18 Things to Do in Kandy
Kandy is the last kingdom of Sri Lankan history until the British colonial rule the Island. Kandy is well protected naturally throughout the history. Temple of Tooth (Dalada Maligawa) is one of the most worship place in the Buddhist world.
Most of Tourists add kandy to their tour plan because of its culture, wildlife, environment, location etc… Kandy is located in upcountry which is coolest, prettiest place in the Island of Sri Lanka.
If you are a relic hunter and history buff, then read Historical Relations of the Island Ceylon which is written by a British sailor, Robert Knox. Furthermore, you can find brief article ” Kandy as seen by Robert Knox (1660-1680) ” to learn more about Kandy and its people.
Here are top 18 things that you should do in Kandy visit.
01. Temple of Tooth Relic Visit
The main place to visit in Kandy is Temple of sacred Tooth relic (Dalada Maligawa). Hundreds of thousands visitors come to visit this temple in every year from all over the world including locals. Dalaa Maligawa is a beautiful and a very calming place, everyone must visit.
Its architecture is magnificent itself. And paintings drawn inside the temple also have a great value. Furthermore, everything around Kandy city is bonded with this sacred temple in some way. Because everyone respects this sacred temple.
Entrance Fee: $20.
Visit: 3-4 hours (Recommended)
02. Esala Perahera Procession
Esala Perahera Procession is one of the biggest pageant in South Asia. This procession is known as Dalada Perahera mostly in Sri Lanka which is held in July August months for 10 days continuously.
Esala perahera procession is filled with beautiful events, because giant elephants (Tuskers), fireball dancers, thousands of Drummers, thousands of magical dancers can be seen in this pageant. Thousands of devotees, spectators and foreigners come to see this pageant in every year.
Entrance Fee: In 2017 perahera is held from 29th July to 8th August and you can book seats through us
Visit: 3-4 hours (Recommended)
03. Visit Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya
Royal botanical garden is located around 5.0 km away from Kandy city in Peradeniya. This garden is spreader on an area of 147 acres bounding to river Mahaweli. Garden includes around 4000 species of plants, orchids, medical plants, spices and palm trees.
This delightful garden is located in a height of 460 m above MSL (Mean Sea Level). Approximately 2 million people (Locals and Foreigners) visit here annually.
Entrance Fee: $ 20.
Visit: 03 – 04 hours
04. Gem Museum
There are many different kind of gem stones occur in Sri Lanka. Some stones are very rare and precious; some are only occurring in Sri Lanka. Among the all kind of gem stones Sapphires and Rubies which are very rare can be found in this golden soil. Moreover, these sapphires have different colors blue, Orange, Green, Yellow Pink etc. Blue sapphires are the rarest and most valuable, medium cornflower blue and darker royal blue have the best demand among sapphires.
Kandy is the best place to buy gems and jewelries. Kandy is a center of gem industry and you can find many gem museums in this magical city. In every gem museum you are given a full presentation about gems, how they are found, how valuable they are etc. Because these hundreds of wholesale shops in the city, you can find your choice for low price.
05. Watch Cultural Show
You would love to watch local native cultural show and dance while your Kandy visit. We recommend you to add this to your tour plan. You will see their live performance at the live stage. It will be a great refreshment your mind soul.
There are few places that the cultural show held in daily basis. If you travel with us, we guarantee you to bring to the right place that you can get best experience.
Entrance Fee: $3-5
Visit : 01 Hour.
06. Elephant Orphanage Pinnawala
If someone asks where is the largest elephant flock in human custody…? answer is Pinnawala in Sri Lanka. Pinnawala is a beautiful Village, around 1 hour away from Kandy. This is an orphanage for baby elephants and diseased elephants.
According to last statistics there are 40 males and 49 females living in this orphanage. After entering the orphanage, you can see the way of elephant’s bath in river, how the baby elephants are fed etc. Specially you can feed elephants yourself, but only here because every elephant is tamed.
Nilanthi Tilakarathna and Charles Santiapillai have done the complete research “The status of domesticated elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage”.
FYI: Ticket Fee is $20.
07. Visit Lankathilake Temple
Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural country and main ethnic groups are Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Malay. Mainly Sri Lankan culture has been created with the mix of Sinhala and Tamil. Lankathilaka temple is a great example for that. Lankathilaka temple is located around 14 km away from Kandy
on Colombo road.
Here we can see two statues from Buddhist’s and Tamil’s. Lord Buddha’s statue has created facing to east side and on the opposite side Hindu god’s statue facing the same side. Stone letters discovered from temple premises witnesses that this temple has a past around 700 Years. Ceiling and inside the walls of Lankathilaka temple are filled with very old paintings. Stone letters have revealed these paintings has been drawn in Kingdom of Yapahuwa by King 4th Buwanekabahu (11th century A.D.).
Fees: Free of charge
08. Ambakke Temple
Embekke temple is fully made out of woods and dating from 14th century. This temple also has been made by the same king who made Lankathilaka. Embekke is special because there are many columns supported to the roof and the four sides of these all columns have different artworks comparing other columns. Moreover, Its wooden designs (Katayam) is very popular within relic hunters.
It takes only half an hour to get here and 2 hour to visit the temple. If someone interested in ancient artworks and their technology Ambakke is a place that you must visit.
