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Tourist Places To Visit In Kandy
The history of Sri Lanka has been influenced to a great extent by the events that took place in Kandy over the centuries and these incidents have left tangible marks in the city. The architecture, for example, showcases an interesting combination of influences from its sister cities in Thailand and from the South of India. The religions practiced here and the languages also reflect its complex history. Most of the tourist attractions here have an important story to tell, so do not miss these tourist places when making a trip to Kandy.
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Legend has it, that a tooth was stolen from Buddha’s pyre and was transported to Sri Lanka around 480 BC. From then on, the tooth has travelled around Sri Lanka and, for a while, around India as well. By the sixteen hundreds the tooth found its permanent place in a temple that was built by the Kandyan kings for its safe guarding. By then it was believed that whoever held it, had the power to rule the kingdom. This lead to the construction of a palace of which the temple is a part. Today, it is one of the most holy Buddhist sites and so it sees many Buddhist pilgrims and tourist throughout the day. After sundown the local people light lamps outside the temple setting a very mystic atmosphere. It is also at this time that you can see the casket in which the tooth relic is kept.
This artificial lake was created during the beginning of the 19th century by the last of the Kandyan Kings. The lake forms a beautiful backdrop to the Tooth temple and the Royal Palace and is a quick escape from the city. There is an island in the middle of the lake that adds to the scenery. Many birds that are indigenous to Sri Lanka can be found here. So the number of people who take strolls around the lake comes as no surprise.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Once this garden was accessible only to royalty, today the over 4000 species of plants are visited by millions of tourists every year. The garden is best known for their many orchid varieties, royal palms and the cannonball fruit tree. A variety of birds visit the park during the day, and sometimes you can even spot some fruit bats.
Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
This government run institution for abandoned elephants invites people to watch the elephants from up close, while they go about their daily lives. Although every elephant is accompanied by their mahout while they mingle among the visitors, they enjoy a great deal of freedom. The Orphanage covers a very large area with a rich landscape of tall trees, grasslands and streams. If you catch them at the right time, you can even watch the elephants bathe.
Being a place of great historic and cultural importance, the best way to truly appreciate Kandy would be to visit its many museums. The national museum houses some important emblems, crowns and other artifacts that serve as a reminder of Kandyan life before the British occupation. Sri Dalada Museum exhibits a number of gifts that were presented to the sacred temple of the tooth relic. The World Buddhism Museum also showcases a number of Buddhist artifacts, statues and photographs documenting events from all over the world. A lot of replicas of famous statues can also be found here. The Ceylon Tea Museum was once a functional tea factory that was shut down for a while, and now it displays a marvelous collection of vintage tea processing units - a tour here ends with a cup of splendid tea!
Buddhists Temples in Kandy
Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara is a cave temple situated on the outskirts of Kandy. The cave displays beautiful murals that almost blends in with the rocky cave interior. The paintings often depict scenes from the previous lives of the Buddha. Alut Maligawa is a large shrine mirroring its Thai influence in architecture and in many of their traditions. This is also where Sri Dalada museum is located. Throughout Kandy and near the outskirts you will find a number of Buddhist temples like Natha Devale, Kataragama Devale, Vishnu Devale and Malwatte Maha Vihara which deserve to be visited for their diverse architecture, customs and legends.