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

1024px-Knuckles_Forest,_Sri_lanka
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.

Climate

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.

Set Off on a Hike to Knuckles

Renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Knuckles Mountain range has been famed for its human fist like appearance from certain angles. This magnificent gift of nature is located in the Kandy and Matale districts of Sri Lanka and is highly popular among hikers from all over the world.

Knuckles_mountain_range_-_Sri_Lanka
Thusitha Jayasundara, Knuckles mountain range – Sri Lanka, CC BY-SA 4.0

How to Get to Knuckles

While several access points allow you to reach Knuckles, the most popular entrance is in Matale. However, this solely depends on where you are residing at. If you plan to travel to Kandy on a vacation, the access point will not be over a journey of an hour or two to Hunnasgiriya, once again, based on the route that you choose to take. However, do visit the Kandy Escapes website for a deeper insight on how to adapt and prepare for the weather conditions in Kandy, if you wish to enter Knuckles from a Kandy access point.

How to Climb Knuckles

While Knuckles’ popularity attracts many hikers, it is only advisable that you climb the mountain range if you carry a considerable level of experience in the art. However, a guide must accompany you, regardless of your level of hiking experience, in order to avoid getting lost. Therefore, a qualified guide will direct you through the paths that should be taken.

Grab a Bite on The Way

As you climb up one of Sri Lanka’s most difficult mountain trails, hunger will not be too far away. Being a protected reserve prevents hotels and resorts from opening up in the Knuckles and therefore, food is likely to become a luxury during the course of your hike. Stock up what you need in a backpack and grab a bite whenever hunger takes you over.

Other Attractions

While setting off on an adventurous hike is what Knuckles is known for, the areas surrounding this mountain range host plenty of other attractions for hikers and tourists. Deep into the forest lies Meemure, a rural village of picturesque views, Kandy, the sacred city of the Temple of the Tooth and the Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple in Matale.