Best Things To Do in Kandy, Sri Lanka

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PLACES TO SEE

Temple of sacred tooth relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa:The Temple of the Scared Tooth Relic constitutes the premier Buddhist Institution of Sri Lanka and remains the cynosure of the world Buddhist and is a great tourist attraction. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and has been a political epicenter since centuries. The temple claims to enclose the tooth of Lord Buddha after his cremation In India.

There are a number of structures and monuments in and around Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth building complex like Mahawahalkada (The main entrance), Moat, Pattirippuwa (Octagon), Handun kunama, Golden canopy, New Palace, Royal Palace of Kandy, National Museum of Kandy, Old courts building, Kandy Lake, Biso ulpen ge (Queens bath), Diyathilaka mandapaya and the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary.

The annual pageant (Esala Perahera) constitutes the greatest religious festival of Sri Lanka which attracts thousands of pilgrims as well as tourists from all over the world.

National Museum:Formerly known as “Palle Vahala” this place was used as the palace where the Queens of the king lived. This building has been built according to the architectural features of Kandy period. This pallevahala building which is now converted as a museum for the public exhibits various items of historical value made by Kandy art association. This museum has over 5000 objects depicting historical and cultural events of Kandyan period.

This museum once housed Kandyan royal concubines and now features royal regalia and reminders of pre-European Sinhalese life. The tall-pillared audience hall hosted the convention of Kandyan chiefs that ceded the kingdom to Britain in 1815.

The National Museum, along with four devales (complexes for worshipping deities) and two monasteries – but not the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic itself – make up one of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle sites.

Sri Dalada international Buddhism museum:This is a part of the Sri Dalada Maligawa or the temple of the tooth. The museum is located on the upper two floors of Alut Maligwa, just behind the main tooth shrine of Sri Dalada Maligawa.

The museum displays a stunning array of gilded gifts to the temple. Letters and diary entries from the British time reveal the colonizers’ surprisingly respectful attitude to the tooth relic. More recent photographs reveal the damage caused by the truck bomb in 1998.

Tea Museum:An essential stop on any Sri Lankan tea tour, this museum occupies the 1925-vintage Hanthana Tea Factory, 4km south of Kandy on the Hanthana road. Abandoned for over a decade, it was refurbished by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters’ Association of Sri Lanka.

The Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane, three kilometres from Kandy city is served by a motorable road that circles the museum tourist coaches. This four storeyed museum consists exhibits very old items of machinery used in tea brewing, a library and an auditorium with facilities for audio visual presentations. The third floor is allocated to tea sales outlets, where a selection of Sri Lanka's fine tea is available.

A panoramic view of the Kandy town surrounded by the beautiful Hunasgiriya, Knuckles Range and the Matale range of hills can be viewed through a telescope mounted on the fourth floor.

The grounds surrounding the Tea Museum are to be landscaped with different varieties of teas. Kandy is a mandatory stop virtually on every tourist's itinerary and the location of the Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane enhances the attraction of the hill country to visitors.

Natha Devale:The oldest building in Kandy, Natha Devale dates back o the 14th century. This is a double shrine and is a place of pious importance to the locals.  The alluring porch pinnacle, the jakatas, beautiful room drums and the pavilions with reclining Buddha make this place worth visiting.

This bustling temple is a mark of unification of two religions Buddhism and Hinduism. The Hindu God Vishnu has his own shrine n the temple as he was considered to be the protector of Buddhism.

It is considered to be the structure prior even to the historical tooth relic’s entrance in the country.

The annual Natha Devale procession is of immense importance and is worth watching.

Below we have a list of things to do in Kandy and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Kandy getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Kandy with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Kandy

Here is the list of things to do in Kandy and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Temple Of Sacred Tooth Relic Or Sri Dalada Maligawa

    Religious Site, Temple, Historical Site, Architecture

    The Temple of the Scared Tooth Relic constitutes the premier Buddhist Institution of Sri Lanka and remains the cynosure of the world Buddhist and is a great tourist attraction. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and has been a political epicenter since centuries. The temple claims to enclose the tooth of Lord Buddha after his cremation In India. There are a number of structures and monuments in...Read more
  2. Udawattakelle Sanctury

    4.4 (4765 Votes)
    Udawattakelle Sanctury

    Outdoors, Forest, Wildlife Sanctuary , Monastery

    The Udawatta Kele is a lush tropical rain forest reserve on a hill ridge in the centre of Kandy. It has a long history dating back centuries. It was a Royal, forbidden forest by the Sinhala kings who ascended the throne when Kandy became the capital city. Located above the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) and the royal palace, this verdant jungle is home to many kinds of animals and bi...Read more
  3. Kandy Lake

