Whenever you think of the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, automatically your mind drifts to the blue–gold beaches, palm trees and balmy sunny skies. However, the island’s hill stations are a thing of beauty too. Kandy, an ancient kingdom hidden in the hills of the central province is calm, soothing and rich in history. Here are some things you must try in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens
Just around 12mins away from the cosy bungalows in Kandy the likes of Hanthana Boutique Villa by Amaya, lies this magical garden overflowing with rare species of flowers and trees. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome respite from the city air; take a blanket and pack a small lunch for you to enjoy too!
Take a day trip to Sigiriya
Sigiriya or The Lion Rock was the palace of the ancient King Kashyapa. Legend says that he built this heavenly fortress atop the Sigiriya Rock to escape his brother after Kashyapa murdered their father. Brutal history, but a marvellous creation that is a true testimony to Sri Lankan craftsmanship. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is around a three-hour drive from Kandy, which makes this the perfect day trip.
Pay homage to the Temple of the Tooth Relic
This is the most important and most revered temple among Sri Lankan Buddhists. The golden roofed structure was built by the last Kandyan king, King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe; it houses the legendary tooth relic of Lord Buddha. The temple is adorned with intricate drawings from the Kandyan era depicting various events of Lord Buddha’s life along with flower and garland décor. Be careful to wear modest clothing as it is a sacred place to all Sri Lankans.
Climb up the Bairavakanda Statue
The Bairavakanda Buddha Statue is the biggest one on the island at 88 feet high. The white statue looks over the city from atop a hill that’s located in the shadows of the Knuckles Mountain range. You can reach the top easily on a bike or car, but you’ll be rewarded with amazing views if you climb the stairs.