The city of Kandy is set on a plateau surrounded by mountains with lots of tea plantations. it also has a scenic Lake (Bogambara Lake), at the center of the city which is popular for strolling.
We took a bus to Kandy from the Pettah market bus stop(Colombo). It took us 4 hours to get there. We reached our villa which was near the Mahaveli river bank. Exhausted from the travel we decided to spend the evening there chilling. We went for a stroll and had some roadside street food at Night kade (String hoppers and chicken gravy). River side of Kandy is a bit far from the city center and not very accessible to the restaurants. We cooked in maggi and played board games.
Tip: If you plan on ordering food install the pickme app and let some locals guide the delivery boy
The next day was for sight seeing! We made friends with some auto drivers one whom agreed to take us around the city whole day. Here are the places we visited in Kandy
1.Buddha temple and Temple of tooth
The temple with a huge buddha statue is situated on top of a mountain. It was sunday and all the monks and buddism followers were in white. Coincidentally I was in white too. The monastery was peaceful and there was a huge statue in the middle. We can climb up from behind and get a beautiful view of the city from there.
The entry price is 500 LKR per person.
Unfortunately we couldn’t visit the temple of tooth as it was raining heavily. we could just go and look at it from the outside. (It costs 1000 LKR per person)
2. Tea factory
There are a lot of mini tea factories around in Kandy. Just tell the tuk tuk drivers and he will take you there. We went to a tea factory and a friendly lady showed us around. We saw the process from tea leaves heating, drying to grinding. Then they took us to the shop where we got a free sample of pekoe tea. We also got some famous ceylon teas as souvenirs.
The cultural center is just next to the Temple of tooth. We saw a medley of cultural dances. The artists awed us by their fire walking and fire eating skills. If you arent from southern part of India you will find these exciting.
Take a walk around the lake. It is in the center of the city and is just beautiful.
4. Botanical garden
Spread across 147 acres, the garden was beautifully built. It was a 3km walk inside the garden with lots of spots – Coconut grove, palm trees, coniferous trees, bamboo, greenhouse, rose gardens and a lake. It costs 1000 LKR per person.
5. Spice garden
The spice gardens are strewn around the town. The one we went to was 25, spice garden. A guide showed us around the garden. We were smelling strong exotic spices and some familiar ones. They gave a free foot massage.We also got some spice kit for ourselves.
6. Pinnawala Elephant orphanage
This city is 40 kms from Kandy so make sure you plan this ahead or on the way to Kandy from Colombo. There are two of the elephant sites- one is an orphanage and another is a private tour. We were advised against the orphanage as the elephants are in chains. We went to the private tour where a trained elephant and his trainer took us around the jungle for 15 mins. the elephant Nona even went into the pond and splashed water on us. It was a fun ride. It costed 2500 LKR per person.
Arthur’s seat was on all the lists but it turned out to be a dud. Its just a view point on a road. Yes the view is good but just as good as any other point. I found the views from the Buddha temple better.
If there is anything I wish I had done differently- I would have stayed for a day or two longer just to chill and stroll along the lake. I never got the time. Would have gone to temple of tooth. Would have done some local shopping.
Kandy was brimming with culture and a wonderful place to chill ans enjoy the scenic mountains.!!
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