The city of Kandy lies at an altitude of 488.6 meters (1629 feet) above sea level in the centre of the island and surrounded by the ranges of mountains. It is still very much a focal point of Sri Lankan culture. It was the capitol of last generation of Sri Lanka`s kings until it fell into the hands of British in 1815.
Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa)
Kandy was the capital of the Singhalese Kings from 1592 to 1815. Fortified by a terrain of mountains and the difficult approach Kandy managed to operate in independence from Dutch, Portuguese and the English till 1815. The city is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, in part due to this temple. 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 one of the two-surviving relic of the tooth of Buddha, an object of veneration for Buddhists.
The Lankatilaka temple history runs back to the Gampola Kingdom era. King Buwanekabahu IV has built this temple in 1344 AD. The King’s Chief Ministers Senalankadhikara was entrusted to carry out the construction work of this temple. The South Indian architect Sthapati Rayar has designed this with a blend of Sinhalese architecture of Polonnaruwa period and of Dravidian and Indo Chinese style is the opinion of late Professor Paranavitana. Considered to be a Gedige type of Polonnaruwa architecture, this temple which was of four stories earlier is constructed on the uneven surface of the rock with a granite-based foundation. This temple is an example for the Buddha and God worship prevailed during Gampola era. Gods Vishnu, Saman , Vibhishana, Ganapathi , Skandhakumara and Kumara Bandara had been worshipped here.
The remains we see today of the Royal Palace of Kandy is the residence of the last king of Kandyan Kingdom, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (1797 – 1814). But the original palace has been burnt and destroyed several times and rebuilt again by subsequent kings. The first palace was built by King Vickramabahu III of Gampola Kingdom (1357-1374) and by Senasamatha Vickramabahu (1469-1511) of the same. Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592 – 1603) also occupied this palace thereafter and each of them probably made various improvements to the existing palace.
Peradeniya botanical garden
This beautiful botanical garden was reserved exclusively for Kandyan royalty before 1815. Today even commoners are allowed into what are, at 60 hectares, the largest and most impressive botanic gardens in Sri Lanka. The many highlights include a fine collection of orchids and a stately avenue of royal palms. Another big hit is the giant Javan fig tree on the great lawn. Covering 2500 sq. meters, it’s like a giant, living geodesic dome.
An essential stop on any Sri Lankan tea tour, this museum occupies the 1925-vintage Hantane Tea Factory, 4km south of Kandy on the Hantane road. Abandoned for more than a decade, it was refurbished by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters’ Association of Sri Lanka. There are exhibits on tea pioneers James Taylor and Thomas Lipton, and lots of vintage tea-processing paraphernalia. Knowledgeable guides are available and there’s a free cup afterward in the top-floor tearoom.