist flags over the road.
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. There are some stares to go a little up behind the statue.
Best viewed at the evening as the sun sets and the city starts to light up. Slight pressure to make a donation, but you are not required to.
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, is a forest reserve located on a hill ridge in the middle of Kandy. It is 104 hectares (257 acres) large. It was a royal reserve and the tranquil pond near the entrance is said to have been a royal bathing pond.
One can take a wonderful walk on well maintained tracks through dense jungle. The large circular walk will take about an hour.
You are guaranteed to come across plenty of monkeys, which although curious are not dangerous, and possibly deer and wild boar. Wear long trousers after rain, and take some mosquito repellent or salt as there are lots of leeches about when it is wet.
The entrance is above Trinity College and Kandy Municipality. The fee for foreigners is Rs. 570-. Because the forest is large and secluded it is not recommended for women to venture alone in the forest.
In 2013 two young German women were molested by a group of drunk men in a remote part of the forest. There are a few Buddhist monasteries in the forest, but these are private areas that should not be entered.
Temples situated around Kandy are some other popular tourist attractions. The most famous temples are: Gadaladeniya LKR300, serviced by many buses, Lankathilaka Viharaya (LKR300), Embekke Devalaya (LKR300; serviced by bus 644, LKR35, 1 hour), 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.
You can take any bus that goes towards the Botanical garden, get off at the Gatambe ground, and this place is a short walk away. Along the way, the Mahaweli river will be to your left, and it is quite beautiful in the mornings.
Kandyan Art Association., No. 72, Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy 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 Sacred Tooth Relic. From 9. 00 a. m. to 5. 00 p. m.. A center for traditional arts and crafts with a government-sponsored sales room and fixed prices.
The building in which the Kandyan Art Association is currently housed is over 175 years old. Despite its varied uses over the years.
The building has retained its unique character over the last two centuries and today serves not only as the Association’s art gallery and sales outlet.
But also a site for the demonstration of a range of production activities, including hand loom weaving, dumbara mat weaving, and wood carving.
Wales park, Climb the stairs right in front of the Lake Round bus stop. Offers a quite good scenery of Kandy from up top. Most of the Kandy city photos are taken from here, and one can stay hours looking at the city's beauty.
To get there, go to the Lake Round bus stop, and you will see a small set of stairs going up. It is a short walk. Alternately, you can take a Tuk Tuk or a taxi that takes a slightly different road.
If you take the walk way, note that the stairs are not well-lit, and they are not the safest stairs. Entrance free.
Ambuluwawa tower. View point about 15km from Kandy 30min/40LKR take local bus to Gampola, then 6km by tuk-tuk. If you are visiting Royal Botanical Garden you may consider going to this view point.
Check if it's open in case of recent rains it may be closed without any previous notice. There are also some temples to see on the mountain. edit
The Kandy district has large number of known treks. Within the Kandy city the short walk of Asgiri Maha Viharaya via Bahirawakande hill is an interesting.
Udawattakelle forest reserve 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.
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.
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. But prepare to be harassed by the touts. Just try your way around them.
If a tout brings you into place, he will later get a 50% commission from the Center, which you will have paid for.
Buddhist Publication Society this is located on the lake to the east of the Temple of the Tooth. There is a large bookshop where you can buy books about Buddhism and get information about places to meditate.
Nilambe meditation center. This is a Buddhist meditation retreat centre which offers experiences of a mindful Buddhist lifestyle. You can engage in daily activities which involves yoga classes, meditation and discussions.
Take a Galaha bus passing Peradeniya and get down from Nilambe office junction. Costs are about LKR1,000 per day including lunch. In the main tourist season the place is heavily booked and is best to contact beforehand if one wants to stay.
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).
Hanthana mountain range hike. There are three ways to enter the Hanthana mountains: One from Kandy city, taking the road passing the main hospital, the second from Mulgampola, and the third from Peradeniya.
There is a telecommunication tower, and offers a quite good scenery. There are a few tea shops along the way, plus some smaller restaurants. The locals can be helpful despite their lack of English.
You will encounter some young people, mostly from the nearby university making the hike. Join with them if possible. If you plan to camp there, note that there can be strong winds.
