Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – An Experience Worth Relishing
This one's considered amongst the best places to visit in Kandy for those who are fascinated by the wildlife! Plan a day out with wild Asian elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This is a -popular breeding ground of 90 plus elephants who stay in their natural habitat. Watch these adorable elephants bathe, play around, and feed them fruits. Tourists can see them when they take a tour around the orphanage to see the majestic animals. If you are in Kandy visiting places, then this spot is perfect if you want to have a small picnic along with your friends or family.
Pinnawala is the place where abandoned elephants are raised. Not only orphans but also elephants who are seriously injured or those who get aloof from their group are given proper shelter & care at the orphanage. The place is situated in the Pinnawala village present in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. The orphanage was started in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation. The place has evolved into an amazing tourist destination in recent years. The elephants are kept quite well and you may definitely see that while at this place. The orphanage also accepts elephants that are donated to them and they bring them back to their health. The elephants have mahouts for them who give them baths and proper food on a timely basis. If you’re looking for natural bathing places in Kandy, then this is it!
2. Temple of Tooth Relic – For Spiritual Enlightenment
Considered as one of the most important temples of Buddhists in Sri Lanka, the Temple of Tooth Relic is located to the north of Kandy Lake and is one of the most remarkable places to visit in Kandy Sri Lanka. The sacred tooth of Lord Buddha enshrined in the temple makes it one of the popular Kandy tourist places. The room housing the tooth is open to devotees to offer their prayers. However, nobody gets to see the tooth because it is kept in a golden casket inside a stupa-like structure. The temple is housed in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy. One of the best places to see in Kandy, this temple is of great importance due to the belief of the country on the tooth. The temple has rituals thrice a day. The temple was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site 1988. The temple still stands strong even after facing attacks twice.
Along with the outside, tourists need to visit the inside of the temple to actually appreciate the architecture. There are holes in the walls which contain lamps lit using coconut oil. Tourists need to pay the entry fees and they should visit between 5:30 AM and 8:00 PM.
3. Kandy Lake – Best Place to Stroll Around
Adjoining most of the popular tourist places in Kandy and eateries with lake view, the Kandy Lake is certainly among the best places to visit in Kandy, Sri Lanka. An ideal place to spend hours during your lazy vacation, the lake offers stunning nature views around it and is a perfect romantic sojourn for a romantic couple visiting the place. The lake, existing since 1807, has a flurry of idyllic places and historical structures around.
The lake is also known as the Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk and is an artificial lake. Being in the heart of the city and beside some of the famous attractions of Kandy, it is a popular tourist site. There is also an island in the middle of the lake. Around the lake is built the Wakulla Bamma or the Clouds Wall which increases the beauty of it. If you are in Kandy visiting places, tourists can also see the Ulpan or Queens Bathing Pavilion which is a party in the Kandy Lake.
4. Hulu River Waterfall – A Sight to Behold
30 km from Kandy into the quiet town of Dumbara lies Huluganga Falls on the Hulu River. The river originating from the scenic Knuckles Mountain Range is the perfect escape to leave the onlookers awed. The 75-meter-high waterfall, located in the Dumbara town, is a-true beauty enclosed by nature allure. And it’s no wonder that-Hulu is considered as one of the popular Kandy places to visit! The Huluganga falls still maintains its pristine condition because of its natural setting. When visiting places in Kandy, make sure you add this one to your itinerary. Tourists will definitely enjoy the numerous rocks present in the bed of the waterfall. If they are feeling adventurous, they can click pictures sitting on them. When looking for places to visit near Kandy, then don’t forget to stop by this majestic waterfall.
5. Knuckles Mountain Range – Hiking and More
This is one of the top places to visit in Kandy Resembling the shape of a knuckle of a clenched fist from the top, the Knuckles Mountain Range is probably one of the most scenic Kandy tourist attractions. The mountain Range in the region towards the northern end of Sri Lankan highlands (39 km from Kandy) is the place to be. Perfect place to try your hands-on adventure traveling and camping, the Knuckles Mountain Range spans from Matale to Kandy and is a treat for the nature lovers. Look around and embrace the wilderness brought to you by sprawling grasslands, jagged peaks, torrents of streams, and gushing waterfalls. Enjoy the series of painted canvas around.
