Planning a Kandy city one day tour? The sacred city of Kandy, located in the lush hill country of Sri Lanka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and should not be missed during your tour of the island. If you’re heading to Kandy for a day, here’s a quick guide on what to expect in the city.
The city of Kandy was the last kingdom of Sri Lanka and was the capital city in 1592. The last ruling dynasty were known as the Nayaks of Kandy, who ruled until the invasion of the British in 1815. Subsequently, Kandy became the final home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha owing to the age old tradition that the royal family would be the protectors of the relic. Anyone fit to rule the land was seen fit to protect the sacred tooth relic. Kandy forms part of the Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle and is a popular tourist destination.
Kandy is approximately 3 hours away from the commercial capital Colombo, by car. Although you can reach Kandy by train or bus, these methods of transport are often time consuming and if you’re planning to spend a day exploring the rich charms of the city, then travelling by car is the best option available!
Sri Dalada Maligawa
The Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most revered temples on the island. Buddhists from around the country and the world pay a visit to the beautifully structure, pristine, white temple and its expansive premises in order to get a glimpse of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, believed to be enclosed in a golden box for safekeeping. The temple is surrounded by a large wall made of white stone that dates back to the 19th century. On the far end of the temple’s premises, you’ll find the Royal Palace. Each year, the sacred tooth is paraded around the streets of the city in a grand ceremony known as the Esala Perahera, which is often held during the months of July or August. The parade consists of fire dancers, traditional dancers from around the island, heavily adorned elephants and numerous other figures, each with their own significance to the cultural parade.
The city of Kandy is a melting pot of culture. Be sure to pop into one of the cultural shows in the city and be fascinated by the island’s exotic dance and music rhythms. The Kandyan dancers will put on a vibrant performance for you, leaving you in complete awe!
The lake that runs parallel to the temple is a man-made lake, also known as Kiri Muhuda (Sea of Milk). The lake was built by Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1807 which was used by the king’s helm for bathing. According to the legend, there’s a secret tunnel that connects the palace to the lake. Enjoy a lovely stroll around the lake while admiring the mountain silhouettes and the cool air.
Udawatte Kele Forest Reserve
The Udawatte Kele Forest Reserve encompasses an area of 104 hectares of lush jungle, located right above the Royal Palace in the centre of the city. The historic reserve was known to be a secret grounds for the royal family. Home to numerous avi fauna, reptiles and mammals, the forest reserve offers a cool, quiet escape from the bustling city below. Once inside, it’s almost impossible to believe that the city thrives below, as the only sounds you hear are that of animals and insects! It was declared a forest reserve in 1856 and a sanctuary in 1938. The forest reserve is approximately 20 minutes from the Temple of the Tooth.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya is located approximately 5km from the city. Known to be the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, the 147 acres of lush foliage and well manicured lawns is home to over 4000 plant species. According to legend, it was used by the Royal Family as their private garden. The Royal Botanical Gardens is most famed for housing a colourful, vibrant collection of orchids.
What to Wear on Kandy City Tour
When visiting the sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa, appropriate clothing is a must or you won’t be permitted entry to the temple premises.Your shoulders and knees must be covered at all times. Always remember to maintain a calm and collected sense of being, so as not to disturb the worshippers inside the temple. As Kandy is surrounded by mountains, the air is slightly cooler than Colombo, but comfortable clothing would ensure you’re not sweating through your attire while exploring the city.
To arrange a Kandy city tour contact Olanka Travels.