It would be helpful to let your hotel/friend know that you are going on this hike, because it is easy for hikers to get lost in here, and you are not certainly the first one to get lost.
Pay extreme care if you plan to cook your own food or involve fire in any way. You wouldn't be the first one to accidentally start a wildfire and destroy the most of the beauty and others property.
If you are extremely careful and plan your journey well, it can be a hike of a lifetime with no other scenery in Sri Lanka to at least to come close.
Laksala is the somewhat overpriced state owned handicraft shop, with many of the items sold here easily found for much cheaper prices in other stores throughout the country. Laksala is located 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. 9AM. Kandyan masks, jewellery, coins, plates, textiles, etc.
Jayamali Batiks Studio, No.196, 1st Floor, Central Market, Kandy. Exclusive Batiks By Upali Jaykody. You will be able to buy high quality, uncommon, artistic, modern batiks.
Sriya & Daya Curio Shop (Sriya & Daya), 493, Peradeniya Road, Kandy, Opposite KFC Peradeniya Branch. Sriya & Daya Curio Shop is a unique showroom with a collection of a wide range of Sri Lankan antiques, curios, jewellery, masks, souvenirs and more at affordable prices.
Kandy has a modest range of restaurants, as well as an abundance of confectioneries. A range of cuisines is available, including Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, European and some multinational fast food outlets such as Pizza Hut, and KFC.
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, is to be avoided. It sells really overpriced, foul tasting Chinese food.
On the plus side, the bill is a print out so you can clearly see what you've ordered including the 20% taxes but not mentioned in the menu added on top of the mandatory 10% service charge.
It is relatively clean, air-conditioned and serves alcohol beer and wine.
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.
Paivas Food Court, No,37 Yatinuwara Street, Kandy Sri Lanka, center of city. 7 am -11.00pm. North Indian,Chinese,Sri Lankan And European Food And Juice Bar from Rs 250.00.
There are two popular bars on the main street of Dalada Vidaya, The Pub and The Pub Royale. The former serves quite good but pricey, perhaps LKR700 meals, has a large screen for sports inside and a 1st floor outside verandah.
There are a number of cheap bars LKR100 or less for a 650ml bottle of beer scattered throughout the side streets near the town center. They can be rather seedy and the kind of place where unaccompanied women could be made to feel very uncomfortable.
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 slightly less dingy as it serves food, Arrack starts at LKR700, beer LKR195 and a cigarette from a waiter LKR30l.
Fruit juices. In every street and restaurant you'll find a wide choice of fresh fruit juices, surprisingly cheap around 70-100 Rps for a big glass.
There are lots of cheapish guest houses to the south and east of the lake, about one kilometer from the town center, and generally clean and friendly.
Saranankara Road to the South of the lake has a concentration of budget and mid range guesthouses with many different types of rooms near the top of the hill, best to catch a tuk tuk to the top of Saranankara road.
Instead of walking uphill if you have luggage, it's a steep climb, price for a tuk tuk should be maximum 150 from the main street in downtown or 200 LKR from the train station.
As of December, 2015 room prices at Saranakara are from 1000 LKR for a hole with shared bathroom, 1500-2500 for a nice fan room, and 2500+ for AC room.
The guesthouses vary widely in quality, some owners are very aggressive in recruiting guests, be firm if you don't like the room they offer you.
With Kandy's climate AC is not really necessary and nights can even be cool, so many guest houses don't even have AC, don't be afraid to get a fan room.
Pink House, 15 Saranankara Rd. a low family house at the beginning of the street. Basic and a bit run-down, but friendly atmosphere. The old lady owner is adorable.
If you ask enough in advance that she can go shopping, she will enjoy cooking you an astonishingly diverse and delicious dinner. LKR1200 incl. slow wifi.
No.44 Guest House, 44 Saranankara Rd., Kandy. Three simple but clean double rooms and a small lounge area. Serves juice and meals. LKR1,200-1,500.
Kandy City Hostel, 76 Ampitiya Rd Just up the hill from the far end of the lake. Take a tuk tuk for 200LKR from anywhere downtown. A chilled out hostel not very far from Kandy downtown.
