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
DambullaÂ is a big town, situated in theÂ Matale District,Â Central ProvinceÂ ofÂ Sri Lanka, situated 148Â km north-east ofÂ ColomboÂ and 72Â km north ofÂ Kandy. Due to its location at a major junction, it’s the centre of vegetable distribution in the country.
Major attractions of the area include the largest and best preservedÂ cave temple complexÂ of Sri Lanka, and theÂ Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, famous for being built in just 167 days. The area also boasts the largestÂ rose quartzÂ mountain range inÂ South Asia, and theÂ Iron woodÂ forest, orÂ Na Uyana Aranya.
Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site nearÂ Dambulla cave templeÂ complexes is the latest archaeological site of significant historical importance found in Dambulla, which is located within 3 kilometers of the cave temples providing evidence of the presence of indigenous civilisations long before the arrival of Indian influence on the Island nation.
Dambulla cave temple
It is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documentedÂ cavesÂ in the surrounding. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which containÂ statuesÂ andÂ paintings. This paintings and statues are related to LordÂ BuddhaÂ and his life. There are a total of 153Â BuddhaÂ statues, 3 statues ofÂ Sri Lankan kingsÂ and 4 statues of god and goddess. The latter 4 include two statues ofÂ HinduÂ gods,Â VishnuÂ andÂ Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 mÂ². Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha’s temptation by demonÂ MaraÂ andÂ Buddha’s first sermon.
Dambulla Cave Temple
Golden Cave Temple
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. Colombo is also the administrative capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins.
Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago.
Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, Independence Square, Gangarama temple, Kelaniya Temple, the Viharamahadevi Park, as well as the National Museum.
Galle Face Green
Galle Face Green is a ribbon of green space located in the heart of the city along the Indian Ocean coast, and is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. The Galle Face Hotel is a historic landmark on the southern edge of this promenade.
Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the establishment of Dominion of Ceylon on February 4, 1948.
Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence.
The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, seven miles from Colombo. The Chief Incumbent is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.
The Viharamahadevi Park is a public park located in Colombo, next to the National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park of the Port of Colombo.
National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is one of two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. Its is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government.
Pettah Floating Market
The Pettah Floating Market is one of Colomboâ€™s newer landmarks opened to the public in 2014, located at the Bastian Mawatha on the Beira Lake. The Pettah Floating Market featured nearly a hundred stalls and shops selling a variety of items ranging from local fruits and vegetables to garments to electronic items; all at very affordable prices. Numerous restaurants and eateries are also available within the market area and offer visitors a unique venue and atmosphere to dine.
‘Diyatha Uyana’ – The new attraction in Town
“Diyatha Uyana”, the new dedicated horticulture sales zone catering the sales and marketing of local flora and tropical flowers at Battaramulla was declared open on 15th September. The project was carried out under the close guidance and supervision of Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The combined efforts and expertise of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation, The Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Civil Security Department personnel utilized in the construction of the project.
“Diyatha Uyana” comprises of 84 floral outlets built in an environment with a breathtaking landscape and setting. The spectacular water fountain built here adds much beauty to the whole place. “Diyatha Uyana”, will be the central point of the local horticultural sales industry and already it has become quite a popular place.
Sigiriya is an ancient palace located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavangsha, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 â€“ 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure â€”SÄ«hÄgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. It is the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya consists of an ancient citadel built by King Kashyapa during the 5th century. The Sigiriya site contains the ruins of an upper palace located on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palaces located behind the lavish lower gardens, and moats and ramparts which protected the citadel. The site was both a palace and a fortress. The upper palace on the top of the rock includes cisterns cut into the rock that still retain water. The moats and walls that surround the lower palace are still exquisitely beautiful.
Sigiriya are considered one of the most important urban planning sites of the first millennium, and the site plan is considered very elaborate and imaginative. The plan combined concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the man-made geometrical and natural forms of the surroundings. On the west side of the rock lies a park for the royals, laid out on a symmetrical plan; the park contains water-retaining structures, including sophisticated surface/subsurface hydraulic systems, some of which are working even today. The south contains a man-made reservoir; these were extensively used from the previous capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Five gates were placed at entrances. The more elaborate western gate is thought to have been reserved for the royals.
