What You Need to Know About the Sacred City of Kandy

Popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, the sacred city of Kandy was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. Drawing tourists, pilgrims and other visitors in numbers, this city radiates a celestial atmosphere which makes it stand out among other cities in Sri Lanka.

 The Positioning

Abishek Palraj, Knuckles Forest, Sri lanka, CC BY-SA 4.0

Kandy is located in the central part of the country, with an elevation of 500 metres from sea level. Hidden in the thick forests and majestic mountain ranges, the city stands in pride in all its glory. These mountain ranges include two of Sri Lanka’s most beloved hiking hot spots, Knuckles and Hanthana. Kandy’s location and historical significance have been core reasons for opening up many hotels and resorts like Hunas Falls Hotel, Kandy. Most tourists and pilgrims who visit this sacred city often seek accommodation in a hotel in Kandy, Sri Lanka for a comfortable stay as a day’s trip will not do justice to the beauty of the city.

The History

Kandy was the last capital of the country in the era of the ancient kings. It is also home to the Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Tooth which shelters the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha. Although the locals rebelled massively to save the kingdom of Kandy from British rule, the efforts were finally beaten as the British Ceylon period rose from 1815 to 1948, until the country was freed of colonial rule and gained independence.


While Sri Lanka is widely known for its tropical weather conditions, Kandy’s geographical positioning deviates the city climate to a wetter and cooler temperature as a result of its 500-metre elevation from sea level. However, the city is still a part of the country’s tropical climate and faces the monsoon seasons from May to July and October to December.

The Kandy City

The cityscape of Kandy includes a quadrangular manmade lake at its centre, with two open spaces in which one corner is occupied by the administration buildings of the old capital. Although not as commercialised as Colombo, Kandy still welcomes tourists and hosts several hotels, shopping complexes and local eateries to taste the traditional flavours of Sri Lanka.

Best Cycling Excursions In Kandy

When you are visiting the city of Kandy in the central hills of Sri Lanka, you might consider traversing it by bicycle. There is so much to explore in this city so let’s take a look at the best five tours for you.

Cycling | Img via Pxfuel

Along Colonial Footprint

Start outside the city and cycle in. Balana Pass is one of the most important royal outposts that managed to keep the colonial powers away from the Kandyan kingdom for centuries.

Tea by Bicycle

You could explore the tea estates that surround the Kandyan plateau while staying in hotels the likes of Hunas Falls Hotel Kandy. It is a hotel in Kandy, Sri Lanka that is surrounded by tea plantations and waterfalls.

Cycling in the Knuckles

The Knuckles Mountain Range called so due to its distinct shape is a great mountain to explore on a bike. But be aware that it can be quite strenuous.

Round the Kandy Lake

The easiest yet very picturesque ride is a bike ride around Kandy Lake. Made by the last king Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe, the lake is set right in the city centre and shrouded by gigantic trees.

The City by Night

The city empties in the evening and by night is very beautiful but starkly different from Kandy by day.


Why You Should Visit Kandy

Once the royal seat of the last kingdom of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a city perched on a plateau at the top of Sri Lanka’s central highlands. There are many reasons as to why you should be visiting Kandy. Here are our top 4.

It’s Perfect for Nature Lovers
The small city is surrounded by emerald mountains and plenty of forest land, estates and the famed Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Everywhere you look, even out of the balcony of the best hotel in Kandy there is plenty of nature to adore.

It’s Home to Cultural Treasures
Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important Buddhist landmark site as the resting place of the tooth relic of Buddha which is housed in the Temple of the Tooth at the royal palace in the city centre. It’s a quick drive from mountainside hotels like Hotel Topaz.

It’s a Classic Movie Location
Kandy was famously the location for movies such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Cheng Gong, The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo and Thai Flower among others.

It’s Where You Can Find a Good Cuppa
You can also find plenty of tea estates with cafés that will serve you the most delicious cup of steaming hot Ceylon Black tea.


Enthral yourself with an Exciting Trek to Explore the Forbidden Beauties of Udawattakele

Udawattakele is a forest haven found on the outskirts of Kandy and is a refuge for all manner of unique and fascinating wildlife. This wilderness also contains the ruins of a bygone era, making this refuge quite the treat to explore!

Udawattakele kandy
Z thomas, Udawattakele kandy 2017-10-20 (5), CC BY-SA 4.0

The Wildlife

Most Kandy hotels found close to Udawattakele – for example, the Cinnamon Citadel Kandy– will make mention of all the wonderful wildlife you’re likely to see when visiting the forest. Some of the notable species found here include the elusive fishing cat – one of only four species of wild cat found in Sri Lanka – and the rowdy toque macaque.

A Bird Lover’s Paradise

Now, when it comes to wildlife, the avifauna is without a doubt Udawattakele’s main attraction. If you’re at all into birdwatching, a trip here is a no-brainer. Many exotic bird varieties are found in this forest haven, including the rare Layard’s parakeet and the nocturnal brown fishing owl.

