Kandy, the last kingdom of Sri Lanka, is situated 115 km off Colombo, and 1600 ft above sea level almost encircled by the Mahaweli Ganga.

Kandy, the last kingdom of Sri Lanka, is situated 115 km off Colombo, and 1600 ft above sea level almost encircled by the Mahaweli Ganga. This picturesque naturally fortified city withheld foreign conquest until ceded to the British by treaty in 1815. It’s a cultural sanctuary where age old customs, arts, rituals and ways of life are well preserved. The Temple of the Tooth built in 18th and 19th Century, moated with tapered roof and octagon enshrines the sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Nearby are the four devales (temples) dedicated to the deities Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini, historic Malwatta and Asgiriya monasteries, audience Hall where the kings of Kandy held court and Museum containing Kandyan period antiquities.

The splendid age old pageant Esala Perehera is held annually during the Esala Festival (August or Late July) to fete the Tooth relic. Kandy boasts of a natural reserve in Udawattekelle and picturesque artificial lake in the heart of the city. The magnificent 147 acre Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya, is one of the best tropical gardens in the world.

Tourists Attractions in Kandy

  • Temple of the Tooth

Kandy was the capital of the Singhalese kings from 1592 to 1815. Fortified by a terrain of mountains and the difficult approach, Kandy managed to operate independently from the Dutch, Portuguese and the English till 1815. The city is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, in part due to this temple.

The Sri Dalada Maligawa or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses one of the two surviving relics of the tooth of Buddha, an object of veneration for Buddhists. The other tooth relic is believed to be enshrined in a stupa called Somawathi Chethiya. The Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, the temple which houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of The Buddha, is possibly the most sacred Buddhist shrine in the world. It is venerated not only by Buddhists in Sri Lanka but by Buddhists all over the world.

  • Royal Botanical Garden - Peradeniya

The Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka and attracts 2 million visitors annually. It is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It has more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 metres above sea level, and with a 200-days annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture. The origins of the Botanic Gardens date as far back as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli River.

  • National Museum

The National Museum of Kandy is located next to the Temple of the Tooth in part of the former Royal Palace of Kandy. The primary exhibits are housed in the Palle Vahala building which was house to the King's harem. A secondary exhibit location is found in the main palace building. It is maintained by the Department of National Museums of the central government.

The Palle Vahala was used as a depository for historic artifacts made by the Kandy Art Association which was established in 1832 and artisans of Matale. The museum was opened to the public in 1942.

Artifacts consist of weapons, jewellery, tools and other artifacts from the Kandian era and post British Colonial era. On the grounds of the museum is a statue of Sir Henry Ward a former Governor of Ceylon, which was originally found in front of the Queen's Hotel.

  • City Tour

Kandy is considered the capital of Sri Lanka’s hill country and there are several interesting places and sights for tourists to visit. The city tour includes a visit to the famous ‘Dalada Maligawa’ (Temple of the Tooth Relic), the main Kandy Market and other interesting places. You will also see the beautiful manmade Kandy Lake which is located close to the Temple. The Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya will no doubt be one of the highlights as it will give you many hours of pleasurable and educational wandering through its massive acreage.

  • Embekka Buddhist Temple

Around 13 km from the Kandy city is a Buddhist temple that dates from the 14th century and is situated in the village "Arathtana". It is decorated by wooden columns richly carved with animals, dancers, and wrestlers. A drummer in this village, who had a skin disease, decided to go to the Temple of Katharagama - a temple in the southern part of Sri Lanka to get a cure. His illnesses were cured after making a vow to worship the temple annually. Due to his old age, he was unable to continue the annual ritual of travel and then the god of katharagama made a prediction of a miracle near Arathtana and ordered him to perform the rituals there.

A Gardener of the flower garden in Embekke of Queen Henakanda Bissobandara tried to remove a "Kaduru" tree from the garden. When he cut it, a stream of blood began to flow from the tree. After knowing it, the drummer performed the rituals there as he was ordered to do so by the God. He built a small temple called the "Embekke Devalaya" and after some days the king Wickramabahu in Senkadagala era, ordered to build a three story building there and gave land, queens' jewellery and elephants as gifts. Since then, the temple of Embekka is worshipped by many people. Today, the drummers' relatives perform rituals in Embekke.

  • Lankathilaka Buddhist Temple

Lankathilaka Viharaya, Kandy was constructed in the 14th century AD by King Buvanekabahu the 4th. It was revived later by Vijayabahu IV. Lankathilaka Viharaya, Kandy was made in the conventional Sinhalese way. It is one of the popular tourist destinations in Kandy which is worth visiting.

Lankathilaka Viharaya, Kandy is a dramatic building made out of clay brick. At one time, it was a five-storied building. It was decorated with flowers, creepers, birds, animals and statues of gods. At the entrance of the building, there are two huge pillars. Presently the pillars have broken down and reduced to a height of 58 ft. Initially, the height of these pillars was almost twice the existing one.

In the shrine rooms of the Lankathilaka Viharaya, Kandy there is an intricate designing of stonework and also of wood for the four gods who are guarding the building. The outer walls of Lankathilaka Viharaya in Kandy are adorned with sculpture which is very delicate in nature.

  • Gadaladeniya Temple

Gadaladeniya Temple is located at Pilimathalawa, Kandy. When you are driving from Colombo to Kandy, the Gadaladeniya temple road is at your right hand side turn off from Pilimathalawa. One has to travel another 2 km to reach the famous Embekke Devalaya and Lanka Thilaka Viharaya also located close by. The Gadaladeniya temple is located in a small hilltop, but can easily be reached from the main road. If you are coming by a small vehicle like a car or a van, you can just drive up the hill. Once you are in the summit, you can get a good view of the surrounding area from here. The Gadaladeniaya Temple was built by king Wickramabahu in 1344 during the Gampola Kingdom time. At the entrance, you can see the Dageba (pagoda) by your right hand side. This consists of one main Dageba and four small ones. The main Dageba is covered with a roof. There are four small shrine rooms around it with small dagebas located on the top of each of them.

  • Ayurvedha Herbal Massage

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immune  ity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. As many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.

  • Cultural Show

Cultural show (Kandyan Dance) is one of the famous evening events not to be missed when visiting this heritage city. It starts in the evening and runs for more than one hour. Listen to the captivating traditional drummers and be mesmerised viewing the many different art forms from the up country and low country Folk Lore of the island. The spectacular fire dancers and the folklore, Demon dancers, traditional Kandyan dancers are a definite breathtaking experience to the locals and visitors alike.

Kandy on map

Sri Lanka Tourism Activities around Kandy