Kandy, the second largest city after Colombo, is a charming city located in the central province of Sri Lanka. Known as the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a UNESCO world heritage site, boasting a rich cultural and historical legacy. It is also one of the cities that form the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. The city is nestled amidst scenic hills, lush green forests, and tea plantations, which make it a perfect place for nature lovers. Kandy is also famous for its religious sites, traditional arts, and crafts, making it a must-visit destination for tourists.
The history of Kandy dates back to the 14th century when it was the capital of the Sinhalese Kingdom. However, it was during the reign of King Vimaladharmasuriya I in the 16th century that Kandy rose to prominence. The king built the famous temple of the Tooth Relic, which is one of the most sacred Buddhist shrines in the world. It is said that the Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka from India in the 4th century and has been preserved in the temple ever since. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year, who come to pay homage to the sacred relic.
Apart from the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy has many other historical and cultural sites that are worth visiting. The Royal Palace, which was the residence of the last king of Sri Lanka, is now a museum that showcases the rich history and culture of the country. The palace complex includes the Audience Hall, the Temple of the Tooth Relic, and the Royal Bathing Pavilion. The Bahirawakanda Temple, which is located on a hill overlooking the city, is another popular attraction. The temple has a huge Buddha statue, which is visible from all parts of the city.
Kandy is also famous for its traditional arts and crafts. The city has a rich tradition of Kandyan dancing, which is a form of classical dance that originated in the royal courts. The dance is characterized by its elaborate costumes, rhythmic movements, and intricate footwork. The Kandy Esala Perahera, an important 10-day religious celebration which is held annually in July or August, is a grand procession that showcases the best of Kandyan culture, including music, dance, and pageantry. The procession is led by a majestic tusker carrying the sacred Tooth Relic, and it attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.
Another traditional craft that Kandy is famous for is the production of traditional Sri Lankan handicrafts. The city has many craft centers and shops where visitors can buy exquisite handcrafted items such as wooden carvings, lacquerware, and batik fabrics. The artisans in Kandy are known for their skills and creativity, and their products are highly sought after by tourists.
Kandy is also a great place for nature lovers. The city is surrounded by scenic hills, verdant forests, and tea plantations, which offer breathtaking views and a tranquil ambiance. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, which is located just outside the city, is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. The gardens are home to a vast collection of tropical plants and trees, including some rare and endangered species. The gardens also have a lake, which is a popular spot for boat rides and picnics.
Lying at an altitude of 1 640 feet (500 metres) above sea level and surrounded by the Knuckles and Hunnasgiriya Mountain Ranges, the climate in Kandy is pleasant throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit Kandy is from December to March when the weather is dry and sunny. However, visitors should be prepared for occasional showers, as the city is known for its unpredictable weather.
In conclusion, Kandy is a city that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and nature. The city’s rich heritage, traditional arts, and crafts, and scenic beauty make it a must-visit destination for tourists.
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