Kandy, Sri Lanka is a city filled to the brim with historical charm, mystifying tales of kings and queens, unbelievable spiritual serenity and natural beauty. If you visit this small city located deep within Sri Lanka’s central hills, you’ll find many culturally significant places to visit that will help you understand what makes this small island so precious. Here are a few of the most popular places that you must visit if you’re in Kandy on your island vacation.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Known by the locals as Sri Dalada Maligawa, this historic temple stands as one of the most sacred symbols of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The building was constructed by the last king of Sri Lanka, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe and shows the Kandyan style of architecture while the inside chambers house some of the most beautiful paintings and murals of the era. As you make your way to the upper level, you’ll get your chance to receive your blessings from the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha stored in a golden chamber.
Royal Botanical Gardens Peradeniya
One of the most serene and peaceful locations in the city, these magnificent gardens are the perfect spot for a picnic with your travel partner. The gardens house over 4000 species of exotic plants, both endemic and non-endemic. You can see various flowering plants from orchids to roses meticulously cared for throughout the grounds. You can walk around the gardens taking in its beauty and natural scenery to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
The Kandy Lake sits majestically in the middle of the city surrounded by shady trees and the city’s colonial architecture. You can see this beautiful body of water from most places to stay in Kandy City glistening brightly under the sun. Framed by the famous white cloud wall, this artificial lake adds charm and character to the city. You can go for a peaceful walk around the lake with the locals who use the surrounding underground crossways to reach their daily errands.
Perched atop a verdant hill, this sacred temple offers visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of Kandy and its lush surroundings. The centerpiece of Bahirawakanda Vihara is a towering white Buddha statue, gracefully presiding over the city. This magnificent sculpture not only serves as a symbol of peace and enlightenment but also stands as a testament to the island’s religious and cultural splendour. The tall, huge structure depicts Lord Buddha in Dhyana Mudrawa, the meditation pose in which he attained enlightenment. The temple itself is located on Bahiravakanda Hill, just 25 minutes away from hotels in the area such as Earl’s Regency so you can easily plan your visit.
Located a little away from the city centre, Lankathilaka Viharaya is another must-visit treasure when you’re in Kandy. The structure boasts incredible art and architecture from the Gampola Period, which was the reigning kingdom in Sri Lanka during the 14th century. You can find inscriptions written in ancient Sinhala and Tamil that provide valuable information about the country in the era, from trade routes and goods to clothing. Gadaladeniya Temple, a similar temple built during the same era is located nearby as well.