One of the largest cities in central Sri Lanka, Kandy lies on a high plateau. The city is famed for many things including Buddhist temples and elephants.
Kandy Things To Do
Kandy is home to some of the most fascinating sites in Sri Lanka as well as a huge annual festival that celebrates local culture with tremendous pageantry.
The Royal Botanical Gardens
Considered one of the best gardens in Asia, the Botanical gardens offer a lush retreat with acres of color. A short distance by public bus, the gardens have an world renowned orchid house. Look for many varieties of bamboo and an area where bats nest.
The Temple of the Tooth
Home to a tooth said to be one of Buddha’s, the Temple is a lavish place. Go there early in the morning to beat the crowds. Be prepared for a long walk to get the heart of the temple. You can watch many religious services including the symbolic ritual bathing of the Buddha. Another ritual worth watching is the late afternoon drumming ceremony. The entire complex is huge and includes many elegant statues, as well as a museum with lots of rare manuscripts and carvings.
Getting Up Close With Elephants
About an hour’s south of the city lies the Pinawella elephant orphanage. Elephants are an integral part of the local culture. You can see the ones who have been orphaned being fed and cared here. Visitors are allowed to touch them. For many visitors, the climax is the bathing of the elephants. Watch as fifty or more head to the river Kuda Oya as they play and get a bath. For another look at local elephants, visit the Millennium Elephant Foundation. You can visit a museum devoted all aspects of these amazing creatures. If you are here during the month of Esala (typically July/August) be sure to watch the Esala Perahera. Ten days are devoted to dancing, torchlight processions, feasting and a celebration culminating with an elephant that carries the casket with the Buddha’s tooth around the temples.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Kandy.
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