The best view of the range is the thick clouds that gather in the higher Montane area. Hiking is considered to be one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka. Adventurous tourists can try their hands at hiking to visit the cloud forests which house a lot of the flora and fauna of the place. They are mostly unique to the place and you cannot find them in the rest of the island country. If you want to reach the highest point of the terrain, then you need to climb 1863 m above the sea level.
Another key wildlife attraction of the place are lizards which include the unique Crestless lizard, Kangaroo lizard, and Pygmy lizard. People who want to enjoy serious trekking may take part in the 3-day guided trekking tour which lasts for more than 40 KM and takes them through some of the main areas. This mountain range is undoubtedly considered to be one of the best places to visit in Kandy
The great biodiversity of the Knuckles brings you wild boar, spotted deer, giant squirrel, barking deer, purple-faced leaf monkey, and mongoose.
6. Bahirawakanda Temple – For Spiritual Seekers
Just 1 km away from the Kandy city, the Bahirawakanda Temple is a major attraction and a distinct structure. The place is a popular attraction for Buddhists and there are quite a few international Buddhist relations meetings that are carried out here. This makes it one of the popular things to see in Kandy. The magnificent structure is huge and can be spotted from anywhere in the city. The place is also an important monastery where many Buddhist events do take place. The statue was started in 1972 and ended in 1993. You can take the steps to reach the top of the hill or you can take a tuk-tuk ride is all it takes to get to the temple premises. If you are traveling places in Kandy, don't miss this architectural wonder when you are in the city. People may actually see the Buddha statue from all around the city but it is a sight to visit it to see the beauty in an up-close-and-personal way. It takes about 200 LKR to visit the statue. If you are visiting Kandy in August, make sure you add it to your itinerary.
7. Ranweli Spice Garden – Natural Surprises
Enough of talks about spotting wildlife in their natural habitat! Time to spot greenery and exquisite plant varieties in their natural habitat. This Kandy tourist attraction is located in the close proximity of Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden. Turmeric, Peppercorns, Cloves, Cardamom, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoa, and Aloe Vera are the main plantations that are the-highlights of this place. Visiting this place is one of the best things to do in Kandy for couples.
Learn about plantations, spices, natural products, and various techniques involved while cultivating it. Ranweli Spice Garden is the perfect escape from the hustle of the city life. Vibrant history and lots of surprises await you at the Spice Garden.
8. Royal Botanical Garden – A Colorful Affair
This place is counted as one of the best Kandy attractions. Spanning over 60 hectares, the Royal Botanical Garden is largest and one of the best places to visit in Kandy with a-hidden charm to explore. Situated in Peradeniya, the place is quite close to the Mahaweli River. Along with the most striking orchids, you can find more than 4000 species of plants in this Botanical Garden. You should definitely visit the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka which is attached to this Royal Botanical Garden. Tourists may tour the whole 147 acres of the garden to spend their day. The garden isnt something new as it was created in 1821 when it contained mostly coffee and cinnamon plants. Do check out the Cannonball Tree present in this garden which King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary planted in 1901.
The garden is also an ideal place to plan a picnic with family and friends. However, romantic couples can be mostly seen hanging around the garden area. The cab drivers in Kandy mostly offer to cover Botanical Garden along with Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage or the Kandy temple to make it a Kandy sightseeing tour. The Park remains open from 7:30 AM to 5 PM. You can consider this as one of the amazing places to visit in Kandy for couples.