Great atmosphere and lots of people to go for dinner or to the bar with. A small breakfast and coffee and tea are provided. 2000LKR.
Kandy Downtown Hostel, 93 Aniwatta Road, Kandy. Walking distance (1.3km) to the bus/train station. Rooms start at LKR1,200.
Olde Empire, Temple st. Situated next to the Temple of the Tooth very central. Basic, clean rooms. Nice ancient wood building, w. polished wood floors and good hangout balcony overlooking the temple.
Free 5:30am wakeup call by temple puja. Friendly staff. Some combo of charming, funky and rundown. Restaurant is above-average. Cheapest rate starts from LKR880: single, shared bath: LKR1100. Double, shared bath: LKR1500.
YMCA, 116A Kotugodella Veediya. Probably the cheapest option in town. Common bathroom, cold water, no wifi. Cold and hot drinking water provided for free. Rates start at LKR500 per person for the dorm, or LKR700 for a single room.
Gami Seva Sevana, Office Junction, Galaha, 25 km towards Galaha on the Galaha Rd. Located just at the foot of the hill of the Nilambe meditation center. One bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms one living room and a kitchen at 2 floors.
Several simpler rooms. Gami Seva Sevana is a cooperative which is into organic agriculture and education.
Recently it started to rent out its facilities and also offers a scheme to explore local places and sights that otherwise wouldn't likely show up on a tourist radar. From LKR2,000.
Golden View Rest, Saranankara Rd. View on the lake and a part of the city. Hot water and very clean rooms. A/C and non-A/C rooms. The breakfast is not included in the price if not asked.
Beware of the owner's free tuk-tuk scam - your driver will demand an extortionate sum of money once you arrive at your destination. Rooms from LKR1,500.
McLeod Inn, 65A Rajapihilla Mawatha. The couple who run the place are all smiles and very helpful. Rooms are sparkling clean, comfy beds, en suite with hot and cold water.
Some beautiful views across Kandy from their balcony and from a couple of rooms, room 6 especially has floor to ceiling windows. No A/C, but you do not need it. LKR2500 and up.
Tourmaline Hotel, 55, 2nd Lane, Pushpadana Mawatha. The hotel has 29 furnished rooms with modern amenities.
Holiday Bungalow, Haragama, Kandy 11km's on Rajamawatha. 6 deluxe rooms, ideal for family holidays who like to stay in a relaxed and peaceful area.
Heavens Holiday Resort, 23/a Arangala Nattharanpotha Kandy. Heavens Holiday Resort is a nice clean guest house with situated in near the Kandy city.
They have 3 rooms and 3 bathrooms. One room have private balcony and others comes with public balcony. Home made foods are offered the 1st floor restaurant. ''Cheapest rate starts from LKR1500.
No.31 Kandy Guest House, 31 Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe Mw., Kandy, Newly built Kandy Guest House is just steps away from the city’s numerous attractions such as Temple of the Tooth Relic, Royal Wales Park, Malwatte Maha Vihara & the Kandy Lake.
Guest House has four well furnished luxary bedrooms, perfect for families, groups of friends or tourist travelers. $30-$60.
Peace Haven Guest House, 47/10 Louis Pieris lane and other entrance 44 firstlane Dharmaraja mawatta, Near the north-east corner of Kandy Lake. Located a pleasant 20 minutes stroll by the lakeside from the center of town.
The owners, Mr & Mrs Atapattu, are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Breakfasts include heaps of fresh fruit, all the toast you can eat, and good rich tea. US$35.
Amaya Hills, Heerassagala, Kandy, Central Region 20000, Sri Lanka. Amaya Hills in Kandy, Sri Lanka presents guests a breathtaking retreat that offers a glimpse of the verdant Hanthana mountain range.
It offers Deluxe Rooms, Superior Rooms, and Suites all equipped with Plasma TV with satellite channels, Mini-bar, coffee/ tea maker, Daily supply of bottled water, Wi-Fi Internet access.
Some of its facilities and services are Swimming pool, Spa and fitness facilities, Sports equipment – table tennis, squash, billiards, board games, Business services. While at Amaya Hills.
