Kandy was the hill capital of ancient Sri Lanka and the last stronghold of the Sinhalese kings. It fell to the British in 1815. Declared as a world heritage site the city is one of the most visited tourist sites on the island offering important historical sites such as Palaces and Temples, traditional cultural dance forms and musical programs handed down from generation to generation, and for the souvenir hunter many shops that sell exquisite arts and craft, Gems and Jewelry and a wide variety of Herbs and Spices Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, also known as the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ a very important Buddhist site that attracts pilgrims from all around the world, The Buddhists believe that the Sacred Tooth Relic which was sent to Sri Lanka hidden in the hair of an Indian princess was enshrined in many of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka before it finally found its resting place in the last Sinhalese kingdom, Kandy.
The city tour of Kandy includes the upper lake drive which offers you a bird’s eye view of the man built Kandy lake and the hustle and bustle of the Kandy market place and a visit to the Arts and Craft center where you can see the local craftsmen at work Royal Botanical gardens of Peradeniya; started off as a pleasure gardens for Sinhalese Royalty it was turned into a Botanical garden by the British in 1843. It was also the location of the supreme headquarters of Lord Mountbatten during World War 2. It has an amazing collection of over 300 varieties of orchids, probably the largest collection in Asia The cultural show in Kandy gives you the opportunity to witness Kandyan dancers and fire walkers. It gives you an introduction to the various dance forms of the Kandyan hill country as well as the low country. And a fire walking and dancing show at the end is thoroughly enjoyable and an exciting finale to the evening’s entertainment.
Kandy Perahera, the pageant of the temple of tooth where Buddha’s tooth is kept is held either in July or August each year to parade the golden caskets is a must see itinerary if one is visiting Sri Lanka during these months. The final night procession is the most spectacular event of the country. More than 50 elephants parade the city accompanied by the drummers, dancers and chieftains. The centrepiece of the town, Kandy Lake, is artificial and was created in 1807 by Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, last ruler of the Kingdom of Kandy. You will also see the little island in the middle of the lake, as you walk around. It used to be the King’s harem, but the more uninspired British maintained it as an ammunition depot. There are many walks you can take, such as up to the Royal Palace Park, and the Udawattakelle sanctuary. The city established in the 15th century was the last royal capital where 2500 years of royal rule ended. This bustling market town is rich in cultural diversity has plenty of itineraries to offer to the tourists from songs dances and handy crafts to ancient temples and adventure activities.