Kandy, Sri Lanka: Capital of Ancient Kings

Kandy, Sri Lanka: Capital of Ancient Kings

Sri Lanka, Kandy town
Hidden among the green hills of central Sri Lanka, Kandy is one of the country's most charming cities.

Rich in cultural heritage and natural beauty, this city offers a harmonious blend of history, culture and religion, making it a must-see on any traveler's itinerary.

History of Kandy

Ancient Times and Royal Heritage

Kandy is one of the oldest cities in Sri Lanka and has played a significant role in the country's history. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, the city was the capital of the independent Kingdom of Kandy, the last kingdom on the island to survive colonization. The city was famous for its resistance to Portuguese, Dutch and eventually British invaders before being conquered by the British in 1815.

Colonial period and legacy

During British colonial rule, Kandy became an important administrative and religious center. The British preserved and respected local traditions and religious practices, which helped maintain the city's unique cultural identity. Following Sri Lanka's independence in 1948, Kandy continued to be a symbol of national pride and cultural heritage.

Kandy today is a city that respects its rich historical past while developing and modernizing to match needs of our time. It remains an important center of Buddhist culture and teaching, and a popular destination for tourists seeking a combination of history, culture and natural beauty.

Historical heritage

Kandy is the last capital of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka and home to the sacred Tooth Relic, which is enshrined in the Temple of the Tooth. This temple, located in the heart of the city, attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year, especially during the Esala Perahera festival, when there is a ceremonial procession with the participation of elephants, dancers and drummers.

Natural attractions

Surrounded by mountains and tropical forests, Kandy offers many opportunities for nature lovers. Peradeniya Gardens, one of the oldest botanical gardens in Asia, is spread over 60 hectares and is home to more than 4,000 species of plants, including orchids and palms. Not far from the city is the Udawattakele Nature Reserve, where you can see rare birds, monkeys and other animals in their natural habitat.

Local culture and cuisine

Kandy's culture reflects its multicultural population. The city is known for its traditional crafts, including jewelry making and weaving. Local markets offer a wide range of goods, from fresh spices to exotic fruits and handicrafts.

Sri Lankan cuisine is a mixture of spicy and aromatic dishes that often include rice, curry and seafood. Be sure to try Kulu Dodol, a traditional dessert made from coconut, rice flour and honey.

How to get to Kandy

Access to Kandy can be arranged in a variety of ways, each offering its own benefits.

By Train

Train travel to Kandy from Colombo is considered one one of the most scenic routes in the world. Trains depart from Colombo Main Railway Station and pass through emerald tea plantations and dense forests. The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours, providing passengers with the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views and a cozy atmosphere.

By Bus

Buses to Kandy depart regularly from the Central Bus Terminal in Colombo. This method is cheaper and faster than the train, but offers less comfort and opportunities to enjoy the scenery. The trip takes about 3 hours depending on traffic.

By taxi or rented car

For a more comfortable trip, you can rent a car or take a taxi from Colombo. This gives you the freedom to stop at interesting places along the way and explore the area at your own pace. Travel time will be about 3-4 hours, depending on road conditions.

Tips for travelers

The best time to visit Kandy is during the dry season from January to April, when the weather is favorable for sightseeing. The city is also easily accessible by train or bus from Colombo, making it an ideal destination for a day trip or an extended stay.

Kandy is a city where every corner is exceptionally photogenic , and each step entails a new discovery. There is something for everyone here, from historical monuments to unexplored trails, from markets with their kaleidoscope of colors and scents to quiet, secluded places for reflection.

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