“The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery… the largest picture in the world perhaps”.The paintings would have covered most of the western face of the rock, an area 140 metres long and 40 metres high. There are references in the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings. However, most have been lost forever. More frescoes, different from those on the rock face, can be seen elsewhere, for example on the ceiling of the location called the “Cobra Hood Cave”.
Although the frescoes are classified as in the Anuradhapura period, the painting style is considered unique the line and style of application of the paintings differing from Anuradhapura paintings. The lines are painted in a form which enhances the sense of volume of the figures. The paint has been applied in sweeping strokes, using more pressure on one side, giving the effect of a deeper colour tone towards the edge. Other paintings of the Anuradhapura period contain similar approaches to painting, but do not have the sketchy lines of the Sigiriya style, having a distinct artists’ boundary line. The true identity of the ladies in these paintings still have not been confirmed. There are various ideas about their identity. Some believe that they are the ladies of the king’s while others think that they are women taking part in religious observances. These pictures have a close resemblance to paintings seen in the Ajanta caves in India.
The Mirror Wall
Originally this wall was so highly polished that the king could see himself whilst he walked alongside it. Made of brick masonry wall and covered in highly polished white plaster, the wall is now partially covered with verses scribbled by visitors to the rock. The mirror wall has verses dating from as early as the 8th century. People of all types wrote on the wall, on varying subjects such as love, irony, and experiences of all sorts. Further writing on the mirror wall now has been banned for the protection of old writings of the wall.
Dr Senerat Paranavitana, an eminent Sri Lankan archaeologist, deciphered 685 verses written in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries CE on the mirror wall.
One such poem, roughly translated, in Sinhala is:
“I am Budal [the writer’s name]. Came alone tÐ¾ see Sigiriya. Since Ð°ll the others wrote poems, I did not!” He has left Ð°n important record thÐ°t Sigiriya wÐ°s visited by people beginning Ð° very long tÑ–me ago.”
The Gardens of the Sigiriya city are one of the most important aspects of the site, as it is among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. The gardens are divided into three distinct but linked forms: water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and terraced gardens.
The Water Gardens
The water gardens can be seen in the central section of the western precinct. Three principal gardens are found here. The first garden consists of a plot surrounded by water. It is connected to the main precinct using four causeways, with gateways placed at the head of each causeway. This garden is built according to an ancient garden form known as char bagh, and is one of the oldest surviving models of this form.
The second contains two long, deep pools set on either side of the path. Two shallow, serpentine streams lead to these pools. Fountains made of circular limestone plates are placed here. Underground water conduits supply water to these fountains which are still functional, especially during the rainy season. Two large islands are located on either side of the second water garden. Summer palaces are built on the flattened surfaces of these islands. Two more islands are located farther to the north and the south. These islands are built in a manner similar to the island in the first water garden.
The third garden is situated on a higher level than the other two. It contains a large, octagonal pool with a raised podium on its northeast corner. The large brick and stone wall of the citadel is on the eastern edge of this garden.
The water gardens are built symmetrically on an east-west axis. They are connected with the outer moat on the west and the large artificial lake to the south of the Sigiriya rock. All the pools are also interlinked using an underground conduit network fed by the lake, and connected to the moats. A miniature water garden is located to the west of the first water garden, consisting of several small pools and watercourses. This recently discovered smaller garden appears to have been built after the Kashyapan period, possibly between the 10th and 13th centuries.
The Boulder Gardens
The boulder gardens consist of several large boulders linked by winding pathways. The gardens extend from the northern slopes to the southern slopes of the hills at the foot of Sigiris rock. Most of these boulders had a building or pavilion upon them; there are cuttings that were used as footings for brick walls and beams.They were used to be pushed off from the top to attack enemies when they approached.