Finish your vacation by exploring the following points of interest in Kandy - Temple of the Tooth Relic – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Embekka Devalaya (Embekka Temple), Kandy Museum – within the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Horton Plains National Park.
Rosendale Villa, 85/A Upul Mawatha, Primrose Gardens, Kandy. Located in a secluded area of Kandy, Rosendale Villa offers a unique experience where you can relax, in true up country style.
The climate which is cool mornings and evenings, with fairly warm day times offer a splendid environment to enjoy the calm ambiance at the Villa and explore the surrounding sites and other places of interest.
Ideally located on the Primrose Hill with a panoramic view of the famous Mahaveli River with close proximity to the Historic Kandy City.
Facilities offered are Clean Rooms with Breakfast or Lunch & Dinner, WiFi, Laundry, Tuk Tuk rides, Telephone, Hot Water etc.. Rooms from LKR4,500.
Chaaya Citadel Kandy, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha. Offers a stay that takes you back in time. The four star hotel is away from the hustle and bustle of the city but near enough to access the cultural marvels that Kandy has to offer.
Earl's Regency, 84 Tenna Kumbura 4km from Kandy. This 100 room five star luxury hotel has restaurants with a variety of international cuisine, 24 hour room service, a coffee shop, Ayurvedic health center, shopping arcade, a sauna and wedding, conference and banquets facilities.
Evening entertainment includes disco, karaoke, live bands, oriental bands, bingo and cultural shows.
Kandy Cottage, 160 Lady Gordon Drive, Contact Tobi. Eco-friendly retreat for writers and artists, but it also welcomes regular holiday makers with facilities from laundry to laser printing.
Although it nestles in a little hollow adjoining a tiny virgin forest Udawatta Kele Royal Forest Sanctuary, it is only ten minutes' walk from the city center.
It has two double rooms and one family suite, all of them enabled with broadband internet. Rates from USD 22-40 per person, accompanying children free if under 12. Half rate after the second week.
Forest Villa, 185B Rajapihilla Mawatha. checkin: 12:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. Forest Villa provides the comfortable amenities of an urban lifestyle.
It offers rooms equipped with bathroom amenities, Welcome pack water, tea, coffee or juice and Coffee/tea maker. Some of its facilities and services are Restaurant, dining areas, business center, housekeeping and 24-hours back-up power supply. USD 35.
Hill Top Hotel, 200/21, Bahirawakande Peradeniya Rd About 2 km to the city center. Two star hotel. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of local and international dishes.
Hunas Falls by Amaya, Elkaduwa About 26 km away from Kandy. The hotel is in a breathtaking setting overlooking the Hunas Falls. The hotel has nine superior rooms, 19 deluxe rooms and suites.
Room facilities include a mini bar, satellite TV and IDD telephone. All rooms are centrally air conditioned. The hotel offers conferencing and banqueting facilities.
The Kandy Samadhicentre, Kukuloya Rd Narampanawa passing Digana. Nature resort. Double room with hot water B&B USD 80.
Mahaweli Reach Hotel, 35, P.B.A. Weerakoon Mawatha, a few minutes away from the city. Five star hotel.
Queen's Hotel, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha in the middle of the city beside the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Kandy Lake. One of the oldest hotels in Kandy. Offers ideal getaway spots to watch the Maligawa Perahera.
Randholee Resort. The panoramic view from this resort is one of the better ones in the area, decked in Kandyan decor, all rooms do not have its own private balcony and bathrooms. Best rates on official website start at USD 68.
Riverdale Hotel, 32, Aniwatte Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Suisse Hotel, 30, Sangarajah Mawatha right beside the historic Kandy Lake. Colonial hotel.
Swiss Residence Kandy Hotel, 23 Bahirawakanda Lane (1 km to the city center). 40 rooms.
Hotel Topaz, Aniwatte, Kandy, Central 20967, Sri Lanka. Hotel Topaz in Kandy, Sri Lanka offers its stylish and comfortable accommodation with its guestrooms fitted with modern comforts like air-conditioning, minibar, safety deposit box, coffee/tea making facilities and satellite TV.
