Unusual Things to Do in Kandy

Kandy is one of the most amazing places to visit in Sri Lanka and is known as the cultural capital of the country. Here are a few things you can try out to experience the city better.

Image credit- Unsplash,
Kirsty barnby,CC0

Visit the Temple of The Tooth Relic

Yes, this is the most iconic attraction here and it doesn’t really seem like an unusual thing to do. But ever thought of visiting in the evening? There are special rituals being carried out on some days after dusk, so you can inquire with your hotel in Kandy, Sri Lanka before your visit.

Visit a spice garden

Ask around and you’ll find your way easily to the spice garden. It is usually one of the free things to do here in Kandy. You will come across plants like vanilla, cocoa, citronella, turmeric and much more.

Take the train to Ella

So, one of the most scenic train rides in the world would be the ride from Kandy to Ella. Try your best to hitch a ride and check out Ella as well.

Visit a gushing waterfall

If you stay at a hotel like Hunas Falls Hotel Kandy, the sound of the water will reach your ears no sooner you step out. Go on a tour and explore this wonder of nature, Hunas Falls.

Udawattekele in Kandy

The Udawattekele Forest Reserve is the historic royal park that crawls across the uppermost spine of the Kandyan plateau. It spans 257 acres and was once known as “Uda Wasala Watte” which means “the gardens above the palace.”

Udawattekele | Image Credit : Hasindu2008, Udawattakele Kandy, CC BY-SA 3.0

Senkada and Rajasinghe

Ancient records state that there was once a brahmin called Senkada who dwelled in the caves in Udawattekele and that was how Kandy got one of its older names; Senkadagala. The cave was visible on a walk through the forest reserve until 2012 when it collapsed in a landslide. The gardens were used as a pleasure garden by the kings of Kandy and were forbidden to the public.

Colonial Era

During the colonial era, the British used some of the lands to construct a garrison and pathways that today are used and disused trails through the reserve. On the south-eastern side stands an abandoned British garrison now overgrown. It was attacked by Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe’s forces in 1803 and the British troops manning the garrison were massacred.

The Fall of the Kingdom

After the Fall of the Kandyan Kingdom, the forest was subject to human activity including clearing and logging. Its condition deteriorated until it was declared a forest reserve in 1856 and made a sanctuary in1938.

Important Part of the Plateau

The Kandy lake is fed from springs that originate in Udawattekele. It also carries out air purification thanks to its elevation and placement above the city. There are many a hotel in Kandy that are in close proximity to make it to the sanctuary in under a couple of minutes. The reserve is only 10 minutes’ drive from Kandy town so you can easily get to it from a hotel in Kandy that is comfortable and spacious like Kings Pavilion.
The forest is home to endemic trees such as Madatiya, Tel Kekuna and Ankenda. There is a dense spread of flora thus restricting sunlight from reaching the underground layer. Some of the species of creeper are over 200 to 300 years old.

A Hiker’s Guide to the Hills of Kandy

The Knuckles Mountain Range is a dense forest-covered mountain range that is among the most popular and one of the toughest hiking trails in Sri Lanka. There are smaller, easier hiking trails like the one situated in the vicinity of Hunas Falls, which is also as picturesque and breath-taking. Here are some of the most popular trails and adventures.

Dothalugala Nature Trail

This trail winds along the Dothalugala mountain and provides some of the most beautiful views of the south side of the mountain range. The whole trail extends 5.8 kilometres and once the circuit has been completed, you will have made it a full circle around the mountain.

Mini World’s End

Named Mini World’s End because it too is a sheer drop of 1,192 metres like the World’s End at Horton Plains, this trail snakes across two other trails. Since it begins in the Knuckles Conservation Centre, you will need a permit to enter the reserve. If you are staying in a hotel in Kandy, you can ask for more information.

Nitro Caves

An eleven-kilometre path which begins at Corbett’s Gap and extends for 5 hours leads to the Nitro Caves which is a massive cave full of bats.

Duwili Ella Trail

Duwili Ella| Img by: Gayan Rajapakshe via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

The most spectacular hike, Duwili Ella trail ends in a 40-metre waterfall deep within the forest. There is also a cave behind the waterfall which is what makes this hike most spectacular.




Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+