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Places to visit in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Updated on December 21, 2010
Temple of tooth Relic, world heritage site in Kandy
Temple of tooth Relic, world heritage site in Kandy

Must see and visit places in Kandy

Although renowned for the Temple of tooth relic, there are many more places to visit in Kandy and in this article I will discuss some of the best places to see in Kandy. Kandy was last capital of Sri Lanka before gaining independence from the British and because it was not abandoned like Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa most of the old buildings and temples are well preserved, making it one of the best places to visit well preserved historic sites in Sri Lanka. Must visit historic sites include The Temple of Tooth Relic( Sri Dalada Maligawa ), Gadaladeniya Temple and the Ambakka Temple. If you are a nature lover a visit to the Peradeniya botanical gardens might be to your liking. If you are willing to venture a bit far then you can visit the Horton plains national park or the Pinnawela elephant orphanage. If you are just looking for a hiking experience in the forest, then there is the Udawatta forest which is pretty close to Kandy town. As you can see there are many places around Kandy for you to visit, lets take a look at some of them in detail.

Religious and historic sites near Kandy

Below are some of the historic and religious sites near Kandy. An important thing to remember is because they are religious sites you need to be dressed in a specific way. It is advisable to wear something that goes below the knee level and not to wear sleeveless blouse or t-shirts.

Temple of the Tooth Relic

One of the eight world heritages sites in Sri Lanka, Kandy was awarded the world heritage status because of the temple.The temple holds the tooth relics of Lord Buddha and is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists all around the world. There are video and audio guides available if you are interested in learning more about the place. There are some beautiful paintings and wood carving if you are interested in Art. The temple is inside the palace complex so you can visit the Royal palace, the museum nearby and various other building in the palace complex. The dress code is strictly enforced here and you want be permitted to enter if you are wearing sleeveless blouse or shorts or skirts above the knee.

Lankatilaka Temple, Kandy

This temple on top of a rock is considered one of the most well preserved temples built based on Sinhala temple architecture. You need to reach the top using rock steps and you can see most of the paintings still intact inside the temple. The rock is used as the foundation and the architects and the builders has built according to the unevenness of the stone.

Ambakka Devale ( Kovil )

More of a Hindu shrine, Ambakka is famous for its beautiful wooden carvings. Most of the shrine is built using wood and the many pillars of the shrines each has a unique carving of its own. The wooden roof and the supporting beams are also full of beautiful carvings, and the roof is considered a masterpiece of wooden carpentry.

There are many other temples in the area that have various other attractions, listed above are some of the most interesting.

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Places to visit in Kandy for nature lovers

Below are some places to visit near Kandy for nature lovers. Some of the require some traveling but it is relatively close to Kandy.

Udawatta forest

This is a small forest area very close to Kandy town where you can go for a leisurely walk. You can see monkeys all over the place and also you can see some various plants, some of the unique to Sri Lanka. Depending on the amount of time you have you can choose various trails, some last just over an hour and some you can spend most of the day walking. There are some shrines inside the forest, so you can visit them if you are interested.

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

If you are interested in well maintained landscaped garden with lots of flowers and fauna then this is a must visit place. Even if you are not interested in those things then Peradeniya gardens is a great place to relax and enjoy a leisurely walk. Because the vast grounds covered by the garden you will never feel crowded so you can take your time enjoying the various plants in the garden. There is a fantastic collection of various orchids, roses, spices and herbals. Well maintained palm trees , bamboo tress and many other various trees as well. Special guided tours for tourists are available during specified hours.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawela Elephant orphanage is n Kegalle,around 1 hours drive from Kandy, but it is one of the top tourist attractions and a place tourists love to visit. You can see Elephants in a semi wildlife environment and you have the chance to feed baby Elephants etc. If you plan your trip right you can see the procession of Elephants going for a bath to the nearby river and watch them bathing in the river. Read more about Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage.

What is the must visit place in Kandy

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Visited Kandy ? Share your opinion about the place

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    • rumbling profile image

      Nishadha Silva 5 years ago from Sri Lanka

      @waj, not hiding anything here. I know that Rev. Fr. Joseph Vaz visited here and prayed for rain as well. If you have any knowledge of the place send me details and I will publish it here.

    • profile image

      waj 5 years ago

      O, what a creation. its really a heaven. it is a blessed place where Blessed Father Joseph Vaz visited. why not mention about him. it is so sad you fellows hide the history, just talking of temple of tooth relic.

    • profile image

      jessica james 6 years ago


    • profile image

      ck 6 years ago

      Thanks:-) that was helpful

    • rumbling profile image

      Nishadha Silva 7 years ago from Sri Lanka

      @Kamran, Thanks :-)

    • Kamran100 profile image

      Kamran100 7 years ago

      kandy is very beautiful place in sri lanka ...nice hub