The Terraced Gardens
The terraced gardens are formed from the natural hill at the base of the Sigiriya rock. A series of terraces rises from the pathways of the boulder garden to the staircases on the rock. These have been created by the construction of brick walls, and are located in a roughly concentric plan around the rock. The path through the terraced gardens is formed by a limestone staircase. From this staircase, there is a covered path on the side of the rock, leading to the uppermost terrace where the lion staircase is situated.
Nuwara Eliya is a city, in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city name meaning is “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light”. The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.
The city was founded by Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile in 1846. Nuwara Eliya’s climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. Nuwara Eliya, called Little England then, was also a hill country retreat where the British colonialists could immerse in their pastimes such as fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket.
Due to its highland location, Nuwara Eliya has a subtropical highland climate (KÃ¶ppen climate classification Cfb), with a mean annual temperature of 16 Â°C (61 Â°F).
In the winter months it is quite cold at night, and there can even be frost. However, it rapidly warms up as the tropical sun climbs higher during the day.
The town really comes alive in April for the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, and it is difficult to find accommodation as Sri Lankans holiday in the region during this period. The festive season starts on April 1 annually in a ceremonial manner. The ceremony consists mainly of a band show in which all the local school bands participate.
Main attractions during April season include the numerous motor racing and horse racing events. Motor racing comes alive with the Mahagastotte and Radella Hill Climbs, the former being run since 1934. The Nuwara Eliya Road Race and the 4X4 Lake Cross on edge of Lake Gregory attract a fair share of enthusiasts. Parties are held nightly in the hotels, and the season culminates in the nine furlong (1811 m) Governor’s Cup, Golf Tournaments and the flower show at the end of the month.
The town’s attractions include the golf course, trout streams, Victoria Park, and boating or fishing on Lake Gregory. Victoria Park is an attractive and well-used oasis. It is popular with birdwatchers at quieter times because of the good opportunities it gives to see various species, particularly the Indian Blue Robin, Pied Thrush or Scaly Thrush lurking in the denser undergrowth. The Kashmir Flycatcher is another attractivebird species found in the park. Galway’s Land Bird Sanctuary, close to Lake Gregory, is another wildlife site of 0.6 kmÂ².
The city is a base for visits to Horton Plains National Park. This is a key wildlife area of open grassy woodland. Species found here include the Leopard, Sambar, and the endemic Purple-faced Langur. Endemic highland birds include the Dull-blue Flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye, andYellow-eared Bulbul. The plains also has a well-visited tourist attraction at World’s End, a sheer precipice with a 1050 m drop. The return walk passes the scenic Baker’s Falls. Early morning visits are best, both to see the wildlife, and to view World’s End before mists close in during the later part of the morning.
One of the distinctive features of Nuwara Eliya’s countryside is the widespread growing of vegetables, fruit and flowers usually associated with temperate Europe. This “Little England” is covered with terraces growing potatoes, carrots, leeks, and roses, interspersed with tea bushes on the steeper slopes.
The slow-growing tea bushes of this highland region produce some of the world’s finest Orange Pekoe tea, and several tea factories around Nuwara Eliya offer guided tours and the opportunity to sample or purchase their products.
One is a grave stone of one British governor located in the very corner of the golf grounds. He was famous for elephant hunting and it says that he killed thousands of elephants. Folklore in Nuwara Eliya says that every year his gravestone is struck by lightning for the great sin that he did. At present this place is not open for the visitors.
Another place related to folklore is the Hindu Temple called Seetha Kovil (Hanuman Kovil). It is found on the way to Badulla from Nuwara Eliya before reaching the Hakgala Botanical Garden. The temple is located in the village called “Seetha Eliya”. The area is related to the Ramayana story in Hinduism. Folklore says that the mighty king Ravana kidnapped princess Seeta who was the queen of Rama and hid her in the place where the temple now is.
There is also a Church called the Holy Trinity Church on church road, which accommodate an old graveyard and most of the grave stones have British names engraved on them.