Kandy, Sri Lanka’s Last Kingdom
As Sri Lanka’s last kingdom, Kandy resisted both the Portuguese and Dutch before falling to the British empire in 1815. The capital of each kingdom before Kandy protected the Buddha’s tooth relic within the palace complex. As the last kingdom, Kandy remains home to the Buddha tooth relic, a most precious and sacred site in Sri Lanka. We explore the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy’s most visited site, during morning offerings before the crowds become too intense. The afternoon and evening are open to guests to discover some of the British contribution to the region or the remains of the Kingdom of Kandy. Colonial experiences include visiting a tea museum and having lunch in the nearby botanical gardens. Historical experiences include exploring the rainforest above Kandy and viewing the ancient town from the hills above. Whatever your adventure, your guide will help you to get the most out of your visit to Kandy.
ESSENTIAL TOUR DAY FACTS AND INCLUSIONS
- Major Destination: Kandy
- Overall distance travelled: Nil.
- Overnight accommodation: Cinnamon Citadel (or similar)
- Activity level: Light
We commence the day with a morning visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of Sri Lanka’s most sacred relic. Within the temple complex you can witness devotees bringing offerings to the temple as you explore the grounds of the most important relic to Buddhists in Sri Lanka and the palace of the last kingdom. The tooth relic holds significant power in Sri Lanka, with locals considering whoever holds the tooth has power over the country. Throughout Sri Lankan history, the tooth relic has moved from Kingdom to Kingdom, coming to a final rest here in Kandy, the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka.
Lotus flowers fill the temple as drummers perform while the chamber is opened for short periods to allow visitors provide their offerings to the temple monks. Our guide explains the significance of each area of the temple, strategically sneaking away from the crowds to point out hidden secrets of this majestic temple complex. Surrounding the temple are the remains of the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka, with the audience halls now filled with visitors exploring the UNESCO heritage site. Although tour buses fill the neighboring streets, the complex retains its authentic charms as tourists are generally outnumbered by locals coming for worship.
The remainder of today is in the hands of each guest with our Adventure for Anyone travel philosophy providing plenty of time for you to sample one of the many attractions in the Kandy area. Our guide can assist you in planning a day that suits your interests and energy levels. If you’re looking to explore the streets of Kandy you can easily take a leisurely stroll around the lake that forms the centerpiece of Kandy or simply hire a boat ride around the lake if your legs need some respite.
The last Kingdom of Kandy fell to the British who’s desire for the finest tea is evident all around the hillsides surrounding Kandy. A visit to Sri Lanka is not complete without experiencing the tea culture of this island nation. In the hills above Kandy lies a lovely tea factory which has been converted into an informative museum where you can learn more about the history of tea in the region while sampling a cup of local tea.
To experience the flora of Sri Lanka head no further than Udawattekele forest which lies a short walk (or shorter drive) up the hill overlooking Kandy and the temple o the tooth. The park aims to highlight the biodiversity in the region however the city viewpoint at the top of the hill provides lovely photo opportunities across Kandy. For those looking for gardens of a more manicured style, the botanical gardens about 5km outside of the centre of Kandy provide over 4000 species of plant and a stunning collection of orchids. Having lunch on the side of the central lawns at the gardens café is a nice way to relax after a morning of sightseeing.
Whichever way you define your adventure, our guide will be there to assist and provide you with advice on the best way to experience the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka in Kandy. Each evening a cultural show plays at various theatres in the city with traditional dancing which many guests decide to take as an optional way to spend your evening.
DAILY TOUR INCLUSIONS
- Our tour director will escort the group during all group experiences.
- Admission to the Relic of the Tooth Complex.
- Admission Heritage Tea Museum
- Admission to Botanical Gardens
- Overnight accommodation in Kandy as per tour program.
Departure dates to tour Kandy
- This tour departs on selected Saturdays in 2017.
- For full program schedule: Discover Sri Lanka