We had heard so much about Kandy during our travels through Sri Lanka; everyone insisted that we MUST visit the stunning ancient king city of Kandy. We ultimately chose to stop in this well-known city on our way from Ella. One of the highlights of our journey to Sri Lanka was the most stunning train ride from Ella to Kandy that we took to get there.
The second-largest metropolis in Sri Lanka after the capital Colombo is Kandy. We were a little let down by Kandy, I must confess. Everyone kept exclaiming how gorgeous Kandy was, even the Lonely Planet guidebook, using phrases like “Here’s a city that looks good even when it’s raining.” (quote Lonely Planet). Although the city had some pleasant areas, overall it was a typical busy, noisy metropolis.
Kandy is located in the center of Sri Lanka, 116 km east of Colombo.
Visit between November and March.
Hours of Operation: Temple of the Sacred 5:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the botanical gardens.
start at 5:30 (be there 30 minutes ahead). is an hour long.
8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the elephant orphanage.
You can travel there by bus or rail. From Ella, we traveled by rail and tuk-tuk to our accommodation.
You can’t overlook Kandy Lake because it dominates the city. Our ultimate favorite feature of Kandy is the lake because it is so charming and serene.
The last monarch of the Kandyan kingdom built the lake in 1807. Initially, the populace protested working on the lake project, but those who complained were brutally executed on stakes buried in the lake bed. Thus, the lake has a tragic past.
The emperor’s private harem is located on a small island in the center of the lake. Later, the British used it to store ammunition, and it was they who constructed the parapet that gave the region a fortress-like appearance.
We enjoyed our stroll around the lake, but the tranquility was somewhat marred by the proximity of a busy road to the lake’s southern border. The region surrounding the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the most beautiful.
A man approached us by Kandy Lake and pretended to be a teacher at a local school. He claimed that the president of Sri Lanka was visiting Kandy on this specific day to take part in a very uncommon exhibition of the tooth relic at the Temple, so we were extremely fortunate to be there.
He could sell us special tickets to the event because it was a special occasion and not available to the general public. Additionally, we had to purchase the seats quickly because the ticket office closed at 5 o’clock.
We have encountered quite a few “school teachers” in the past, both in Thailand and Vietnam, so we were familiar with the routine and respectfully responded, “No, thank you!” After speaking with the proprietors of the guesthouse we had stayed at, we learned that the president would not be visiting Kandy and that the tooth relic would not be on exhibit.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
The renowned temple that holds Sri Lanka’s most revered Buddhist relic—the Buddha himself—is located north of Kandy Lake. According to tradition, in India in 483 BC, someone stole the Buddha’s sacred tooth from his funeral pyre. It was smuggled into Sri Lanka in the fourth century AD and concealed in the tresses of a princess.The tooth was moved around Sri Lanka over the years before being returned to India in 1283 by an advancing force. The Sri Lankan king later went to collect it and brought it home. Whoever had custody of the tooth was thought to have the right to govern the nation.
The Kandyan kings constructed the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which was a component of the imperial palace, between 1687 and 1707 and 1747 and 1782.
The Audience Hall is located on the north side of the sanctuary and is only reachable through the sanctuary of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Beautiful open-air courtyard with stone columns, Buddhas, and ivory from the 19th century.
The actual tooth, however, is not visible because it is kept in a golden container with the shape of a dagoba in the temple. From the doorway, which is three meters from the real altar, we could see the dagoba casket. Guards ensured that no one spent more than 15 seconds inside the shrine chamber as we moved around the room in a queue.
We went to the temple in the evening, and the area around it had a pleasant and slightly eerie ambiance.
Numerous visitors and worshipers visit the shrine. Buddhists in Sri Lanka hold that each person must make at least one journey to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. One’s karma is greatly improved by coming here to venerate.
Peradeniya Botanic Garden
The magnificent Peradeniya Botanic Garden, which was originally only accessible to Kandyan aristocracy, is located just outside of Kandy. It is now accessible to the general public, making it Sri Lanka’s biggest botanic garden at 60 hectares.
A stately avenue of royal palms that were established in 1950 may be seen here, along with a lovely array of orchids, cannonball trees, coconut palm trees, a spice garden, enormous bamboo, rubber trees, and more:
Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage outside of Kandy was where we began our day of sightseeing in Kandy. This page contains articles, images, and video from that trip.
We didn’t really care for Kandy that much. It could be because we traveled through Sri Lanka in the other direction from the majority of visitors, who often arrive from Colombo. It was a little disappointing after visiting so many stunning, tranquil locations and having such high expectations from the guidebooks.
The peak Nelligala is situated in Muruthalawa, Kandy. On top of the Nelligala mountain hill, the Nelligala International Buddhist Center, also known as Nelligala Temple, was constructed in 2015.
APRIL 3, 2021 PUBLISHED | LAST MODIFIED JULY 6, 2021
The sense of freedom you experience when you reach a mountain’s summit is indescribable. As we consider how to give up a busy lifestyle, we are continuously looking for healing in our minds. The Nelligala Vihara, which is situated on an easily accessible hilltop in such a setting, deserves to be mentioned. The structures of the Nelligala temple are exquisitely designed and have considerable architectural merit. The Mahayana Buddha statue, a stunning element of the temple, is an ideal presentation of the golden Buddha statue, the Bo tree in the golden bowl, and the golden stupa, which, along with the clear blue sky, calms our minds.
Udawatta Kale Sanctuary
On a slope beyond the Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Tooth Relic, is where you’ll find the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, also known as the Royal Forest Park of Kandy.
This 257-acre forest is said to be a crucial bio reserve for the densely crowded Kandy City.
The Senkanda Cave, the Highest Peak “Kodimale,” the Water Pond, and the Garrison cemetery are the most significant landmarks in Udawatta Kele. In the forest reserve, there are also some Buddhist temples and hermitages.