9. Udawattekele Sanctuary – More Than Just Greenery
Located at the hilly terrains of the temple of the tooth relic, this sanctuary served as the retreat for the Kandyan kings in the older times. Later, converted into a sanctuary, it is an important bio reserve of Kandy. The sanctuary is spread over 104 hectares and is primarily known for the different species of birds residing in it. Offering as many as 80 species of birds and animals like mammals and insects, it is one of the visiting places in Kandy. Along with the wildlife, you can also visit the three Buddhist Forest monasteries present at this place. Another attraction is the three Buddhist cave dwellings. Tourists will love the thick forest cover of the area which looks beautiful in the monsoon months. If you are an animal lover and visiting Kandy, you must go here!
10. CommonWealth War Cemetery – Learn the Legendary History
This is one of those tourist places in Kandy that should definitely be a part of your itinerary. This cemetery is maintained by the officers. By maintaining the place, they pay tribute to the braveheart soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Second World War. There are six commonwealth war cemeteries that you must witness during your vacation in Sri Lanka, yet the one in Kandy is notable amongst all because of the praiseworthy scenic beauty.
11. Millennium Elephant Foundation – An Educational Tour
The place is located in Randeniya. This is the only place where tourists can actually ride on the elephant’s back and travel around the place, they are allowed to interact with them.The educational tour conducted by the organization is rendered helpful and amusing for the tourists as they can witness right in front of them the activities of the animal.
This Foundation is established in the estate named Samragyi inherited by the Samarasinghe family.
12. Horton Plains National Park Ohiya – Witness the Wildlife
If you want to witness the most majestic wildlife of Sri Lanka, this is the place for you! This national park is a treat to travellers fond of mystical beauty of nature. The valley shadowed by the two mountains Kirigalpotta and Totapola; Sri Lanka’s second and third largest mountains. This place is often stated as World’s end because of the surprisingly formed waterfall, mist-filled lakes and the variety of plants and animals found here. The wide variety of flora and fauna makes the place even more special. The ethereal feeling offered by the place becomes prominent, especially in the morning.
13. Ceylon Tea Museum – A Paradise for Tea Lovers
The museum located in Hantane the 1925 vintage tea museum built on four floors where the first two floors consist of vintage tea making equipment, machinery, libraries, museum. To taste the authentic Sri Lankan flavored tea. Visitors can savor a free cup of the tee to relish the flavor. This is one of the most amazing places to see in Kandy.
14. Wales Park – For A Peaceful Walk
The Wales Park or the Royal Park is known for its majestic beauty and the splendid view of the Kandy Lake makes this place very special. For tourists this place is an attraction because of the Beauty and the enjoyment people can indulge in under the lap of Nature. This Park is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Kandy
15. Riverton Gap – Trekking and More
When looking for Kandy tourist places that are ideal for nature lovers and adventurers, a trip to the Riverton Gap is a must! This place is located a few kilometers away from the Matale town.It takes a few hours to reach from Kandy. The main attractions of this place include the scenic beauty and trekking. The two spectacular waterfalls present here, Sera Ella and Bambarakiri Ella. To reach the waterfalls one must trek through the marvelous forest and witness the beauty.
16. Highlands – Lose Yourself Amidst Nature
Situated in Nuwara Eliya along with the waterfalls the place consists of the tea gardens. Tea cultivating lands are the major attraction for tourists. It’s a few hours journey from Kandy. Travelers could enjoy the flavored beverage and appreciate the authentic taste. When searching for places to visit from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, then this site can be the best one!
17. Galmaduwa Temple – Witness the Awe-Striking Structure
This is one of the most prominent temples in Sri Lanka. As the Gal Oya development programme commenced nearby Ampara area, the ruined complex of Galmaduwa Temple emerged. It was then that this temple was established again and modernized into Vihara complex. Because of this, you can find various recently constructed buildings here along with some age-old structures like Sandakada Pahana, Chatra stones, Korawakgala, and some giant pillars. This temple is lying on the road that connects Hingurana and Ampara.
18. Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Vihara – For History Lovers
This too is an ancient temple in Kandy known for its glorious historical significance. This temple has been established amidst lush-green natural setting. This temple is considered to be one of largest and beautiful temples of Sri Lanka. Theres a trail running through the temple that takes you to the forest. This temple has been established on the theme of Buddhas life and there are various significant scenarios of his life that have been presented in the forest.
19. Pallekele Cricket Stadium – A Must Visit for Sports Fan
This stadium is considered to be one of the most famous places in kandy. It is also known by the name Muttiah Muralitharan International Cricket Stadium since July 2010 when the Central Provincial Council of Kandy declared the plan of naming it after the amazing cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan. However, the name hasnt yet been officially sanctioned. This stadium was built along Hambantota International Cricket Stadium for the 2011 World Cup. It was inaugurated on November 27th, 2009 and even became 104th Test Venue of the world. For all the cricket lovers out there, this will definitely be one of the best places to visit in Kandy city.
20. Giragama Tea Plantations – Absorb the Calm
Tea plantations are the common things about Sri Lanka. Kandy is no less when it comes to tea plantations and one of the best places to visit in Kandy is Giragama tea plantations. Giragaram is a pretty little town in Kandy that is known for its tea plantations. It offers the much-needed peace and tranquility along with picturesque views that will leave your soul stirred. There are estates wherein you can walk and soak the views. Keep this in your list of places to see in Kandy for a refreshing experience as this place is one of the best visiting places in Kandy. This is also one of the best things to do in Kandy.
Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka and lies in the midst of hills. It is the Capital of the Central Province. It is both an administrative and religious city. Kandy is the second largest city in the country and is frequently visited by Buddhists especially of the Theravada School.
Kandy is very famous among tourist for three main reasons: It is home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic; Dalada Maligawa), The Botanical Gardens (Located in Peradeniya) and it always has a special place when it comes to festivities such as the Esala Perahara.
Kandy is a beautiful hill town at the heart of Sri Lanka. It is accessible from all Sri Lankan cities via excellent roadways and is also connected to Colombo via rail. The most common way to reach Kandy is to travel to Colombo by air and then choose either road or rail depending on your comfort. Traveling within the city is no hassle either, there are many taxis and tuk-tuks scouting the city throughout the day.
The airport is about 150 kilometres away from Kandy and takes about 4 hours by road to reach.
By Rail: The Inter-City Express is a cheap and fast way to travel to Kandy. The city has three trains coming in from Badula and two from Colombo. The trains have observational saloons and second-class compartments that require prior booking. The third-class compartments run unreserved. The train passes through beautiful green hills and villages making the journey ever more exciting.
By Road: There are a number of air-conditioned intercity buses and other public and private buses that travel from Colombo to Kandy on a daily basis. Many buses, in fact, have a stop at the international airport. People often hire taxis, as they are easily available and are a safe way to travel even though this can be quite expensive. If you are going as a big group, then there are mini vans that can take you to Kandy comfortably. The journey should take about three and a half hours altogether.
The city of Kandy is not a very large one, so one of the best ways to experience it is by walking or renting a scooty. However, the most popular way of getting around is by tuk tuk taxis. They are fast and cheap and travel to the outskirts of the city as well. You will find some public and private buses within the city limits. There is a bus stand right at the city railway station which will be useful for people arriving by train.
The Sacred City of Kandy is situated in the mountainous interior of Sri Lanka. At such an elevation the temperature usually becomes much more tolerable than other parts of the country. The city is surrounded by tropical rain-forests that also mellow down the temperature. As such, Kandy's weather is luke-warm and the average temperature lies between 23 to 25 degrees centigrade, so the major seasonal change comes with the arrival of monsoon winds. Sri Lanka experiences two monsoon seasons, the Yala Monsoon Season which comes first, lasts longer and is not as heavy as the Maha Monsoon Season. A dry season follows monsoon and is easily the best time to visit Kandy.
The Dry Season (January to April)
The Dry Season is characterized by scanty rainfall and most importantly low humidity. This combination makes it a perfect time to visit the island and enjoy every aspect of it, like trekking, sight-seeing and exploring the city. The temperature can go as low as 18 degrees centigrade to as high as 30 degrees centigrade during the season. But thanks to its height above the sea, it is far more comfortable than the rest of the island.
