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The sacred capital of the hill country.

In Kandy, a captivating fusion of history, heritage, and modernity awaits exploration, with a plethora of remarkable attractions beckoning visitors. Serving as the cultural nucleus of Sri Lanka, Kandy holds the distinction of being the country’s second city, boasting iconic landmarks such as the Temple of the Tooth, revered as the nation’s most sacred religious shrine, and the storied Esala Perahera festival, a grand procession steeped in tradition.

As the last bastion of Sinhalese sovereignty, the kingdom of Kandy valiantly upheld its independence for centuries until succumbing to British rule in 1818. Despite this, Kandy retained its unique customs and culture, which endure to this day, evidenced in the city’s distinctive music, dance, and architectural marvels.

Kandy, located in the central province of Sri Lanka, is a city steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty.

Geographical Location: Situated in the heart of the island nation, Kandy is nestled amidst lush green hills and verdant valleys. The city is located approximately 116 kilometers northeast of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.

Cultural Significance: Kandy holds immense cultural significance as the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Kandy, which resisted colonial rule for centuries. The city’s rich heritage is evident in its historic sites, traditional rituals, and vibrant festivals.

Temple of the Tooth Relic: The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, commonly known as the Temple of the Tooth, is Kandy’s most revered religious site. It houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, making it a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists from around the world. The temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant symbol of Sri Lankan Buddhism.

Esala Perahera: Kandy is famous for its annual Esala Perahera, a grand procession held to honor the Sacred Tooth Relic. This cultural extravaganza features colorful processions of elephants, traditional dancers, drummers, and adorned tuskers parading through the streets of Kandy. The Esala Perahera is one of the most spectacular religious festivals in Asia, drawing thousands of spectators each year.

Royal Botanical Gardens: Just outside the city center lies the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, renowned for its diverse collection of exotic plants and trees. Spread over 147 acres, the gardens feature a stunning array of flora, including orchids, palms, bamboos, and a majestic avenue of royal palms.

Kandy Lake: At the heart of Kandy lies the picturesque Kandy Lake, locally known as Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk. Built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the lake adds to the city’s charm and provides a tranquil setting for leisurely strolls and boat rides.

Arts and Crafts: Kandy is a hub of traditional arts and crafts, including intricate handloom textiles, woodcarvings, brassware, and traditional Kandyan jewelry. Visitors can explore local markets and workshops to witness artisans at work and purchase authentic souvenirs.

Natural Surroundings: Surrounding Kandy are lush tea plantations, misty mountains, and cascading waterfalls, offering opportunities for trekking, hiking, and nature walks. The nearby Knuckles Mountain Range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for eco-tourism.

Overall, Kandy offers a captivating blend of cultural heritage, religious significance, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring Sri Lanka.

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