Kandy

Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

Historical records suggest that Kandy was first established by the Vikramabahu III (1357–1374 CE), who was the monarch of the Kingdom of Gampola, near the Watapuluwa area, north of the present city, and named Senkadagalapura at the time.

It is the second-largest city of the island and the capital of Central Province of modern Sri Lanka. Its geographic location has made it a major transportation hub in the island. While Kandy being the gateway to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, the city can be reached by major motorways in every direction of the island.

Kandy is located in the mountainous and thickly forested interior of the island. The city is located in between multiple mountain ranges including the Knuckles mountain range and the Hanthana Mountain Range, giving the city an elevation of 500 metres (1,600 ft) above sea level. It lies adjacent to the artificial Kandy Lake and south of Udawatta Kele Sanctuary.Today Udawatte Kele is reducing its area.

 

Palace of the Tooth relic

On the north shore of the lake, which is enclosed by a parapet of white stone dating to the beginning of the 19th century, are the city's official religious monuments, including the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth, known as the Dalada Maligawa. Reconstructed in the 18th century, the Dalada Maligawa is built on a base of granite that was inspired by the temples of Sri Lanka's former capital city, Anuradhapura. An array of materials like limestone, marble, sculpted wood, ivory, etc contributed to the richness of this temple. Throughout this small holy city, a number of recent Buddhist monasteries can be found.

The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and The Temple of the Tooth is the place that houses the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Originally part of the Royal Palace complex of the Kandyan Kingdom, it is one of the holiest places of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhist around the world. It was last of a series of temples built in the places where the relic, the actual palladium of the Sinhalese monarchy, was brought following the various relocations of the capital city. The Palace of the Tooth relic, the palace complex and the holy city of Kandy are associated with the history of the dissemination of Buddhism. The temple is the product of the last peregrination of the relic of the tooth of Buddha and the testimony of a religion which continues to be practiced today.

 

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Kandy is the last Royal Palace built in the island. Although only part of the original palace complex remain. The Temple of the Tooth was part of this complex, due to the ancient tradition that stated that the monarch is the protector of the relic though which the ruler of the land. It today houses the National Museum Kandy which holds an extensive collection of artifacts from both the Kandy Kingdom and the British colonial rule.

 

Lankatilaka Temple

The Lankatilaka Temple is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of traditional Sinhalese temple architecture. Built on a rock, the temple is reached by a long series of rock cut steps. An arched passage of the image house leads through a Mandapa (hall) into the inner sanctum which is richly decorated with beautiful floral designs. The two side walls and the ceiling are decorated with paintings. In the inner sanctum is a colossal seated image of the Buddha.

 

Gadaladeniya Temple

The Gadaladeniya Temple's design is of South Indian origin with a Devale attached to it, similar in character to the Natha Devale and the Gedige of Adahana Maluwa. The main shrine room has a seated Buddha statue and the remains of some paintings of the Gampola period. Among other important temples around Kandy are Dodanwala Devalaya (shrine), Embekka Devalaya (shrine), Galmaduwa Viharatemple, Handagala Vihara temple, Medawala Vihara and Nalanda Gedige.

 

Parks and gardens

The Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5 km to the west of the city centre at Peradeniya and is visited by 2 million people per year. It is the largest botanical garden on the island extending to 147 acres and containing over 4000 species of plants. 

Knuckles Mountain Range in Kandy is a world heritage site of UNESCO. Alagalla Mountain Range also named in English as Potato Range both famous for trekking in Sri Lanka. The Udawatta Kele (Udawatta Forest) is a protected sanctuary situated in the heart of the city, just north of Temple of the Tooth. Known as "Uda Wasala Watta" in Sinhalese meaning, "the garden situated above the royal palace" it was designated as a forest reserve in 1856, and it became a sanctuary in 1938.

The Royal Palace Park, known as Wace Park is a small park that overlooks Kandy Lake and most of the city. In the park is a Japanesefield gun which was captured by the British 14th Army in Burma during World War II and presented to the city of Kandy by Lord Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Theatre.

 

Leisure and entertainment

Kandyans do many things for leisure and entertainment in the city. Kandy is very popular due to the annual procession known as the Esala Perahera, in which one of the inner caskets used for covering the tooth relic of Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city. This casket is taken on a royal tusker. The procession includes traditional dancers and drummers, flag bearers of the provinces of the old Kandyan kingdom, the Nilames (lay custodians of temples ) wearing their traditional dresses, torch bearers and also the grandly attired elephant. This ceremony which is annually held in the months of July or August, attracts large crowds from all parts of the country and also many foreign tourists.

Kandy City Centre is commercial and shopping complex open in 2005 at Dalada Veediya. Is the most modern commercial complex in Sri Lanka. The complex is studded with ultra modern features, also incorporating traditional architecture of Kandy during the medieval period of Sri Lanka. The city centre is host to several leading banks, a fully equipped supermarket, modern restaurants, an entertainment zone, a well designed state of the art food court, Sri Lanka's leading book shops, flora and an ayurweda site. There is a five-level car park outside that is the largest car park in Kandy.

Culinary

Kandy has a modest range of restaurants, as well as an abundance of confectioneries. A range of cuisines is available, including Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, European and some multinational fast food outlets such as Pizza Hut, and KFC.

 

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