The Yala Monsoon Season (May to September)
The months of May, August and September see much shorter and lesser rain than the other months in the season. The months of June and July experience long showers and torrential rain making it very hard to do activities like trekking and sightseeing. However, this doesn’t have to stop you from coming here especially if you want to enrol at a meditation centre or explore the cultural aspects of the city. In fact, with tourist traffic out of your way and the romantic monsoon clouds hanging over the city, this may be the perfect time to do so.
The Maha Monsoon Season (October to December)
As the name suggests, the maha (meaning great or large) monsoon season brings with it the most amount of rainfall. This is perhaps the most severe of all seasons and is the most avoided time of the year. Not only is the climate humid, but the instability of the weather makes it difficult to plan anything and can make your trip difficult to organize.
Kandy is an old city in the island of Sri Lanka that is immersed in Buddhist culture. This makes Kandy an important pilgrimage site and a mystical land brimming with stories and legends. Thanks to the tropical forest that surrounds the city and the many parks within, Kandy has a close relationship with nature. There is no better way to soothe the nerves than to spend a few days here, in the cultural capital of the country. Read on to find a list of things to do in Kandy.
Situated in the green interiors of Sri Lanka, Kandy has a number of spots that are truly unique to the area. Udawattakele Forest Reserve is a large area of woodland hanging above the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The forest is especially known among bird watchers for the indigenous birds found here. Then, a little away from the city of Kandy is the vast range of the Knuckle Mountains. The range is covered by lush green forests and has some exciting nature trails. Within the city there is the lesser visited Dunumadalawa Forest Reserve which is at the end of the Hanthana range. This range also has some very beautiful hike-able routes.
Kandy is at the centre of many of the historic movements that took place in Sri Lanka. This is why a visit to historic monuments and other cultural sites will prove to be an interesting trip. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth relic always tops the list, with its captivating legends and its stunning architecture and rituals. You can also visit a number of Buddhist temples when you are here, including Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara cave temple and Alut Maligawa.
Kandy also has a large number of museums among which the National Museum and the Ceylon Tea Museum are the most popular. The Loolkandura Estate is the first tea plantation site in Kandy, a tour of the fragrant tea factory here will be both delightful and informative.
Knuckle Mountains have many trekking routes and you will easily find guides to help with treks. There are treks that last from a day to about 3 days. The best part of the trek is the number of wild animals and birds that can be spotted here. The camp sites are located at picturesque hillsides, either overlooking rivers, or valleys. Within the city, a really great trek is up the Secret Walkers Forest. The scene here is incomparable, but make sure you get the municipal council’s permission first. Hanthana Mountain range from the city also has a few routes that should be ideal for a one-day trek.
Meditation and Yoga
Being the spiritual capital of the country and a popular pilgrimage destination among Buddhists, it is no surprise that Kandy has some of the best meditation centres around. Institutions like Dhamma Kuta Vipassana Meditation Centre and Nilambe Meditation Centre offer yoga and meditation courses that usually last about ten days. They are located amidst tranquil environments that inspire spirituality.
The Kandy Esala Perahera is the most important festival celebrated here. They celebrate the Sacred Tooth of Buddha by a series of colourful processions, dances and songs. One of the major attractions of the festival is the Kandyan Dance. The dance is a special art form specific to this region and features percussion, narration of folklore and elaborate costumes, the most noticeable of which is the headdress. The procession is led by an elephant carrying a casket, within which the relic is usually kept.
Being the second largest city in Sri Lanka, Kandy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Vibrant markets and bustling cityscapes are what make Kandy such a beautiful city. Not just backpackers and solo travelers, but families are also pretty fond of making a stop here during their Sri Lanka tour. It’s a great place to enjoy some shopping along with the natural beauty. The family hotels in Kandy are a great choice of stay as they have facilities for both kids and adults. One is sure to have an enjoyable time at these exquisite properties.
