About Royal Palace of Kandy
Tucked miles away near the deep and verdant valleys of the Kandy village, Royal Palace of Kandy was once the residence of the Sinhalese Monarchy. The magnificence of this palace and the brilliance of its creativity has enlisted it amongst the most beautiful tourist places to explore in Sri Lanka. The palace is situated in the close vicinity of the Temple of the Tooth and is entirely surrounded with lush green beauty.
Crowning itself as the royal home of the Sinhalese Monarchs, the palace history buffs have a way of things to do here. Queen’s bathing pavilion, king’s headquarters, queen’s palace, king’s palace, and royal audience hall are some key attractions of this palace. In the year 1942, the remains of the original structure of the Royal Palace of Kandy were transformed into the National Museum of Kandy. So, what you see there today, is actually a museum where all the galleries represent chambers with artefacts dating back to the British Era and the Kandyan Kingdom.
How to Reach Royal Palace of Kandy
If you are already standing near Kandy Airport, you can hire any public transport to drive you to the Royal Palace of Kandy. There are rental cab and bus facilities available here for you to opt from. Besides, you can even hire a tuk-tuk as well.
Best Time to Visit Royal Palace of Kandy
The months between December to April are probably the best to plan your visit to Kandy as the atmosphere remains dry and pleasant here. The Royal Palace of Kandy is open between 05:30 am in the morning until 08:00 pm.
It will take around 30 minutes for you to thoroughly explore the palace. It is always good to start early in the morning and visit the Royal Palace first. The remaining Kandy attractions can then be covered during the rest of the day.
What Not to Miss at Royal Palace of Kandy
Here is a glimpse of what all you can do at the Royal Palace of Kandy –
The Royal Palace of Kandy is a sight to behold with some of the exceptional architectural wonders such as Concubine’s Quarters, Queen’s Chambers, Armory Section, and Council Chambers.
1. Get close to the place where the monks offer their prayers – The Temple of the Tooth. The monks follow a usual worship pattern of 3 times worshipping activity on each day. They pray at the innermost chamber at the Temple of the Tooth, where you have the lost tooth of the Buddha placed.
2. The Archaeological Museum formerly was considered to be an undeniable part of the Royal Palace of Kandy. The gates of this massive palace are quite huge and intricately designed. The museum is home to a collection of some ancient and modern pots, daily royal possessions of the kings and queens, wood carvings, and woodworks. All the exhibits preserved here maintain the legacy of the Kandyan dynasty dating back to centuries.
3. There is a Royal Palace Park where you can visit and explore how the park is well-maintained. This park is known to provide a captivating view of the Kandy Lake and is a quaint place to seek some quality time under shade. You just need to pay a sum of 100 LKR to enter this Palace Park.
Places to Visit near Royal Palace of Kandy
For all those who wish to visit Kandy for an extended period, here is a list of some of the other best places to explore –
1. Tea Estate Trails – Wake up to the pleasing smell of fresh tea leaves emerging from the most elegant tea beds in the world. The tea planter of Kandy drives you through the entire process of tea making. So, if you are eager to know the life-cycle of your favorite beverage, get ready for a delightful journey from the plucking of tea leaves to its final commercial production. The Tea Estate Trails will surely drive you back to the times of the Colonial Era. Once you are done with your Tea Estate Trails visit, do not forget to sip into a cup of freshly prepared delicious afternoon cream tea.
Location – near Bogawantalawa Valley
Best Time – December to April
2. Commonwealth War Cemetery – This is a well-maintained cemetery and a graveyard for all those brave-hearted countrymen who sacrificed their lives here in the service of the nation. There are more than 190 tombs here and was initially renowned as Pitakande Military Cemetery.
Location – Deveni Rajasinghe
Best time – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
3. Kandy View Point – This mesmerizing viewpoint of Kandy is situated atop Rajapihilla Mawatha and within the close proximity of the Kandy Lake. The beauty of this viewpoint is amplified by the presence of breath-taking landscapes formed here due to the presence of meadows and tall mountains.
Location – Rajapihilla Mawatha
Best Time – Anytime
4. Stroll through the Kandy Lake – The Kandy Lake is yet another gorgeous attraction in the town of Kandy and amongst the must-to-do things for the visitors of the hilly region. Sunset time is by far one of the best times to explore the cascading beauty of this lake.
Location – Kandy
Best Time – Anytime
5. Ceylon Tea Museum – The Tea Museum has four floors distributed amongst the library, old machinery, and a high-tech auditorium. There’s a magnificent restaurant on its fourth floor where you can enjoy a cup of brewing tea and adore the captivating beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Location – Hantane Road
Best Time – Tuesday to Saturday
6. Wales Park – Seek some alone time with your friends, family, and relatives at the Wales Park of Colombo. This park is situated atop a small hillock and overlooks the heart of Kandy – the Kandy Lake. Locals call this park the Royal Palace Park.
