Kandy was established in the 14th century and was the last independent city and capital of the Singhalese kingdom. Despite successfully defying many invaders for over 300 years, including fierce Portuguese and Dutch colonialists, the city fell to the British in the 19th century. Today, Kandy stands proudly with its fusion of colonial, Buddhist and post-independent Bawa architecture that adorn its streets, whilst enveloping a manmade lake. The city’s outskirts are provincial and incredibly scenic, with abounding rubber and tea plantations and paddy fields. Each year, Kandy hosts the world renowned Esala Perahera, a magnificently regal parade, complete with decorated elephants, trumpet fanfare and costumed drummers.
Traditional Dance Performances
Recommended Sri Lanka Tours
Places: Negombo (1 day) → Sigiriya (2) → Kandy (2) → Galle Fort (1) → Colombo (1) → Male (4)
Tour Highlights: Beach, Relaxation, Buzzing Bars, Al Fresco Dining, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rock Fortress, Rock Paintings...
Situated 15 minutes drive from Kandy, and perched on a hill overlooking the city, The Elephant Stables is a fascinating and lovingly preserved colonial period bungalow that is steeped in British history.
Escape to Santani Wellness Resort & Spa, an oasis of luxury and wellness in Central Sri Lanka. Inspired by contemporary architecture, and set amid thick forests and terraced paddy fields, this retreat is characterized by minimalist design, complementing the contours of surrounding valleys.
Spend a half day at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a three hour drive (80km) from Negombo. Witness the biggest herd of captive pachyderms in the world who journey to the river twice a day to bathe. Managed by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department, Pinnawala encourages both breeding and aiding the recovery and release of injured wild elephants back into the forest. The little jumbos, orphaned as their parents were victims of poachers/accidents, also splash about. Learn how they are tamed, reared and trained by their human keepers (known as mahouts) who bottle feed and bathe them.
Enjoy a round of Golf at the historic Colombo Nuwara Eliya Golf Course. This course is known for its beautiful natural design and frustrating challenges. Enjoy the serenity and aesthetics of your surroundings as you walk through this amazing course.
Visit to Knuckles Range
Explore the Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area or the Knuckles Mountain Range, home to 5 major Forest formations resembling the knuckles on a persons folded fist. See a wide variety of uncommon fauna and flora, as well as endemic amphibians and reptiles like kirtisinghe
View the Kandy Perahera from ‘roadside’ seats in the town of Kandy. Kandy
Tea plantation & factory
Enjoy an aromatic Tea Experience…follow the tea plucker
Visit to Gem Museum (As a part of City Highlights)
During your time in Kandy, why not get an understanding of the natural gems of this world? Visit the Gem Museum where you will first watch an eye-opening short documentary that will explain the mining process and history for these jewels. You will bedazzled when you walk through the museum afterwards with its rare gem and jewel collection – from sapphires to rubies. Before finishing your hour-long visit, you can take the opportunity to visit the adjacent store, should you contemplate a purchase.
Kandy Loop and Temples
Situated at an altitude of about 500 m above sea level lies Kandy, one of the most beautiful cities in Sri Lanka. The valley of Kandy offers visitors a rich collection of ancient temples which can be viewed during a pleasant Kandy Loop. The Loop takes you to three 14th century Hindu-Buddhist temples and back, via the Perdeniya Botanical Gardens. See the Embekka Devale, Lankatilake and Gadaladeniya Temples. Visit a batik factory to see fascinating traditional and contemporary motifs and colors.
City Highlights of Kandy
Explore Kandy, the last royal capital and a major city in Sri Lanka. Located at an altitude of about 500 m above sea level, the valley of Kandy is surrounded by magnificent hills, aromatic tea plantations, and is set by a lake. Visit the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalda Maligawa) housing the most sacred Buddhist relic, a tooth of Lord Buddha. A pleasant way to spend a few hours is to take a leisurely stroll around Kandy Lake, a protected lake where fishing is banned. Enjoy traditional dance performances that capture the imagination and connect audiences to the tribal roots of the performers.