Exploring the Best of Kandy: A Complete Travel Guide
Kandy, a picturesque city in the heart of Sri Lanka, is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and natural beauty. Surrounded by lush hills, Kandy is an ideal destination for those seeking to experience Sri Lanka’s rich history and heritage. Whether you are looking to explore the city’s ancient temples, soak in the scenic views, or simply relax amidst the serenity of nature, Kandy has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will take you through the best things to do in Kandy, how to get there, where to stay, what to eat, and more.
Getting to Kandy
Kandy is located in the central province of Sri Lanka, approximately 116 kilometers from the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. You can reach Kandy by train, bus or car, and the journey takes around 3-4 hours. The train journey to Kandy is one of the most scenic routes in Sri Lanka, passing through breathtaking landscapes of hills, tea plantations, and waterfalls.
Significance of Kandy
Kandy is famous for being the last kingdom of Sri Lanka and is home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in the world. The temple houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha and attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year.
Kandy was also the site of the last battle against the British in Sri Lanka, and visitors can learn about the country’s struggle for independence at the Kandy Museum.
Things to Do in Kandy
Temple of the Tooth Relic – The Temple of the Tooth Relic, or Sri Dalada Maligawa, is one of the most sacred sites in Sri Lanka, housing the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. The temple is a masterpiece of architecture and art, featuring intricate carvings, paintings, and decorations. The temple complex also includes a museum that displays various artifacts and historical items related to the temple and Buddhism.
Kandy Lake – Kandy Lake, also known as Kiri Muhuda or Sea of Milk, is an artificial lake built in 1807 by the last king of Sri Lanka. The lake offers a tranquil oasis in the midst of the city, surrounded by scenic views of hills and trees. You can take a leisurely walk around the lake, enjoy a boat ride, or simply relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
Udawattakele Forest Reserve – The Udawattakele Forest Reserve is a 257-acre forest reserve located in the heart of Kandy. The reserve is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including monkeys, birds, and butterflies. You can explore the reserve on foot or take a guided tour to learn more about the wildlife and plants that inhabit the area.
Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue – The Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue is a towering 88-foot white statue of Lord Buddha located on a hill overlooking Kandy city. The statue is a popular spot for panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
Kandy Market – The Kandy Market, located in the heart of the city, is a bustling hub of vendors selling a variety of local goods, including spices, fruits, vegetables, and handicrafts. You can explore the market to experience the vibrant colors, smells, and sounds of Sri Lanka’s local culture.
Where to Stay in Kandy
When it comes to accommodations, Kandy offers a variety of options that cater to all budgets. From luxurious five-star hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels, you are sure to find something that suits your needs. If you are looking for a luxurious stay, the Earl’s Regent Hotel and the Cinnamon Citadel Kandy are great options. For budget-friendly stays, check out Clock Inn Kandy or Backpack Lanka Hostel.Here are some popular options:
Theva Residency – This boutique hotel offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys, with luxurious amenities such as a spa, infinity pool, and gourmet restaurant.
Earl’s Regent Hotel – This four-star hotel is located in the heart of Kandy, offering easy access to the city’s major attractions. The hotel features a rooftop pool, fitness center, and restaurant.
Kandy City Hostel – This budget-friendly hostel is located in the heart of Kandy, offering basic amenities such as a shared kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the best time to visit Kandy?
A: The best time to visit Kandy is from December to April when the weather is dry and sunny. However, if you want to witness the Kandy Esala Perahera festival, which takes place in July or August, plan your visit accordingly.
Q: How do I get to Kandy from the airport?
A: The easiest way to get to Kandy from the airport is by taking a taxi or booking a private transfer. The journey takes around 3-4 hours depending on traffic.
Q: What are the must-see attractions in Kandy?
A: Some of the must-see attractions in Kandy include the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy Lake, Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue.
Q: Are there any good restaurants in Kandy?
A: Yes, Kandy has a variety of restaurants that offer both traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and international dishes. Some popular options include The Empire Cafe, Cafe Secret Alley, and Balaji Dosai.
Q: Can I wear shorts to visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic?
A: No, visitors to the temple are required to dress modestly and cover their legs and shoulders.
Q: Is Kandy safe for tourists?
A: Yes, Kandy is generally safe for tourists. However, visitors should take normal safety precautions, such as not walking alone at night and keeping an eye on their belongings.
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Kandy is a charming city that is steeped in history and culture. It is the perfect place to explore Sri Lanka’s rich heritage and immerse yourself in its natural beauty. Whether you are interested in visiting ancient temples, strolling through botanical gardens, or experiencing traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, Kandy has something for everyone. With its warm and welcoming locals, breathtaking scenery, and rich cultural heritage, Kandy is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka.