Kandy is situated in the hill country region, about 120 km. away from Colombo capital. It can be reached by motor vehicles,train. about 3 1/2 hr. direct travel. The city is surrounded by mountain scenic ranges such as Knuckles, Dumbara and, Kadugannawa and Balana. The longest river of […]
Kandy is situated in the hill country region, about 120 km. away from Colombo capital.
It can be reached by motor vehicles,train. about 3 1/2 hr. direct travel.
The city is surrounded by mountain scenic ranges such as Knuckles, Dumbara and, Kadugannawa and Balana.
The longest river of the country Mahaveli River flows like a loop around the city.
Historically, it has been protected by this geographical features and one must encounter a pass to enter the city.
The temperature is cooler than Colombo and it ranges from 24- 29 degrees C. throughout the year. The elevation above the mean sea level is 1500 feet or 465 meters.
The last capital of Sinhala kings, Kandy is remarkable for the natural beauty of its setting in a peaceful natural surrounding with an artificial lake.
A British Governor has said,that “Kandy is the most beautiful city in the most beautiful country in the world”.Temples and shrines of all four main faiths of he country, palaces and the British period buildings give it a special character, while the religious importance of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the annual procession or the Dalada Perehera contributes a dynamism and unique cultural importance to the historic hill capital.
Kandy is supposed to be the second capital city of Sri Lanka after Colombo.
Kandy city has been declared by UNESCO as a Living World Heritage Site.
Thirty two buildings (32) in the city have been identified as heritage buildings and UNESCO symbol has been demonstrated on the wall of those buildings .
Historical Back ground
The present history of Kandy dates back to the 15th Century when the rural king Senasammata Vikramabahu(1469 – 1511 AD)15th AD
made the capital named as Senkadagala. It served as a regional capital and a centre for religious activities especially for Hindus and Buddhists.
King Wimaladharmasuriya made it the capital city of the country in Kandy is considered as a city, which preserves countries’ customs and traditions.
There are still traditional families and also villages, which engage in age -old Kandiyan arts and crafts.
Kandiyan dance, Silver, brass, copper embossed ornaments and jewelry, woodcarvings,
Dumbara mats are very popular among the tourists. There are several gem and jewelry shops
History of the sacred Tooth relic
The Sacred Tooth Relic is the most venerated object not only to the Sri Lankans but also to the whole Buddhist world.
According to the chronicles (History books) the Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka by a young couple, princess Hemamala and prince Danta from Kalinga, present Orissa in India.
The father king of the princess wanted to send the relic to Sri Lanka, where the Buddhism was flourished and a safe place for the Sacred Tooth because, his kingdom was besieged by invaders. The tooth relic was brought to SL, when the King Sri Megawanna (334-362) 4 AD was ruling the country from Anuradhapura in the 4th Century AD.
The king built a Sacred tooth Relic Temple in the city of Anuradhapura.
Since then the Tooth Relic has been regarded as a Palladian of the royalty and whoever at the throne should posses the relic. Which means nobody could be a king without possessing the Sacred Tooth. The kings jealously guarded and the relic temples were built close to the palace.
The Temples of the sacred tooth relic in the country.
The tooth relic was so important that the king did not want to lose at any cost. Therefore kings took the relic with them, whenever they changed the kingdoms and capitals.
Therefore the temples of the Tooth relic too traveled along with the kingdoms.
The king used to build the Tooth relic temple adjoining the royal palace.
Accordingly, we can see temples of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Anuradapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Kurunegala, Yapahuwa and Kotte.
As a tradition, all Tooth Relic temples were two storied buildings and the Tooth Relic casket was placed in the second floor.
Sometimes the Tooth was hidden in various places to protect it from the invaders.
Tourist attractions around Kandy
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy
The first temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy was built by the King WimaladharmasuriyaI in 16th Century AD..
The present inner sanctum was the original building with several restorations.
It was built with wattle and daub.