Ancient Kandyan Ruins

Deep in the forest, you’ll find the remnants of the fallen Kingdom of Kandy – a call-back to the glory days of proud kings and Sri Lankan royalty. Some of the more important ruins include the Royal Pond and Lady Horton’s Road.

Exploring Buddhist Hermitages

Dotted around the forest are a series of ancient caves that were once used by Buddhist monks as a refuge to rest and meditate in. The most notable of these is the Senkada Cave, which is thought to have been used by a lone hermit once – now you’ll find that it has been reclaimed by the forest’s denizens!

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+

Exploring the city of Kandy

Kandy, the hill city of Sri Lanka, is known for its religious significance due to the presence of Temple of Tooth. However, there is much more to this city, if you dare to venture off the beaten path.

Udawaththa Kele | Image Credit: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Nyanatusita">Nyanatusita</a>, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Udawattakele_Forest_scene_4.jpg">Udawattakele Forest scene 4</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode" rel="license">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
Udawaththa Kele | Image Credit: Nyanatusita, Udawattakele Forest scene 4, CC BY-SA 3.0

Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

Declared a nature sanctuary in 1938, Udawatta Kele – meaning Udawatta Forest – is not a highly visited destination among the tourists. However, it presents a mystique aura and has multiple treks and trails where one can stroll through and enjoy the lushness that surrounds them.


There are many trekking trails around Kandy both historic and scenic. They are definitely worthwhile exploring and travellers should base themselves in a place like Mahaweli Reach Hotel and spare a day or two to enjoy pristine areas not too far from the city.

City’s colonial past

A neo-gothic 19th century Anglican Church, a Victorian fountain, the 19th century Garrison Cemetery near the old palace, the WWI and WWII Commonwealth War Cemetery on Deveni Rajasinge Mw by the Mahaweli River are the remains from the city’s colonial past.

Peradeniya Botanic Garden

In Kandy, things to do are plenty. Devoting a whole morning to visiting the Peradeniya Botanic Garden, one of best such facilities in the region, will not be wasted as there is much to see besides enjoying its beautiful surroundings. Stroll around the picturesque 200-year-old Kandy Lake in the evening and walk along shaded paths in Udawatte Kele, the historic forest reserve overlooking the Temple of the Tooth.

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

Knuckles Mountain Range

Home to seven states, the region of South Asia boasts of a number of iconic mountain ranges with the most important one being the Himalayans. This mountain range along with the Karakorum and Hindu Kush range separate the subcontinent from the rest of Asia. The Himalayan mountain range, whilst being the highest in the world, is also home to the tallest mountain in the world: the Everest, while Hindu Kush mountain range enjoys the distinction of being the second highest. For those visiting the South Asian state of Sri Lanka, the highest mountain range is the Knuckles and can be visited from Kandy. While varying accommodation options are available in the hill country, for those seeking luxury in the Central Highlands, Earls Regent Kandy certainly delivers.

While the mountain range covers a couple of districts, it derives its name from the manner in which the peaks and valleys appear to resemble a closed fist. As the Knuckles range forms part of the Kandy district, it can be easily access by staying at a hotel Kandy. It is a location that is immensely rich in bio diversity in Sri Lanka and, in recent times, has become well known for eco tourism. As a result, many tourists and locals seek to trek across the range and camp in the valleys.

Also known as the ‘Dumbara Kanduwetiya’ meaning the Misty Hills, the mountain range has featured in Sri Lankan history from prehistoric times. Certain archaeologists claim the existence of remains of a Yaksha settlement, and the area was also called the ‘Gini Divaina’ during such a time.

At present, a number of hiking trails have been cleared by officials and tourists can visit Mini World’s End which provides an excellent and panoramic view of the misty mountains and plummeting valleys surrounding Knuckles, while other trails such as Pitawala Pathena Trail, the Nitre Cave and Ash Cave Trails and many others traverse through tea plantations, farms, villages and even rubber estates.

Shehera Fioni is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Catalina Forbes. Her content is based on many thrilling escapades offered to travellers across the world. Google+

‘Diyaluma Falls’ a natural beauty

The Bandarawela Hotel lies on a magical environment where the mountains touch the clouds while covering itself in a green carpet of tea plants. One of the leading Hotel Sri Lanka, it offers its guests comfortable and modern accommodation facilities that also make it one of the top Hotels Sri Lanka. Enjoy a hot cup of pure Ceylon tea and relax yourselves by absorbing all the beauties and comforts that the nature offers.

Among the different places and sceneries to visit while in Bandarawela, the Diyaluma falls should top one’s list. Diyaluma means “rapid flow of water” in Sinhalese, this waterfall is considered as the second highest waterfall in the country. It is capable of mesmerizing anyone with its beauty. There are many folk stories based on this beautiful falls, which shows how much it is interrelated with the normal life of the people.