The Hill Capital of Sri Lanka nestling among the misty hills in the central region of this paradise island is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Kandy (also known as Maha Nuwara, “Great City”) was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988, and today it is an administrative, commercial, cultural, and educational centre that attracts pilgrims and tourists alike. Kandy is located in the Central Highlands (elevation: 1,640 feet) on the Mahaweli River and on the shore of an artificial lake that was constructed in 1807 by the last Kandyan king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinha. The lake at the center of the city with a traditional artistic feature is attractive and keeps the environment cool. The banks of the lake cover with variety of trees of which some are historic. Naturally, the narrow path along the Lake has become the popular walking stretch of the city dwellers and lovers.
Temple of the Tooth
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From the 13th or 14th century, Kandy became a centre for both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, the religion’s two major sects. Among the most picturesque cities in the island, the importance of Kandy is mainly due to it being the home of the Temple of the Tooth – which houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha.

Visit the Temple of the tooth at different times of the day (6am, 10am & 6pm) to view ceremonies by the resident monks, just before sunset is a particularly beautiful time to view the gold leafed temple. Remember modest dress (long skirt, trousers or a sarong worn over shorts) is a must to enter the temple. Here visitors can observe the ancient traditions of drumming and sacred chanting in honor of the Tooth Relic, being performed several times each day.
Kandy Perahera
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The Kandy Esala Perahera (the Esala procession of Kandy) also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a grand festival celebrated with elegant costumes and is held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of many traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances, in addition to the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony which is held at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, Kandy.
Kandy Lake
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This is the heart of the Kandy city and is the most famous landmark of the city. A stroll around the lake gives you and outstanding view of the temple and is a good 40-60 minute walk. Also hire a boat to take a ride out on the lake. At dusk fruit bats swoop across the lake from the surrounding trees. Ride out to view the former Sinhala queen’s bathing island, Ulpenge, in the middle of the lake.
Royal Botanical Garden
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Situated less than four miles from Kandy on the Colombo road The Royal Botanic Gardens Peradeniya is well known for its large variety of plant life. The garden-a paradise for nature lover- was built in 14th century during the reign of king Vikrama Bahu III. This is where the British first experimented with grooving tea in Sri Lanka after the coffee blight had wiped out their plantation crops. The best-known attraction of the garden is the orchid House, which houses more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids. A spice garden located here gives you a first hand account of the trees and plants used in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
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