    4.5 (4540 Votes)
    Kandy Lake

    Lake

    This beautiful water reservoir is the heart of the Kandy city and the scenic ecosystem around it enhances its presence. Initially believed to serve as a personal Harem for the king Sri Wickrama Rajasinha, the lake has many folktales around it. The lake is said to be connected to the royal by a secret tunnel. The fortress-style parapet around the perimeter of the lake was a British addition and ...Read more
  4. Tea Museum

    4.2 (2892 Votes)
    Tea Museum

    Specialty Museum

    An essential stop on any Sri Lankan tea tour, this museum occupies the 1925-vintage Hanthana Tea Factory, 4km south of Kandy on the Hanthana road. Abandoned for over a decade, it was refurbished by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters’ Association of Sri Lanka. The Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane, three kilometres from Kandy city is served by a motorable road that circles the museum tour...Read more
  5. British Garrison Cemetery

    4.7 (3492 Votes)
    British Garrison Cemetery

    Cemetery

    This colonial find is a peacefull place to visit. This cemetery is a short walk uphill behind the National Museum. There are 163 graves of youngsters and elders who came to Sri Lanka from England and north Britain. The most striking aspect of a visit to this melancholy place is just how young most people were when they died – if you made it to forty you were of a very ripe old age. Some o...Read more
  6. Knuckles Mountain Range

    4.8 (2213 Votes)
    Knuckles Mountain Range

    Hiking Trail, Biking Trail, Adventure, Rock Climbing

    This UNESCO world heritage site is characterized by its striking landscapes often robed in thick layers of cloud but in addition to its aesthetic value the range is of great scientific interest. The large diversity of flora and fauna is striking and appealing and shows the natural heritage of the country. The adventure activities like mountain biking, rock climbing and caving and pot holing are...Read more
  7. Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue

    Monument, Statue

    An amazing view point of the Kandy town, you can walk up the stairs to view the Buddha statue located up hill.  The gigantic Buddha statue is about 88 feet in height. Bahiraviokanda vihara Buddha statue is one of the tallest and beautiful Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. The hill where the statue was built called bahirava kanda; in Sinhalese it means the devil’s hill. A stairway besides ...Read more
  8. National Museum Kandy

    4 (3244 Votes)
    National Museum Kandy

    Museum, Architecture

    Formerly known as “Palle Vahala” this place was used as the palace where the Queens of the king lived. This building has been built according to the architectural features of Kandy period. This pallevahala building which is now converted as a museum for the public exhibits various items of historical value made by Kandy art association. This museum has over 5000 objects depicting hi...Read more
  9. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

    Wildlife Sanctuary , Nature

    Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northwest of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the orphaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established i...Read more
  10. Royal Botanic Gardens

    Garden, Botanical Garden

    These gardens that attract over 2 million visitors annually display an exotic collection of orchids. Its assortment of flora includes more than 4000 species of plants. Spread over 470 hectares, the collection included variety of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. The classical Avenue of Palms is located in this garden and this garden was also used as headquarters of south East As...Read more
  11. Sri Dalada International Buddhism Museum

    Historical Site, Specialty Museum

    This is a part of the Sri Dalada Maligawa or the temple of the tooth. The museum is located on the upper two floors of Alut Maligwa, just behind the main tooth shrine of Sri Dalada Maligawa. The museum displays a stunning array of gilded gifts to the temple. Letters and diary entries from the British time reveal the colonizers’ surprisingly respectful attitude to the tooth relic. More rec...Read more
  12. Natha Devales

    4.7 (3630 Votes)
    Natha Devales

    Religious Site, Temple

    The oldest building in Kandy, Natha Devale dates back o the 14th century. This is a double shrine and is a place of pious importance to the locals.  The alluring porch pinnacle, the jakatas, beautiful room drums and the pavilions with reclining Buddha make this place worth visiting. This bustling temple is a mark of unification of two religions Buddhism and Hinduism. The Hindu God Vishnu h...Read more
  13. Kandy Monasteries

    Religious Site, Monastery

    The principal viharas (Buddhist complexes) in Kandy have considerable importance – the high priests of the two best known, Malwatte and Asgiriya, are the most important in Sri Lanka. These temples are the headquarters of two of the main nikayas (orders of monks). The head monks also administer the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The Malwatte Maha Vihara is across the lake from the Templ...Read more
  14. Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
    Home to around 70 semi-tame elephants. Come around when it is time to feed and bath the elephants.
  15. Chaaya Citadel Kandy

    Hotel

    Overlooking the Mahavali River, it is an upscale hotel with a modern building. The stay is absolutely fabulous. The rooms with the river view have a breathtaking view. The pool is very well maintained. The breakfast the cinnamon citadel is lavish and offers a wide variety of food. The staff is warm and welcoming. The rooms at cinnamon citadel are clean and comfortable. The hotel is merely 15 mi...Read more

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