It has two stories and the Tooth Relic is kept in the golden casket, which is placed in the inner sanctum of the second floor.
Drummers’ hall and the octagon were added later.
The Main features of the temple
Outside the Temple
In front of the Temple
On the left side is the Vishnu Devala
Esala Festival – Kandy Perahera
Dalada Perahera (The Pageant)
The Dalada Perahera,- the procession to honour the sacred tooth relic, was held in Sri Lanka for the first time in Anuradhapura.
It was started In Kandy in 1748 during the reign of Keerthi Sri Rajasinha. Earlier, only the four Devala perahera were held.
The present Perehera is consisted with the following Peraheras:
The Dalada Perahera is held during the month of Asala (July/ August. In the ancient history, Asala festival was originated as a ritual of worshipping rain godParjanya. The perahera parades 10 days in and around the respective temples and on the streets of the city in the night. The last two days; the grandeur of the festival with 60 to70 caparisoned elephants, thousands of drummers and dancers, traditional torch bearers, flag bearers and temple officials with the chieftains of Sacred Tooth Relic temple and four Devalas with their traditional costumes is presented to the thousands of people,who gather along the streets to witness it.
The Perahera casket is placed on the back of the chief elephant in the temple.
Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya
This was a pleasure gardens for the Kandiyan kings.
When Sri Lanka became a colony of the British, the gardens was developed as a agricultural research centre.
Accordingly, Cinchona, and tea plants were planted for the first time for research purposes. The extent of the gardens is 64 Hectares and it exhibits more than 4000 species of flowering plants.
Today Great lawn, Palm section, Double Coconut Avenue, Royal Palm avenue, Palmyrah avenue, Talipot Palm avenue, Medicinal plants, Spice gardens and the Orchid House are popular sections of the gardens.
University Campus at Peradeniya
The university is located on the Peradeniya – Galaha Road. This has been established in 1942 and regards as the oldest and picturesque university in the country.
All the disciplines from Humanity, arts, science, engineering, Medical science,computer science and IT are taught here. Majority of students enjoy the residence facilities
Getambe Totupola Temple (Ferry)
People who wanted to come to the city they have to cross the river by using ferry in the past.
Famous Gannoruwa battle between Portuguese and Sinhalese took in and around this place.Water cutting ceremony of four Devalas takes place here.
The by passers of this temple used to put a coin to wish for the protection of the journey.
3 Temple Loop
About 16 km. from Kandy.
This was Built by Buwenekabahu IV in 1344.(14th AD)
The chief architect from South India. It is a south Indian style and the Stupa was built in a Watadage (Relic Chamber) style on the raised pillars. This unique style of Stupas found only at this temple. The Buddha statue is a good example of Kandyan tradition
Continue on the same road. The village name is Handessa. Built by the chief minister of Buwenekabahu IV in 1344. (14th AD)
The architect was a South Indian. Originally it was a four storied building and now we can see only ground floor.
It depicts traditional Kandiyan architecture, creation of statues and paintings.The main image house of Buddha is covered with image houses of popular Hindu gods and local deities.
Continue on the same road up to Welamboda. Built in 1371 by King Vikramabahu III, and his queen Henakandabisobandara. Dedicated to the god Kataragama, the temple is famous for its unique wood carvings. The Duummers’ hall was built by wooden pillars and all the pillars are carved with traditional motifs and images.
Bahirawakanda Temple (large Buddha Statue)
Mounton summit above the Kandy town about 2 km visible distance drive or hike, the name “Bahirawa Kanda” means the gnome mountain. There are many beliefs in folklore pertaining to the ancient history of this mountain. Today a Beautiful Temple is build in the top of the mountain with a massive Budda Statue (66 feet high Meditation/ Samadi posture, white color statue built in 1993. When you get to the top you will see the view of Kandy heritage city.
Genuine Lanka Holiday & Tours PVT (LTD)
Gampaha, Sri Lanka.