If it’s your first visit to Sri Lanka and you’re a lover of all things cultural – you absolutely must spend a few days in its cultural and historical capital – Kandy.
Also known as Sri Lanka’s second city, Kandy has a rich, fascinating history. It was the last capital of the era of the Sri Lankan kings, and the stronghold of the ancient Kandy Kingdom when it fought off both Dutch and Portuguese colonisers in the 1500s and 1600s.
Kandy has been able to preserve many of its unique cultural treasures, so there are significant historical sites dotted all over the city. Make your way through the bustle of the city centre to discover ancient temples, charming colonial architecture, beautiful botanic gardens and world-famous statues. There’s even an idyllic manmade lake complete with monitor lizards and other local wildlife.
One of the most famous attractions is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is said to be the site of a part of Buddha’s actual tooth. It’s also one of Buddhism’s most important religious shrines.
There’s a huge amount to see and do in this delightfully chaotic city, but its also the gateway to other fabulous Sri Lankan experiences. Once you’ve explored all you can on foot and zooming around in a colourful tuk tuk, head for the hills. Kandy is surrounded by lush green hills and tea plantations, perfect for hikes and nature adventures.
And of course, you can start the most famous and scenic train journey in the world from Kandy. The Kandy to Ella train, with its iconic blue carriages, takes in some of Sri Lankas most stunning sights. Along with its breathtaking views, it is both an affordable and unforgettable way to travel across Sri Lanka, even if the 7-hour journey is a little rickety.
Plan your trip to Kandy today!