Are you travelling to Kandy in Sri Lanka? There are loads of amazing things to do in this great city! In this blog post I have put together a list of the best things to do in Kandy. This way you can easily put together an itinerary for Kandy for you to make the most out of your trip to Kandy. These are the 9 best things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
A Buddhist temple who’s history dates back to the reign of Sirimeghavanna of Anuradhapura. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth is known for being on of the most important relics in Sri Lanka due to its significance in history and local politics. It is said that the palace is the resting place for Buddha’s tooth relic. It is also said that whoever holds the relic holds governance of the country, thus making Kandy the last capital of Sri Lanka due to the temple. Due to its significance to Kandy, the temple is a must visit for tourists. Rituals are performed around three times daily at the temple which you may witness during your visit. The entire temple is a journey in itself, the entire temple complex has various chambers where you may explore.
Things to do in Kand : Relaxing at the Royal Botanical Garden
Beautiful gardens with vibrant colors and a relaxing atmosphere, the Royal Botanical Gardens is located near the Mahaweli River which is the longest in Sri Lanka. The garden has an outstanding collection of plants and rare species, over four thousand in total. Historically, the garden dates back to 1821 and established in 1843. The garden obtained its beautiful plants from Colombo, Kalutara Garden, and Slave Island. Both a historically significant site, and a beautiful place to simply relax and enjoy the natural fragrances and beautiful colors, the Royal Botanical Garden should be on your list of top things to do in Kandy.
Visiting the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary
This site is an amazing forest reserve, and is located on a hill in Kandy that spans as long as 257 acres. The name of the location derives from Udawattakele which translates to “the garden above the royal palace”. The name befits its location as it is just twenty minutes away from the Temple of the Tooth where the royal palace also resides. When visiting the site, you will be taken to a serene walking experience with paths that will lead to the Temple of the Tooth. Other points of interests in this trail include the Kandy Municipality and the Tapovanaya Monastery which you can all reach via walking. There is also a beautiful pathway called the lovers’ walk.
Things to do in Kandy : Sightseeing the Bhairovakanda Buddha Statue
One of the biggest and most famous landmarks of Kandy, the Buddha Statue can easily be seen when you arrive in Kandy due to it being located at the summit of the Bahieawakanda mountain. Before going to the statue, you first have to travel a few steps up the hill and through the Bahirawakanda temple. The statue was built in 1992 and towers at an outstanding 88 feet tall. The temple it resides in is the Sri Maha Bodhi Viharaya, which is built in the early 1970s. Even if you are not a religious person, visiting the temple and the giant buddha statue should be on the top of your list. Simply an amazing monument for a beautiful country, the steps required to climb up the hill is worth visiting the statue.
Take the scenic train to Ella
If you are looking to travel to Ella from Kandy you ABSOLUTELY must try out the train trip. The trip is considered one of the most beautiful train trips in the world. The trip generally takes around seven hours, but the highlight of the trip is the gorgeous landscapes, beautiful forestry, and surreal natural ambience. If you are looking to take this train trip, be sure to book in advance because it is quite popular and you might not get a good seat. Try booking around a month ahead to get the seats you desire. You can get different classes depending on what you want. First class tickets cost around $9, Second class costs around $4.20, and the third-class costs around $2.60. It is recommended to take the second class as the first class rarely has windows, and the third class leaves you unable to take pictures of the beautiful surroundings.
Things to do in Kandy: Witness the traditional Kandy dancing
Every country has its tradition and history that exemplifies hundreds and years of culture. What better way to learn about Kandy’s culture than to witness their traditional dance show? Come visit the Kandy Lake Club where you can witness the Cultural Dance Show. The lake club dance was originated in 1982 with the purpose of bringing together multiple Sri Lankan dance types to one place. The dance techniques are unique to Kandy and are passed from generation to generation. You can learn about the dance techniques and their significance to the local culture. You can witness dances that are used for local ceremonies and rituals, and dances that show colorful performances of animals.
Visiting Gadaladeniya Temple
This Buddhist temple is an ancient relic of Kandy; it is located on Gadaladenyia Road and is considered to be one of the largest rock temples in Sri Lanka. The temple was built in 1344 and was designed based on Hindu artistic styles by a South Indian architect. Within the temple resides two shrines, the main shrine and the secondary shrine. The main shrine consists of an ornate sculpture of Makara Thorana. Inside the room is also a seated statue of Buddha. You can witness the various statues and religious significance of Buddhism within the temple. The secondary shrine consists of a stupa and houses statues of the seated Buddha. The temple is considered a historically significant site for Kandy, and is a great place to visit if you are curious about Buddhist culture.
Things to do in Kandy: Taking a visit to the Lankathilaka Vihara
Another wonderful ancient Buddhist temple located in Udunuwara, this temple is considered the greatest architectural creation of the Gampola era. The temple was founded in the 14th century, and the architecture is designed with a Sinhalese architecture with mixes of Indo Chinese and Dravidian architectural styles. The temple is built on Panhalgala Rock which is a natural rock formation. The inside of the temple houses ancient architectural features and traditional Sinhalese sculptures. Till this day, people still come to the temple to worship the five Gods; God Upulvan, Ganapathi, Saman, Vibhishana, and Kumara Bandara.
Things to do in Kandy: Visiting St. Paul’s church
Generally, you can find a multitude of Buddhist temples in Kandy, but this site is one of Kandy’s only historical Anglican landmarks. St. Paul’s Church can be found to the west of the Temple of the Tooth. The church was formally constructed in 1852, and has been renovated and expanded through time. The church also houses one of the only pipe organs in Kandy, and the largest pipe organ known to be used in Sri Lanka. This is a great place to visit if you are in Kandy, particularly because it iss a change in the Buddhist culture you can generally find here. Furthermore, you can witness the unique Neo-Gothic architectural style of the church.