Kandy is an awesome city that is set high in the hills of the Kandy Plateau. It holds the title of second largest region in all of Sri Lanka after Colombo. A fun fact that you might not know is that a lot of the filming for Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom happened here!
Modern shopping areas like Kandy City Centre help to balance the old and new which keeps the experience fresh. But it’s the city’s cultural and religious history that make it as rich and exciting a place as it is.
Knuckle Mountain Range
I suppose their name makes it obvious why the Knuckle Mountains are called what they’re called. If not, it’s because they look like knuckles. The mammoth 5-peaked range juts out from the land as though an ancient giant has tried to punch its way out from underground.
The mountains are home to the Knuckles Heritage and Wilderness Area. Lush green paddy fields, waterfalls, tea plantations, forests, rivers and lakes are some of the things you might expect to enjoy should you decide to visit. Which you should.
Take your walking boots with you because there are some mind-blowing vistas to feast your eyes on if you’re willing to hike.
Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue
Big statues of Buddha seem to be prolific throughout Asia. This particular statue is an important religious monument to the local Buddhists and is worshipped with the lighting of oil lamps and garlands of beautiful and brightly coloured flowers.
The statue is 88ft high and on clear days can be seen sitting proudly from Kandy city, which tells you that it’s quite a sight. Going to visit the illuminated Buddha at night is probably the best way to experience it. And once you’ve reached the top you’ll see that the views of Kandy city below are breathtaking. Extra points if you can spot the Work the World house.
The Udawattekele Sanctuary lives up to its name. It’s a haven of peace in an already peaceful place. Udawattekele is a forest reserve that spans a wide area that was once reserved exclusively for the Royal family of the time and was used as a pleasure garden.
The sanctuary is said to be one of the best places to spot rare birds in the country. Even if you’re not a bird enthusiast you’ll see beautiful specimens as there are over 80 different species of bird in the reserve. A couple of places you shouldn’t miss are the water pond, Kodimale (the highest peak), Senkanda cave and the Buddhist temples.
Temple of the Tooth
Buddha is revered by hundreds of millions of people all over the world. So much so that Kandy have acquired and now worship one of his teeth. At least that’s what they reckon. They’ve even built a temple to house the holy molar, which is aptly named the Temple of the Tooth. The tooth itself is said to have travelled from temple to palace to temple since the time it was prized from the Buddha’s mouth on his funeral pyre.
The temple has been renovated and rebuilt a number of times, but the temple in its present form was designed and built in the 18th century and it’s magnificent to behold. The intricacies of design both inside and outside the temple are amazing. Ivories, inlaid woods and lacquers give the place a rich, elaborate finish. It’s well worth a trip whatever your tastes.
Kandy Botanical Gardens
1747 is the date we’re given for the formation of these stunningly abundant gardens. But it wasn’t until 1821 that it was formally established as a botanical garden. The gardens cover an impressive 150 acres (roughly 2400 tennis courts), so you’re probably going to get lost. And that’s a good thing.
There are huge collections of beautiful plants, flowers, cacti, bamboo and more. The orchid house is a particularly worthwhile visit. You’ll be able to take your time wandering through the gardens all day long without noticing time go by. You should also check out the medicinal herb garden which grows some of the herbs used in ayurvedic treatments.
If you want to know more about ayurveda, click here to see the great healthcare opportunities we’re offering in Kandy today.