Sightseeing in Kandy - what to see. Complete travel guide

In the heart of Sri Lanka, not far from Colombo, tourists will find the marvelous city of Kandy. The settlement is situated close to the bank of the Mahaweli Ganga River. This city is an ideal destination for an unforgettable vacation thanks to its always pleasant and fresh air. Kandy is truly a cultural capital of the island, and its local people still cherish their historic heritage and Buddhist values. The city’s population tries to maintain the centuries-old traditions and is very sad about the impact of the modern culture on the image of “an honest Kandy resident” that slowly disappears. Despite this fact, the city doesn’t lose its glorious look and attracts many tourists every year.
This city appeared soon after the arrival of the Portuguese explorers in the 14th century. Having reached the southern side of Ceylon, the Portuguese started colonizing the island. Local people were not skilled warriors and their weapons were more primitive than the equipment of Europeans, so they had no chance resisting the invaders. After that, King Vikramabahu took all historical and religious artifacts he had and headed deeper into the island. When he reached impenetrable jungles, the king ordered to build a new town. He strategically chose an area where nature itself could protect the settlement from invaders.
The Portuguese remained rulers on Ceylon for more than two centuries but they couldn’t defeat and conquer the Sinhalese kings. The indigenous people lost their independence only in the 19th century when the British captured the island. The royal dynasty was dethroned and the last king was expelled to India without a permit to return to his land. The British Empire remained the ruler of Ceylon for the next one hundred and fifty years. As a former capital, Kandy completely lost its importance and turned into an agricultural settlement. Local people had to work from dawn to dusk for pennies. Copyright
Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the main attraction in Kandy. This is not only an interesting place to visit but also a sacred temple that is very important to all local people. When Buddha died and his body was burned, some fragments remained after cremation. These fragments were divided into 8 parts. All of these parts were sent to different countries where Buddhism was the main religion. A Singhalese princess brought the tooth to Kandy in 311. Nowadays, the precious relic is stored in a chest that is put in several other sacred boxes. Only carefully selected people have the honor to see the tooth.
All walls in the temple have paintings that tell about the life of the holy person. Ceilings have carved ornaments, and the doors have silver and ivory elements. There is a statue of Buddha made from a giant crystal on the lower floor of the temple. Near the statue, visitors can see a chest with a sacred emerald figurine. People from all over the world come to this temple and bring various images of Buddha as a gift. In recent years, the number of these gifts has become so big that there is a separate room for them. Everyone is welcome to visit the room and look at the images of Buddha from all parts of the world. The temple itself is incredibly beautiful and gracious, so it is widely recognized as a world miracle.
Do you want to see the largest botanical garden in Asia? This garden is located not far from Kandy. Known as the Royal Botanical Garden, this beautiful place occupies an area of sixty hectares. Needless to say, the garden is home to a great number of various plants. There are typical species of the island such as the orchid and the memorial fig tree planted by Edward VII, the Ceylon ironwood brought by Nikolai II and the Yuri Gagarin’s pine tree.
The territory of the Royal Botanical Garden is conventionally divided into several zones, each of which recreates different types of tropics. Obtain a special pass and you will be able to visit the orchid area, take a look at unique shapes of their leaves and different flower colors in a special area for houseplants. The Palm tree grove features different species of palm trees. That being said, the garden is a lot more interesting place. Don’t be surprised to see a flying fox or a curious monkey that might try to steal your belongings.
An elegant fountain meets all visitors to this wonderful garden. This gorgeous British construction is a true pride of the city. As the fountain is made in Rococo style, it has somewhat pompous details. However, this fact only adds charm to the fountain, and so it enchants visitors with its golden cupids placed at the foundation. When you feel tired after a long walk on a hot day, it is so pleasant to sit near the fountain and enjoy its refreshing coolness.
Tourists can get to Kandy from the capital of Sri Lanka, the city of Colombo. There are daily high-speed trains that connect the cities. The journey time is roughly three hours. If you choose to hire a taxi to get to Kandy, the ride will last approximately the same time. Besides the main means of transport, tourists can get to the old city by minivans or buses. Quite often, minivans are the fastest vehicles to reach Kandy.

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