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KANDY – THE LAST CAPITAL OF THE ANCIENT KINGS OF SRI LANKA

Included in Colombo Health Check Package

Located on the central and eastern part of the island, the Kingdom of Kandy had been an independent monarchy since the late 15th century and lasted right up to the early 19th century before it finally succumbed to British colonial rule in 1818.

The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. It was built by King Konappu Bandara (Vimaladharmasuriya I), who, having embraced Buddhism, consolidated his authority further by bringing one of Buddha's to Kandy from Delgamuwa.

In 1592, Kandy became the capital city of the last remaining independent kingdom on the island when the coastal regions were conquered by the Portuguese. After the Sinhalese–Portuguese War and the establishment of Dutch Ceylon, several attempts by the Dutch to conquer the kingdom were repelled.

In 1802, the British also invaded Kandy in what became known as the First Kandyan War, but were also repulsed Two more Kandyan Wars followed until the Kingdom was absorbed into the British Empire as a protectorate following the Kandyan Convention of 1815, before finally losing its remaining autonomy following the Uva Rebellion of 1817 (also called the Third Kandyan War).

SIGHTSEEING IN KANDY

THE ROYAL PALACE OF KANDY (MALIGAWA) was the royal residence of the Sinhalese monarchy of the Kingdom of Kandy in Sri Lanka. The last king to live there was King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha until he was overthrown by the British in 1815 with the aid of Kandian chieftains

THE TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is located in the royal palace complex. Just north of the lake, the golden-roofed temple houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha, which, since the ancient times, has played an important role in local politics. It is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country.

CEYLON TEA MUSEUM: In the grounds of the Hantane Tea Factory, three miles south of Kandy, there is also a library and a restaurant.
Specially restored by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters’ Association of Sri Lanka, it contains exhibitions about the tea pioneers, James Taylor and Thomas Lipton, and lots of vintage tea-processing paraphernalia.
Guided tours are available on request.

EXCURSION TO NUWARA ELIYA, THE "LITTLE ENGLAND" OF CEYLON (with VIATOUR):

Pass through rolling fields of green tea and tightly-winding mountain roads to this old colonial city, where you can visit Lake Gregory, take a tour of the Blue Field Tea Factory and send a postcard from the historic Post Office. Nuwara Eliya was once a favorite holiday resort for the British, as evidenced by the colonial-style mansions and their perfectly manicured lawns, the 18-hole golf course, and the Tudor-style post office complete with clock-tower – one of the oldest post offices in Sri Lanka.

Explore Lake Gregory, created by the British Governor, Sir William Gregory, in 1873, and the picturesque Queen Victoria Park, built to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee in 1897, as well as many other sights which make Nuwara Eliya a place out of its time. In the afternoon, we head off to the Blue Field Tea Estate, around a 45-minute drive away, where you can enjoy a 90-minute tour of the tea estate and factory and learn about the various different types of tea and how tea leaves are made. Then you can relax with a cup of tea and a snack in the restaurant and maybe buy some more tea from the gift shop as a souvenir before joining your guide for the drive back to Kandy. On the way, we stop off to take a look at at the Ramboda Falls, one of Sri Lanka's tallest waterfalls.

After a chance to enjoy the amazing view and take some photographs, we head off back to Kandy, where we will drop you off at your hotel at 7:30pm.

LANKATILAKA TEMPLE: Considered the most magnificent temple of the Gampola era with a history dating back to the 14th century, it was was built by King Bhuvanekabahu IV, who reigned from 1341 to 1351.

Built on the Penhalgala Rock (a natural formation), the temple contains traditional Sinhalese sculptures and the walls and the ceiling are adorned with Kandyan era paintings. It is an excellent record of both Buddhist and Hindhu worship throughout the Gampola era. The gods Vishnu, Saman , Vibhishana, Ganapathi ,Skandhakumara and Kumara Bandara were all worshipped here.

A statue of a seated Buddha underneath a Dragon Arch ('Makara Torana') takes pride of place inside. Surrounding the statue are motifs of trees and flowers to promote the 'Bodhi' discipline and the walls are adorned with paintings from the 'Suvisi Vivarana' (the lives of the twenty four previous Buddhas).

Inside the image house is a Seated Buddha statue with a Makara Torana above the image. The concept of Bodhi is depicted here by the arrangement of tree and flower design. The paintings from Suvisi Vivarana or the live of the twenty four previous Buddha's are painted in the surrounding walls of the image house.

SHOPPING

JAYAMALI BATIK STUDIO: One of the most famous batik studios in Kandy, it was founded in 1979 by Upali Jayakody for the development of his unique style of batik wall hangings, starting the business on his own initiative as a family concern. His initial customers were foreign visitors , who were impressed by the unusually modern and artistic style of his high quality designs and it wasn't long before the Jayamali Batik Studio became a famous and respected name at home and abroad.

KANDY CITY CENTRE is a ten storey commercial and retail complex which is located in Kandy, Sri Lanka near the Temple of Tooth Relic. Under the management of Thusitha Wijayasena and the ownership of the PFIK, the complex is one of the most successful projects in Sri Lanka

"The best modern addition to the Kandy. This massive complex is the true social center for Kandyans. With shops for shoppers, banks for bankers, restaurants, entertainment centres, resting places, etc, etc... also next to the cities main parking complex and the Kandy lake."
Reviewed 10 January 2017

MARKET IN KANDY

"Nice place, bit touristy, but everything Singhalese you want to by is here for sale. Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items."
Reviewed 13 February 2017

GAMAGE STORES

"Buy your Sri Lanka souvenirs from there very nice guy and lowest prices in all of Sri Lanka. Take your time once you are inside, it has a lot of good stuff, do not be intimidated by the amount of stuff you will see."
Reviewed 07 March 2017

WARUNA ANTIQUES

"Very nice place. Owner was amazing, showed us around and was very pleasant. Lots of interesting things. When we looked at different pieces we were explained if it were old and antique or if it was a newer copy. Waruna was exquisite. He has loads of antiques and beautiful pieces. He knows so much about each piece. He will guide you but not push you. 3 floors of culture and stories. Don't miss it if you really would like a piece of Sri Lanka in your life."
Reviewed 10 January 2017
PINNAWALA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE

Currently being a home to 93 elephants the concept was actualized by the late Hon. Minister Kalugalle on the 16th of February 1975.Pinnawala at the time was a very remote area with lush coconut plantations and most importantly an area where the availability of mahouts was not lacking. Also the immense amount of water required by the elephants is supplemented with the availability of “Ma oya” running close by.

It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department in a 25 acre coconut property adjoining the Maha Oya River. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned Elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka.

The aim of the orphanage is to simulate a natural habitat to these elephants. However, there are some exceptions: the elephants are taken to the river twice a day for a bath, and all the babies less than three years of age are still bottle fed by the mahouts and volunteers.

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