Aside from basking in Hotel Topaz's stylish comfort, you can also take pleasure in a selection of its prime facilities and services like room services, 24-hour front desk, meeting/banquet facilities, airport shuttle, laundry, ironing services, currency exchange, shuttle services (free), restaurant, bar, spa and wellness center, massage, children's playground, outdoor pool, free private parking, free WiFi in public areas.
The Tourmaline, Aniwatte, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Experience a very refreshing and invigorating relaxation with sense of royalty. Indulge yourself in a luxurious private getaway with The Tourmaline Hotel Kandy.
With a complete hotel facilities consist of Restaurant, Poolside bar, Garden,Business center,Bar/pub, The Tourmaline Hotel also offers services such as Spa, Laundry and Dry cleaning, Airport transfer, Shuttle service and Massage.
Mountbatten Bungalow, No 4, Spring Hill Estate, Bowalawatta. A Century old boutique bungalow, Once home of lord Mountbatten still holds Colonial Charm is located in Hill Country of Sri Lanka. The Bungalow consists of 2 Suites and 4 Bungalow rooms.
There's a laundry shop at the beginning of De Soyza Lane, near the Clocktower, that charges 200LKR per kilo and serves in the same day.
Also, there are some other laundries with name Budget wash that charge only LKR80 per kilo, with a minimum of 3kg. One branch is near the Dinemore/Nihas' Super.
Kandy is a very safe place and more relaxed than the east and north of Sri Lanka. Women however should be cautious especially at night and kindly deny help when approached by someone.
When seeking advice, address your question to local women, which generally are happy to help.
Tuk-tuk driver, beware of the usual suspects that offer you to take you to the best thing in town, which is too far away to walk or an alternative to where you want to go because today yours is closed.
Generally, all such advice is wrong and must be consider critically. Most things in town can be reached by foot. If you want to get out, the local buses are a good option just go to the bus station and ask at the counter or one of the bus guys.
Touts, there are many guys strolling around and offering their help to tourist. Often they approach you by saying You remember me? or by telling you they work at the guest house or hotel you stay in.
Of course the usual Which country? is also very common. This is of course all bushwa and just a conversion starter to trick you into buying something or taking an overpriced tour with them.
Touts that bring you to shops or hotels, Kandyan dancing, etc. will get a large commission from the place they bring you to, which will be included in your bill.
There is a lot of heavy black soot in the air and in the compartment on both buses and trains, even slightly noticeable over long distances in AC 1st class cars.
Any significant distance will result in soot in your pores, nasal passages, mixed with sweat and sticking to your clothing.
Buses are usually the best option and serve almost all destinations. Favorite destinations from Kandy are Dambulla, Sigiryia, Hatton for Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya or Ella.
Short distance buses start from the clock tower in the center. For the long distance buses go to Good Shed Bus Station south west of the town next to the train station. Prices are LKR50-150 for a 1 or 3 hours trip respectively.
Dambulla costs about LKR150. non-AC bus.
Train is the best option if you are heading further into the mountains towards Hatton Adam's Peak, Nanu Oya Train Station for Nuwara Eliya, Haputale Lipton's Seat, Horton Plains National Park, Ella for Ella Rock or Badulla.
There is an observation saloon 1st class in some trains. 3rd and 2nd class unreserved tend to be crowded but tickets can be bought right before the train departs.
Best check the train times and situation one day before departure, you can always opt for the bus.
If there are no reserved tickets left, ask if they have tickets from Peradeniya train station which is 6 km from Kandy and can be easily reached by bus, tuk tuk or taxi.
The Kandy train station is located south west of the town next to the Good Shed Bus Station. The trip to Haputale is about LKR200 for 2nd class, reservation however will set you back another LKR600.
Note that the train line between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya (Nanu Oya) is completely booked out for all of December.
Second and third class unreserved seats are still available but can only be purchased on the day of travel and the trains were really crowded with locals and tourists.
The trains are full even as they arrive to Kandy station as locals seem to be getting on somewhere else, so no seats are left even before the train arrives in Kandy.
