Kandy – Cultural Center of Sri Lanka

Cultural Centre of Sri Lanka

Rich in heritage and culture, the picturesque city of Kandy is a favourite of both the local and international traveller. Its serenity enhanced with lakes, luscious greenery is complete with hills, gardens, temples and other monuments. Maintaining an intriguing history, the Kandyan Kingdom was the last capital of the reigning monarchy until it ceded its independence in 1815.

According to historians, Kandy was founded by King Vickramabahu III as a result of political instability in the country. However, it was King Sena Sammaththa Wickramabahu who established it as his administrative city and became the first king of Kandy. Surrounded by mountains, its core filled with marshy and forest like greenery, enabled Kandy to become a natural fortress.

The Kandyan Kingdom reigned for over 300 years. Amidst its reign the kingdom struggled with internal conflict namely the clashes between the royal family and the nobles of the Kingdom, which in turn lead to external interference for the reign. It was because of the internal instability of the region that the three colonial powers, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British had an opportunity to intervene in the autonomy of the country.

At the beginning the Portuguese political affiliations were with the declining Kingdom of Kotte. When King Dharmapala of Kotte died without an heir, he bequeathed the throne to the Portuguese. As a result they attempted to establish its presence around the late 16th century. Although this was an invalid claim, the Kandyan Kingdom resorted to seek assistance from the Dutch to oust the Portuguese. While the Kandyan Kingdom was successful in ridding the Portuguese, it in turn established the Dutch colonial supremacy in the Kingdom. Due to its innate protective geographical setting, the kings of the Kandyan Kingdom namely King Kirti Sri Rajasinha resumed guerrilla fighting measures to successfully combat the Dutch. To level themselves equal against a colonial force, the assistance of the British was sought by rulers of the kingdom. As a result, the Dutch left the island and the British became the next colonial rival. The kings of Kandy successfully resisted the British offense for over decade, until the colonists took advantage of the internal political turmoil that was taking place. Consequently, the aristocrats of the Kandyan Kingdom bequeathed the sovereignty of the entire country in 1815.
Attractions in Kandy

Kandy Lake
For scenic pleasure, Kandy Lake has been popular choice for visitors. The Kandy Lake also known as Kiri Muhuda or Sea of Milk was built by the king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. There is folklore and mysteries surrounding the lake, including that it was connected to the palace via a secret tunnel.

National Museum of Kandy
the national museum of Kandy is a part of the former royal palace. Enhancing its rich architectural value, the museum boasts of displaying over 5000 articles reflective of the Kandyan heritage including the 1815 agreement that bequeathed the Kandy provinces to the British.

The Kandy Esala Perehara
Attracting both locals and non-locals alike, the Kandy Esala Perehara is a visual spectacle complete with dancers, whip crackers, elephants and more. This enchanting process takes place during the month of August.

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
The very origins of the gardens dates back centuries, however the foundation of the gardens as we see today was designed by the British horticulturist George Gardner. The lush estate finished with landscaped gardens inclusive of beds of rare flora and fauna is open all year for sightseers.

Gadaladeniya, Lankatileke, Embekke
Gadaladeniya, Lankatileke and Embekke are three temples located in Gampola that bears historical, artistic and architectural value. The Embekke Devalaya is complete with wooden carvings while Gadaladeniya temple is made out of bricks, and the Lankatilaka Viharaya was built on a rock.

Kandy – Cultural Center of Sri Lanka
Temple of the Tooth
The Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses the only surviving relic of Buddha, a tooth, which is venerated by Buddhists.
The Elephant Stables
Inviting you to bask in colonial grandeur, the Elephant Stables is one of the finest boutique hotels in Sri Lanka.
Amaara Sky Hotel
A home away from home, Amaara Sky is an inviting boutique hotel located in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Set within accessible distance from the main town, the hotel indulges guests with its cosy atmosphere.
Stone House Kandy
Nestled amongst luscious greenery is The Stone House, a luxurious Kandy boutique hotel. Remaining faithful to its name, this plush residency preserving it colonial architecture is beautifully constructed with stones.
Earls Regency Hotel
Indulge in picturesque serenity with one of the finest hotels in Kandy, the Earls Regency. Embodying all the innate features of the hill country, the Earls Regency is your ideal retreat.