Location – Rajapihilla Mawatha
Best Time – Anytime
7. International Buddhist Museum – This museum is located in the close proximity of the Kandy’s Temple of Tooth within the complex of the Royal Palace. The museum has different rooms, with each one dedicated to a different country. The photographs, gigantic statues, and the models presented here portray the influential rise of Buddhism.
Location – Near the Temple of Tooth
Best time – 08:00 am to 07:00 pm
8. Spice Garden – Being one of Sri Lanka’s principal attractions, the Spice Garden is a great place to explore the rarest herbs. The process of sowing and processing of these herbs is done exquisitely. Peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla, cocoa, and cinnamon are some spice varieties to be found here.
Location – Close to Kandy’s Botanical Garden
Best Time – Afternoon
Other Essential Information About Royal Palace of Kandy
Location - The Royal Palace of Kandy is located at 15 Raja Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka.
Entry fee - To get an entry into the Royal Palace of Kandy, you need to pay a sum of 1000 INR per adult. There are no entry fees for children; however, make sure to check with the age groups to avail the no entry fee policy for your child. For all those who wish to take their cameras with them, they need to pay 300 INR per unit.
Timings - The Royal Palace of Kandy operates between 05:30 am in the morning to 08:00 pm in the evening. 30 minutes is more than enough for you to cover the palace completely.
Distance from Colombo Airport - The Royal Palace of Kandy is situated at a distance of 104.3 km from the Colombo Airport. It requires a drive and patience of 3 hours and 12 minutes for you to get to the palace from the airport.
The architecture of the Royal Palace
Undoubtedly, the Royal Palace of Kandy is famous for its architectural allure. Starting from its entrance, it has three different gateways or as they are locally known – Wahalkadas. There is a king’s palace or Raja Wasala, which is a magnificent structure in itself. The beauty of this King’s Palace is adorned by a courtyard and a wide veranda that is present there.
The inner walls have imprints of stylish intricate work representing the artforms of the Sri Lankan terracotta and stucco. The next room or the Royal Audience Hall features Kandyan Architectural Style decorated with wooden pillars and a rooftop reflecting the Kandyan style. Earlier, there was something called Lower Palace, which has now been transformed into a National Museum with huge doors and a courtyard. Apart from all these central attractions, the Royal Palace of Kandy also featured a massive Queen’s Bathing Pavilion or Expunge in a uniquely carved Kandyan style building present juxtaposed the lake there.
History of Royal Palace
Kandy’s Royal Palace was a royal residential palace for the Royal Sri Lankan monarchy. Situated in the northern region of the Temple of the Tooth, the Royal Palace of Kandy is a symbol of Kandy’s legacy and heritage.
The Royal Palace of Kandy dates back to the 14th century. The credit for the construction of the Royal Palace goes to Vickramabahu III. It was his belief to construct a massive palace portraying architectural excellence set amidst a beautiful valley. Later, during the reign of Wrickrama Rajasinha, the complex of the palace saw the rise of several different structures. Wrickrama Rajasinha was the last survivor of the Sinhalese Monarchy.
The original complex of the palace featured Temple of Sacred Tooth, Royal Court, and other architectural marvels. What you see there today is the result of several re-construction works that were carried out in the years to follow.
Tips for Visiting the Royal Palace
Here are some tips to remember before planning on a visit to the Royal Palace of Kandy –
1. If you are planning to reach here via local transports like tuk-tuks, make sure that you are paying the right amount for your travel.
2. Within the palace you may find some areas which are strictly prohibited for the visitor entry.
3. Do not attempt to step in and break the rules and regulations of the Royal Palace.
4. If you are accompanying your children along with you, hold their hands wherever you go.
5. Avoid littering here and there in the complex and the adjacent premises of the Royal Palace of Kandy.
6. As the Royal Palace permits for your camera entry, you can carry your camera inside with you. The Royal Palace offers myriads of moments to be clicked.
7. You won’t be asked to remove your footwear outside while entering the premises of the Royal Palace of Kandy. So, do not worry about what type of footwear you are planning to wear while visiting here.
8. The Royal Palace of Kandy remains closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
9. Pets are not allowed here. So, please do not accompany your pets with you while visiting the Royal Palace of Kandy.
10. There are facilities for washrooms here for the visitors. Also, you have small food stalls here where you can enjoy some quick bites.