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Lush tropical scenery, a backdrop of misty mountains and a centerpiece lake fringed by sacred temples - it’s easy to see why Kandy has long been a favourite haunt for the savvy traveller. Nestled in the rolling hills and biodiverse jungles of Sri Lanka’s rugged interior, this World Heritage city is brimming with rich culture, intriguing history and natural beauty.
Kandy is a city of contrasts, at once chaotic and peaceful, modern and old. Soak up the bustling street life, take a stroll around the central lake, and admire the elegant colonial architecture. It’s not just the scenery and local culture that attracts tourists to Kandy though. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth, home to Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic, is a major attraction. Highlighting the importance of this religious shrine is the annual festival, Esala Perahera (Festival of the Tooth), which brings the streets of Kandy alive every July or August with a colourful procession. The sacred relic is paraded around the streets on the back of a lavishly-adorned elephant, accompanied by traditional dancing and costumes. It really is a must-see spectacle.
Outside of Kandy, the surrounding mountains offer a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle. If you’re feeling energetic, the Knuckles Mountain Range is spectacularly scenic and great for hiking. Plantation tours are also popular, offering the chance to see some spectacular flora and fauna and gain a fascinating insight into Sri Lanka’s tea-making industry.
Thanks to the city’s compact size and cooling breeze from the surrounding hills, sightseeing on foot is a pleasurable experience in Kandy.
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The Temple of the Tooth, located inside the former royal residence of the Kandy kings, is said to house the tooth of the Buddha. What’s so special about that, you might ask? Well, not only does this ancient relic symbolise the foundations of Buddhism, but legend has it that whoever possess the tooth has the right to rule the country. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal.Discover more
No trip to the hill city of Kandy is complete without spending some time exploring its glorious lake. A sprawling, emerald water body fringed by ancient temples and lush jungle, the idyllic scenery wouldn’t be out of place on a painting or postcard. In fact, it’s so naturally beautiful that you’d never guess it’s man-made.Discover more
With so many exciting activities and attractions - from sacred shrines to stunning scenery - it’s no wonder Kandy is considered a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka. For more ideas on how you can spend your time in this beautiful hill city, have a read of our blogs.
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