Immediately after we have started to explore the second largest city in Sri Lanka, we knew it is the place for us. We were thrilled to find out that Kandy is a vibrant Sri Lankan town, filled with markets and its stands and sellers, which are just one of Kandy tourist attractions.
We do not exaggerate, but Kandy is full with markets and stands, selling everything from fruit, vegetables to clothes and fake CDs and DVDs. Luckily, we can even find products, typical for this island country – black tea, spices, masks…. If you like shopping, you will love it here!
2. Traditional dances and masks
If you really want to get to know Kandy, you have to visit a dancing show, where you will find out everything about Sri Lankan traditional dances, costumes and masks. Enjoy the loud music made with drums and be amazed over the elegant gestures of their dancers, wearing traditional masks, carefully carved out of wood and colored with natural colors. Traditional Sri Lankan masks were used with rituals and each mask had its own power: health, energy, protection and happiness.
3. Temple of the tooth / Sri Dalada Maligawa
If you are attending the traditional dancing show, head straight to the Temple of the Tooth as soon as it is over. We guarantee you, you will not be sorry! Be prepared to be packed, as many pilgrims visit the Temple of the Tooth at dusk for one reason only – the drums. Yes, while you are walking from chamber to chamber and from one Buddha sculpture to the other, there are two guys playing the drums and the feeling is unreal! We both got goosebumps just listening the heavy bits and its echo. You can also attend the same ceremony in the morning. Oh and be prepared to wait in line for ages, to got a quick glimpse towards the Buddha tooth. Visiting the Temple of the Tooth will also tick off another UNESCO heritage site on your list.
4. The Royal Botanical Gardens
We are not sure about you, but spending time in loud and crowded Kandy, it was time for some peace and quiet. On the outskirts of the city lies more than 60 hectares of green areas, known as the Royal Botanical Gardens. Walk around and enjoy in more than 4000 different botanical species.
5. Elephant Orphanage Pinnawala
The famous elephant orphanage Pinnawala is a little bit out from Kandy, but the city represents a great starting point for a half day trip. Sri Lanka is famous for its elephants, which were a big part in people’s life. Unfortunately elephants in Sri Lanka are still a big part for wild hunters, who are into elephant’s oracles. Wild hunters don’t care about the animal in general, as long as they bring them long and shiny reward. Many of the elephants are wounded and need help and lots of baby elephants lose their mother and they would die all by themselves. That is why this elephant orphanage in Pinnawala was established. Paying an entrance fee is helping the orphanage to be preserved, even though it is slowly turning in a circus for the visitors. Nevertheless, if you are headed there, come when the elephant herd is cooling down in the river nearby.
6. Indiana Jones
Kandy is with no doubt a real royal city. After, its history is rich and powerful. Kandy is a place where you can feel the real Sri Lankan vibe and where the best known Sri Lankan characteristics are found. Not to mention that Kandy is also a place brought Hollywood’s attention years ago. In 1984 a big part of adventurous movie Indiana Jones was shot in Kandy and who would now best than Hollywood, how great this city really is.