We hope the highlights of the local attractions below will help simplify your planning. Please let us know how else we can assist you with your family vacation, romantic couples getaway or business trip.
TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH RELIC
The Dalada Maligawa, or "The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic" is one of the most sacred religious sites for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. According to Sri Lankan history, when the Buddha passed away and was cremated, His left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre. The Dalada Maligawa is said to house the very same relic, which is regarded as a symbolic representation of the living Buddha. It is on this basis that there grew up a series of offerings, rituals, and ceremonies. Worshipping at the temple is thought to improve one's karma immeasurably and the shrine receives a constant flow of worshippers and tourists.
Situated in the Medapalata Korale of Udunuwara in the Kandy district, the Embekka Devalaya was built by King Vikramabahu III of Gampola Era (AD 1357 - 1374). The shrine consists of three sections the "Sanctum of Garagha," the "Digge," and the "Hevisi Mandapaya." The Hevisi Mandapaya contains beautiful wood carvings on its pillars that are considered to be some of the best examples of Sinhalese art. The Devalaya is dedicated to the worship of Mahasen (more commonly known as the Katharagama Deviyo), and a God by the name of Devatha Bandara is also worshipped at the site.
Being one of the best preserved examples of traditional Sinhalese temple architecture, the Lankatilake Temple is situated on the outskirts of Kandy. Besides being an important architectural monument , this shrine is also significant from a religious point of view, since it combines the worship of the Buddha with that of the Hindu gods. Originally, the structure had four storeys, but only the ground floor is used today after the masonry structure collapsed.
A large artificial lake built by Sri Wickrama Rajasinha in 1807, the Kandy Lake is located next to the Temple of the Tooth. Being a protected lake, with fishing banned, the lake is the perfect place for a stroll or a jog. The shady path surrounding the lake provides a view of the hills and the town and boat rides around the lake can be arranged with the many boating services on the lake side.
Covering over 60 hectares, the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens are the largest botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. The history of the gardens date back to as far as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III kept court at Peradeniya, near Mahaweli Ganga. The garden was declared a Royal Garden by King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe during his reign from 1747 to 1780. The garden is home to over 300 varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. In addition to the wide diversity of plants, a plethora of wildlife can be also found. More than 80 species of birds, including 10 endemic species, can be easily seen. It is also home to over 80 species of butterflies, 20 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians and 18 species of mammals, including flying squirrels and rusty spotted cats.
HORTON PLAINS NATIONAL PARK
Designated a national park in 1988, the Horton Plains National Park is located on the southern plateau of the central highlands of the country, and is a popular tourist destination. The park's elevation ranges from 2,100-2,300 metres and it is home to over 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, nine species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians. The most sighted mammal is the Sambar Deer but, other mammals such as Kelaart's Long-clawed Shrews, Toque Macaques, Purple-faced Langurs, Rusty-spotted Cat, Sri Lankan Leopards, Wild boars, Stripe-necked Mongooses, Sri Lankan Spotted Chevrotains, Indian Muntjacs, and Grizzled giant squirrels can also be seen.
KANDY GARRISON CEMETERY
Founded in 1817, the Kandy Garrison Cemetery was built for the burial of British-era colonists and is currently managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The beautifully maintained garden cemetery contains many 19th century graves, most of them dating back to World War II. Perhaps the most famous of these is the grave of Sir John D'Oyly, who was a colonial officer who planned to capture Kandy in 1815. However he passed away due to cholera in 1824.