FYI: There are no fees
09. Gadaladeniya Temple
Gadaladeniya is located 5-minute drive from Lankathilaka temple. Lankathilaka, Ambakke and Gadaladeniya are inter connected by the culture. These temples have been made to improve the companionship between two ethnic groups (Sinhalese and Tamils).
King of Kandy believed that if there is a place for both groups to worship together, it will help to their inter relationship.
FYI: Price will be free
10. Ambuluwawa Bio-diversity Complex
Ambuluwawa bio diversity complex is a beautiful place more than a religious temple. You have to climb to the top of the mountain to reach the Govijana Saya. This is the only Dagobah (Ambuluwawa Tower) that you can climb up to the top. There you can see outspread valleys and clouds flying across the valley in a bit cool weather.
You can see spice garden, flower gardens, tanks, small lakes, gem museums and lot more. It is an ideal to walk to the top rather than driving to the peak.
You can arrive to Ambuluwawa around 30 minutes from Kandy.
FYI: Small fee will be charge at the entrance.
11. International Buddhist Museum
International Buddhist Museum is the only museum which demonstrates the expanding of Buddhism all around the world. You can learn many things related to Buddhism and its culture.
Just 5 minutes’ walk from the Temple of Tooth and you can get here. There you can get a simple image about world Buddhism. Moreover, you can watch presentations about Buddhism. This will be a great opportunity for you on visit in Sri Lanka.
12. Spices Garden - Matale
Spices can be used to enhance fragrance, taste and color of food. Moreover, all spices have health benefits too. Sri Lanka is a main exporter of spices and the main exporter of cinnamon. The purest cinnamon is produced in this soil, world knows that.
In Kandy to Jaffna highway, 40 minutes drive from Kandy, spices gardens have been located. Because the soil of that area is suitable for spices. If you go, there you are given a full lecture about spices and you can have it in any language because they have guides for any language.
13. Shopping in Kandy - Silks and Batiks
Many wholesale shops are available in Kandy for silks and batiks. Prices of silks are bit expensive but quality is way more better. Batik creations are totally handmade and some paintings take around 3 months to finish.
If you want to keep something memorable on your visit Sri Lanka, this is the ideal purchase for you. Don’t remember to bargain if you are travelling with a limited budget.
14. British Garrison Cemetery
This cemetery was for British nationals died in Ceylon. This was made in 1817 after capturing Kandy and closed in 1873 because of a ban not to bury bodies in municipal area. This cemetery is consist of 195 graves of men, women and children.
If you are from England, It is time to find out your ancestors grave here.
15. Watching Monkeys
Watching monkeys is a pleasant thing. It makes our mind free and happy. Monkeys are the owners of streets. But there is no harm because they are living with the people from long time.
Have you ever heard the Disney movie called “Monkey Kingdom” ? This movie has been shot in Sri Lanka. Watch the trailer of the movie and see how beautiful it is.
16. Walk around Kandy Lake
Kandy lake is a man-made lake in 1807 in the ruling time of King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha. Kandy lake is a nice place to spend time leisurely. Walking around the lake gives a good exercise for lungs and pure oxygen. Swimming and flying pelicans are the owners of the lake.
As fishing is prohibited in this lake, you would see huge number of fish at one time.
17. Ayurveda Medicinal Spa
Kandy is the one of best places to have a medicinal ayurvedic spa. There are bunch of spots that are not suitable for you. When you travel with us, we always give you best place and recommendation. That being said, we must tell you that we don’t partnered or earn commission from these services. We strictly follow these rule to give you better service.
Ayurveda spa is best treatment to relax your body and mind. It will help you to improve your immune system and to clear your mind & soul.
18. Hiking and Camping at Knuckles Mountain
Knuckles mountain range is located in the middle of Sri Lanka in Matale. This mountain range can be seen from Kandy as knuckles of a hand, that’s why it has got that name. This mountain range was named by British surveyors.
Anyway, this is a paradise for nature lovers and climbers. Here you have many tracks to choose from 7 km to 30 km with an experienced tracker. If you are willing to camp in this forest you can have that experience too. They know the best and safety places to camp in the forest and you can experience the real camping. In camp you have all facilities like in a star hotel. Our camping guides are always ready to help you.
There are so many mountains if you want more hikes such as bahirawa kanda, Hanthana and many more. If you are more interest with hikes and camping, let us know asap. We are committed to give you best in details.
Note: We do not have any affiliation with any of these service providers or any outbound link that we referred. So we are committed to give you 100% transparent list of things to do and proper details. Please do not hesitate to comment below your feedback or tell us anytime. So we can improve the list more accurate passionate to your interest.
We tried to give an excellent help to improve your travel in Sri Lanka. We just need to get a better experience for all nomads and tourists who visit Sri Lanka. As we can see that there is a lack of online resources to refer, we decided to give you honest review here.
When we refer some blogs and website, we noticed that some of the bloggers are misleading just because of their bad experience or lack of resources they found online. It is important to plan your trip plan before your departure. Otherwise, you will get bad or good experience though. But the reasons for those bad experiences were only because they didn’t know what to do? And where to go?
So we decided to give you the better understanding about things to do in Kandy as it is one of the main places in the Sri Lanka. Follow-up our ultimate tour guide to get more informative yourself. Please send us your suggestions to improve the article.