Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. 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 Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
The city of Kandy lies at an elevation of 465 metres (1,526 ft) above sea level. Its plan developed around two open spaces: an elongated square, at the end of which are the administration buildings of the old capital, and an artificial lake that is quadrangular in form. A public garden adds to the openness of the city's spatial organization.
On the north shore of the lake, which is enclosed by a parapet of white stone dating to the beginning of the 19th century, are the city's official religious monuments, including the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth, known as the Dalada Maligawa (da?ad? m?lig?va). Reconstructed in the 18th century, the Dalanda Maligawa is built on a base of granite that was inspired by the temples of Sri Lanka's former capital city, Anuradhapura. An array of materials (limestone, marble, sculpted wood, ivory, etc.) contribute to the richness of this temple. Throughout this small holy city, a number of recent Buddhist monasteries can be found.
Kandy has now grown out to encompass Peradeniya, home to the University of Peradeniya and the Botanical Gardens, Katugastota to the north, and east to Kundasale, Tennekumbura and Gurudeniya.
Kandy is located in the mountainous and thickly forested interior of the island. The city is located in between multiple mountain ranges including the Knuckles mountain range and theHanthana Mountain Range, giving the city an elevation of 500 metres (1,600 ft) above sea level. It lies adjacent to the artificial Kandy Lake and south of Udawatta Kele Sanctuary.
In Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, its climate is tropical rainforest (Af). With Kandy located in the centre of the island and in a high elevation, the city has a relatively wetter and cooler temperatures than that of the tropical climate of the rest of the country, especially the coastal regions. Nuwara Eliya is south to it and has a cooler climate due to its higher elevation. The city has its dry season from December through to April. From May through to July and December to January the region experiences its monsoon season, during this time the weather is rough and unstable. The island being in the northern hemisphere gives Kandy it coldest month in January and its hottest in July. From March through the middle of May is the inter monsoonal period, during this time there is light rain and strong humidity. The humidity is generally between 70% to 79%.
Palace of the Tooth relic
The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and The Temple of the Tooth (Palace of the tooth relic) is the place that houses theRelic of the tooth of the Buddha. Originally part of the Royal Palace complex of the Kandyan Kingdom, it is one of the holiest places of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhist around the world. It was last of a series of temples built in the places where the relic, the actual palladium of the Sinhalese monarchy, was brought following the various relocations of the capital city.
The Palace of the Tooth relic, the palace complex and the holy city of Kandy are associated with the history of the dissemination of Buddhism. The temple is the product of the last peregrination of the relic of the tooth of Buddha and the testimony of a religion which continues to be practiced today.
The Royal Palace of Kandy is the last Royal Palace built in the island. Although only part of the original palace complex remain. The Temple of the Tooth was part of this complex, due to the ancient tradition that stated that the monarch is the protector of the relic though which the ruler of the land. It today houses the National Museum Kandy which holds an extensive collection of artifacts from both the Kandy Kingdom and the British colonial rule.
The Lankatilaka Temple is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of traditional Sinhalese temple architecture. Built on a rock, the temple is reached by a long series of rock cut steps. An arched passage of the image house leads through a Mandapa (hall) into the inner sanctum which is richly decorated with beautiful floral designs. The two side walls and the ceiling are decorated with paintings. In the inner sanctum is a colossal seated image of the Buddha.
The Gadaladeniya Temple's design is of South Indian origin with a Devale attached to it, similar in character to the Natha Devale and the Gedige of Adahana Maluwa. The main shrine room has a seated Buddha statue and the remains of some paintings of the Gampola period.
Among other important temples around Kandy are Dodanwela Devale (shrine), Embakke Devale (shrine), Galmaduwa Vihara temple, Handagala Vihara temple, Lankatilaka Vihara, Medawala Vihara and Nalanda Gedige.
Parks and gardens
The Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5 km to the west of the city centre at Peradeniya and is visited by 2 million people per year. It is the largest botanical garden on the island extending to 147 acres and containing over 4000 species of plants.
The Udawatta Kele (Udawatta Forest) is a protected sanctuary situated in the heart of the city, just north of Temple of the Tooth. Known as "Uda Wasala Watta" in Sinhalese meaning, "the garden situated above the royal palace" it was designated as a forest reserve in 1856, and it became a sanctuary in 1938.
The Royal Palace Park, known as Wace Park is a small park that overlooks Kandy Lake and most of the city. In the park is a Japanese field gun which was captured by the British 14th Army in Burma during World War II and presented to the city of Kandy by Lord Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Theatre.
Leisure and entertainment
Kandyans do many things for leisure and entertainment in the city. Kandy is very popular due to the annual procession known as the Esala Perahera, in which one of the inner caskets used for covering the tooth relic of Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city. This casket is taken on a royal tusker. The procession includes traditional dancers and drummers, flag bearers of the provinces of the old Kandyan kingdom, the Nilames (lay custodians of temples ) wearing their traditional dresses, torch bearers and also the grandly attired elephant. This ceremony which is annually held in the months of July or August attracts large crowds from all parts of the country and also many foreign tourists.
Kandy City Centre is a new commercial and shopping complex at Dalada Veediya. Is the most modern commercial complex in Sri Lanka. The complex is studded with ultra modern features, also incorporating traditional architecture of Kandy during the medieval period of Sri Lanka. The city centre is host to several leading banks, a fully equipped supermarket, modern restaurants, an entertainment zone, a well designed state of the art food court, Sri Lanka's leading book shops, flora and an ayurweda site. There is a five-level car park outside that is the largest car park in Kandy.
Kandy has a modest range of restaurants, as well as an abundance of confectioneries. A range of cuisines is available, including Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, European and some multinational fast food outlets such as Pizza Hut, and KFC.
- Knuckles Mountain Range
- Kandy Garrison Cemetery
- Commonwealth War Cemetery
- Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa)
- Lankatilaka Temple
- Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
- Udawattekele Sanctuary
- Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue
- Kandyan Dance Performance
- Tea Museum
- Hanthana Mountain Range