Kandy is right in the middle of Sri Lanka, and is an important seat of religious affairs of the country owing to the Temple of the Tooth. We found the temperatures to be slightly lower than Colombo and Habarana (Read — Drive from Habarana to Kandy), making it very good for walks and treks. That’s because it is surrounded by hills and has the air of a hill station.
The few places that are a must in your to-see list are:
Temple of the Tooth: As already mentioned, this temple is an important bastion of religious affairs in the country. The holy shrine is home to the tooth relic of Lord Buddha, making the temple one of the most popular amongst devotees and tourists. While the temple is open to public throughout the day, the holy shrine is opened twive during the day – once in the morning and once in the evening. Needless to say that it is most crowded during these times. We happened to reach the temple in the evening, just when they were about to open the shrine room’s door for the tooth viewing. We stood in the queue for a glimpse….
The temple premises is sprawling with interesting architecture all around. You can float around the premises as your own pace, learning about its history and importance, and taking photographs.
Kandy Lake: Next to the Temple of the Tooth is the Kandy Lake. With a perimeter of more than 3 kms, covered on all sides by trees, the lakeside offers not only a great view, but also a lovely opportunity for a stroll. We went there early in the morning before the day’s bustle started, and loved the warmth of the sun trickle in through the trees…
Kandyan Dance: Close to the Lake is the Kandyan Cultural Center that organises a one-hour Sri Lankan traditional dance program every evening from 6pm onwards. Tickets for the program are available at the center. In case you are touring the country with a pre-decided guide, request him to arrange tickets for you.
Commonwealth War Cemetry: A memorial for both the World War I and the World War II martyred soldiers, the cemetery is located close to the Mahaweli riverside, about 5-7 kms away from the main town center.
Batik Center: Just like the spice and herbal gardens (Read: Spice & Herbal Garden Tour in Sri Lanka), there are many Batik centers in and around Kandy that take you through a tour of their workshop where the Batik clothes are designed and worked upon. We found the adjoining shop to be exorbitantly price, and hence, didn’t buy anything from the batik shops.
P.S: For a complete Sri Lanka itinerary and tour details, read — Best Itinerary & Blogs for Sri Lanka Road Trip