Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka.
Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri DaladaMaligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
The Temple of Tooth:
Also known as Dalda Maligawa, it is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. Here, one of the Buddha's teeth is kept. The temple was built in the 17th century. A golden canopy has been added recently. Daily rituals are performed three times a day-at 4.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m., and 6.30 p.m. respectively.
Built in 1344, the temple is situated on a hilltop at a distance of 15 km from the town. The temple is inspired by Dravidian architecture and gives a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside.
The garden-a paradise for nature lover- was built in 14th century during the reign of king Vikrama Bahu III. The best-known attraction of the garden is the orchid House, which houses more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids. A spice garden located here gives you a first hand account of the trees and plants used in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
This 14th century temple is famous for the intricate wooden carvings dedicated to God Katargama. Almost the entire structures of some wooden buildings are decorated with dancers, musicians, wrestlers, legendary beasts and birds. Nearby are the ruins of an ancient rest house with similar pillars carved in stone.
Lankatilaka temple dates back to 14th century. It is built on the summit of a rock called Panhalgala. The temple provides a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding hills, paddy fields and the diverse vegetation around it.
The Knuckles range is about 90 square miles in extent and is a detached block of the central highlands separated from the main highlands by the the Dumbara Valley. There are 35 peaks rising to more than 3000 feet (915 m) in the Knuckles range. It has a rich variety of flora and fauna.
Hanthana Mountains are spread on the outskirts of Kandy and are a source of many rivulets and streams. They are an ideal destination for the trekkers.
Udawatte Kele is a primeval forest located above the Dalada Maligawa. It is also known as the Forbidden Forest of the Kings of Kandy. It contains a variety of trees such as Talipot trees, cinnamon, olive, rattan cane, betel, bo-trees, kitul palms, jak, mara, betelnut and arecanut.
There are four Hindu shrines dedicated to Gods Vishnu and Natha and Goddess Patthini in Kandy. Three of them are located adjacent to the Temple of Tooth, while the fourth one is towards the town.
There are many Buddhist temples surrounding Kandy. Famous among them are Malwaththa and Asgiri temples located on the shores of the lake.
"We couldn't believe how much wildlife there is around the lake, and as easily accessible as there is a footpath all around it. One of the few great things to do which are free in Sri Lanka."
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