Palace of the Tooth relic, n the north shore of the lake, which is enclosed by a parapet of white stone dating to the beginning of the 19th century, are the city's official religious monuments, including the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth, known as the Dalada Maligawa.
Reconstructed in the 18th century, the Dalanda Maligawa is built on a base of granite that was inspired by the temples of Sri Lanka's former capital city, Anuradhapura.
An array of materials limestone, marble, sculpted wood, ivory, etc. contribute to the richness of this temple. Throughout this small holy city, a number of recent Buddhist monasteries can be found.
The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and The Temple of the Tooth is the place that houses the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha.
Originally part of the Royal Palace complex of the Kandyan Kingdom, it is one of the holiest places of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhist around the world.
It was last of a series of temples built in the places where the relic, the actual palladium of the Sinhalese monarchy, was brought following the various relocations of the capital city.
The Palace of the Tooth relic, the palace complex and the holy city of Kandy are associated with the history of the dissemination of Buddhism.
The temple is the product of the last peregrination of the relic of the tooth of Buddha and the testimony of a religion which continues to be practiced today.
The Royal Palace of Kandy is the last Royal Palace built in the island. Although only part of the original palace complex remain.
The Temple of the Tooth was part of this complex, due to the ancient tradition that stated that the monarch is the protector of the relic though which the ruler of the land.
It today houses the National Museum Kandy which holds an extensive collection of artifacts from both the Kandy Kingdom and the British colonial rule.
The Lankatilaka Temple is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of traditional Sinhalese temple architecture. Built on a rock, the temple is reached by a long series of rock cut steps.
An arched passage of the image house leads through a Mandapa (hall) into the inner sanctum which is richly decorated with beautiful floral designs. The two side walls and the ceiling are decorated with paintings.
In the inner sanctum is a colossal seated image of the Buddha.
The Gadaladeniya Temple's design is of South Indian origin with a Devale attached to it, similar in character to the Natha Devale and the Gedige of Adahana Maluwa.
The main shrine room has a seated Buddha statue and the remains of some paintings of the Gampola period.
Among other important temples around Kandy are Dodanwala Devalaya (shrine), Embekka Devalaya (shrine), Galmaduwa Vihara temple, Handagala Vihara temple, Medawala Vihara and Nalanda Gedige.
The Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5 km to the west of the city centre at Peradeniya and is visited by 2 million people per year.
It is the largest botanical garden on the island extending to 147 acres (59 ha) and containing over 4000 species of plants. Knuckles Mountain Range in Kandy is a world heritage site of UNESCO.
Alagalla Mountain Range also named in English as Potato Range both famous for trekking in Sri Lanka. The Udawatta Kele (Udawatta Forest) is a protected sanctuary situated in the heart of the city, just north of Temple of the Tooth.
Known as Uda Wasala Watta in Sinhalese meaning, the garden situated above the royal palace it was designated as a forest reserve in 1856, and it became a sanctuary in 1938.
The Royal Palace Park, known as Wace Park is a small park that overlooks Kandy Lake and most of the city.
In the park is a Japanese field gun which was captured by the British 14th Army in Burma during World War II and presented to the city of Kandy by Lord Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Theatre.
Kandyans do many things for leisure and entertainment in the city.
Kandy is very popular due to the annual procession known as the Esala Perahera, in which one of the inner caskets used for covering the tooth relic of Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city.
This casket is taken on a royal tusker. The procession includes traditional dancers and drummers, flag bearers of the provinces of the old Kandyan kingdom.
The Nilames the lay custodians of temples wearing their traditional dresses, torch bearers and also the grandly attired elephant.
This ceremony which is annually held in the months of July or August, attracts large crowds from all parts of the country and also many foreign tourists.
Kandy City Centre is commercial and shopping complex at Dalada Veediya. Is the most modern commercial complex in Sri Lanka.
The complex is studded with ultra modern features, also incorporating traditional architecture of Kandy during the medieval period of Sri Lanka.
The city centre is host to several leading banks, a fully equipped supermarket, modern restaurants, an entertainment zone, a well designed state of the art food court, Sri Lanka's leading book shops, flora and an ayurweda site. There is a five-level car park outside that is the largest car park in Kandy.