There are plenty of Kandy family hotels for one to choose from based on their budget and space preferences. Both luxury and budget properties are dotted all around the city welcoming travelers to enjoy a warm and homely stay. Romance Hills Hotel, Mintaas Hotel, and Kandy water are some of the more affordable options while Earl’s Regency Hotel, The Golden Crown Hotel and Amaya Hills Kandy are some of the premium properties. There is no denying that no matter what family hotel one opts for, one will not be disappointed but the unparalleled Kandy hospitality.
The food in Kandy, as it is in all other parts of Sri Lanka, is heavily influenced by its neighbors in South India and South-East of Asia and has also incorporated continental tastes from the colonial times. Along with a delicious variety of sea food and tropical fruits, you will not find it difficult to find food that you love in Kandy. While the staple food of the country, rice and curry is easily available, don't underestimate it for being mundane. Among the more popular street food is hoppers, a sort of fermented bread that is often flavored with sweet or spicy ingredients. The main street of Kandy is lined with food stalls where you can find a variety of such things. Kottu is another popular dish which has shredded bread fried usually with egg or cheese.
Are you looking for one of the best places to eat in Kandy on a romantic evening- You should head to the famous Kandy House? Once the villa of the last Chief Minister of Kandyan Kingdom, the building was converted into a sophisticated designer boutique hotel and restaurant years later. It has a charming garden and a lovely view of the paddy fields. For a romantic dinner, Kandy House restaurant is the perfect spot, especially if you pick the verandah that glows with lights, and lanterns.
Must Try: Beef massaman curry with basmati rice and broccoli, and poached fillet of para fish with jasmine rice
Cuisine: A creative mix of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and European fusion
Location: Amunugama, Gunnepana, Kandy
Kandyan King Seafood Restaurant
Want to try the seafood in Kandy- There is no better place than Kandyan King Seafood Restaurant. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the restaurant serves some of the most delicious seafood in the whole country. The best part about this eatery is that it is affordable and offers high-quality food at superb prices. Also, it is close to attractions like World Buddhist Museum, Royal Palace of Kandy, Udawattekele Sanctuary, and Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic.
Must Try: Fish and chips, and seafood
Cuisine: Sri Lankan, Asian, and Chinese
Location: 136, DS Senanayake Street, Kandy
When it comes to Indian restaurants in Kandy, there is no place quite like Balaji Dosai. This is a simple, no-frills eatery that serves some of the most delicious Indian dishes in the city. It is affordable and has a welcoming, helpful staff, so service is always great. If you have a liking for authentic Indian food and are searching for amazing Indian vegetarian restaurants in Kandy, Balaji Dosai is the place to be.
Must Try: Paper dosa, cheese dosa, and Ulundu vadai
Cuisine: Indian, and Asian
Location: No. 09 Peradeniya Road, 09 D.S. Senanayake Veediya, Kandy
If you follow the latest guidelines regarding Covid, pay heed to all the measures and take the listed precautions. But before all that, make sure your vaccination for Covid-19 is done, it is only then the chances of your safety will be more. Having said that, your safety is always in your hands.
There are numerous places to visit in Kandy on a single day trip. Some of the places to visit in Kandy in one day are Temple of the Tooth Relic, Royal Botanical Garden, Kandy Lake and more.
The city is known for being the last capital of the ancient Sri Lankan era of Kings. It is the religious as well as administrative city of Sri Lanka. It is famous for the Tooth Relic, which is considered to be one of the holiest places in Buddhism.
Yes, Kandy is worth visiting. Not only is it Sri Lanka’s second-largest city, it is also a great place for shopping for local spices and souvenirs. You can also visit the famous tea plantations and go to the beach while you’re here.
There are a range of things you can do in Kandy, like embark on a peaceful retreat to Ashburnham Estate, visit the famous Dambulla Cave Temple, and meditate at Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Centre, among other things.