The city of Kandy was once the stronghold of King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe; and during this time his mighty presence was felt over the entire land. Many of the historic structures from his kingdom remain well preserved to this day. There are many things to do in Kandy, several historic and cultural sites to visit, including three devalés, The Kandy Garrison Cemetery, Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, The Tea Museum and Asgiriya Stadium. However, the Sri Dalada Maligawa or Sacred Temple of the Tooth with its adjoining Kandy Lake and the Kandy National Museum are the city’s main attractions.
The Mahaweli River, the country’s longest river and lifeblood to its agriculture industry, also flows through Kandy. Perched on hills that make up the riverbank is Earl’s Regent Kandy, a property that encompasses the Kandyan heritage. The entire city has been declared a heritage site by UNESCO.
The Kandy National Museum is located next door to the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The building in which the museum is housed was once known as ‘Palle Vahala’, meaning lower palace and was built by King Sri Wickram aRajasingha to use as a residence for the queens of the kingdom. The structure depicts a distinct architectural style belonging to the Kandy period. In the more recent past it was used to store items of historic value and was opened to the public as a museum in 1942. The Kandy National Museum has over five thousand artefacts on display that are evidence of historical and cultural events that took place during the Kandyan period; the years between the 17th and 19th centuries A.D. Ancient moonstones, ola leaf manuscripts, weapons, spears, bows, pots, pans, masks and traditional costumes worn by the natives of Kandyan era are on display.