Fortified by scenic mountain ranges, the city of Kandy was a stronghold for Sri Lankan rulers for centuries. Subsequent to the decline of the Kandyan kingdom, the city underwent significant change under the rule of the British monarch. Irrespective of these political changes, Kandy held onto its cultural roots and deep connection to Buddhism. This resulted in creating unique cultural values that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the country. Like its tea, exploring the different hues of Kandy will take some time. And a well-planned city tour will give its tourists the flavour of this heritage city.
Most of the major Kandy hotels provide guided tours for tourists. Earl’s Regency, for example, offers a few plans for tourists to choose from. It is customary for visitors to first worship the Temple of the Tooth Relic, standing resplendent on the scenic bank of the Kandy Lake. The haloed temple houses the tooth relic of the Buddha and is a world heritage site. In July every year, the Temple hosts the revered ‘Esala Perahera’ (July procession). It is an exuberant display of Kandy’s culture and tradition. Attended by thousands each year, mythology has it that the skies will always shower its blessings on the ongoing procession as it carries the Tooth Relic.
Other attractions in the city include the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. It holds a large variety of flora; some species which can only be seen in Sri Lanka. The wood carvings of the Ambekka Temple, the ‘Gampola’ era architecture of the Lankatileka temple and Gadaladeniya Temple, one of the largest rock structures in the country are some of the other attractions that require honorary mentions. After the lengthy tour, tourists can enjoy a variety of Asian food and go on a shopping spree at the newly opened Kandy City Centre. For those who are looking for a different experience, Kandy’s many viewpoints will offer a bird’s eye view of its beauty as the sun sets.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+