Discover the 5 best things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Kandy, Sri Lanka, is loved for its colonial charm and for its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This beautiful city, set on a plateau surrounded by mountains and rainforests, is renowned for numerous Buddhist temples, local elephants and fascinating sites. Our Travelmood travel expert Nicola has come up with the 5 best things to do in Kandy to make your trip unforgettable.
The Temple of the Tooth
This spectacular temple is held in reverence by the locals. Housed inside the temple is the tooth of Buddha, which is said to have originated from India back in the 4th century. According to legend, whoever holds the tooth has the ability and the power to rule Sri Lanka.
Above the main hall is the ‘tooth room’ where you can admire the gold casket that the tooth is kept in. Whether you believe the great legend or not, there truly is something magical about the room. The famous tooth is kept in a private area and the casket is only opened to the public once a year during the Esala Perahera festival.
If you are a nature lover, this lake will resonate with you! Kandy Lake is the most iconic place in the entire city. It is situated in the heart of Kandy, next to the Temple of the Tooth. This man-made lake was built in 1807 by the former King of Sri Lanka. It is believed that the small island at the centre of the lake was used by the king’s helm for bathing and was connected to the palace by a secret tunnel.
Take a walk around the water and soak up the beautiful surroundings – I found several peaceful spots from which to admire the lake and the Temple. It’s breath-taking.
Kandy Esala Perahera festival
Kandy is well-known for the great Kandy Esala Perahera. This annual festival celebrates the local culture and is one of the oldest Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka.
This event is celebrated over a 10-day period in the lead up to the full moon, typically in July or August. My experience was one that I will always remember! The festival featured many jaw-dropping attractions including dancers, fire-breathers, jugglers and musicians.
Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage – The 5 best Things to do in Kandy
The Elephant Orphanage is one of Sri Lanka’s most famous tourist attractions. This place is home to all kinds of elephants, with more than 80 roaming free about the park. If you’re after great photo ops during your trip, then don’t miss the daily bathing of the elephants.
Visit before 10am and watch these majestic creatures wash, play and bathe, as you stand only steps away. This was certainly the highlight of my visit to the Elephant Orphanage.
The Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens attracts millions of tourists every year and with thousands different kinds of plants and flowers it’s no wonder why! The garden is home to orchids, spices, curative plants and palm trees. The orchid area was my favourite and is the most famous section of all the gardens. You can easily spend hours here!
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