Things to Do in Kandy

Nestled amidst the mountains of the beautiful island of Sri Lanka the best things to do in Kandy are several. This second largest city of Sri Lanka is often tagged as its cultural capital. It also is one of the official world heritage sites of UNESCO. It is small in size and houses a deeply pleasant climate which makes it a place highly visited by tourists each year. The city accommodates a downtown area that is compact yet beautiful. This region is surrounded by beautiful hills housing a tropical rainforest. Here one can find exotic animal as well as plant species. Kandy's downtown region is a place where one can find every imaginable item to shop for at surprisingly affordable prices.

While touring Kandy you can try out the local eateries here which are extensively mouthwatering. Located amidst the mountains and surrounded by beautiful hills, Kandy offers various adventure activities including trekking as well as camping. Although you can visit this place all throughout the year but if you plan to visit Kandy in August then you can witness the most popular festival here named Perahera. It is a popular pageant involving various elephant participants. You can buy yourself a seat here and witness the festival. Another attraction to be admired while touring Kandy is the famous Kandyan dance. This traditional dance form of Kandy is worth witnessing. It is usually held close to the Kandy Lake. There are various temples that are worth a visit while touring Kandy. If you are looking for peace while traveling, then make sure to explore Nilambe meditation center as part of your Sri Lanka packages. This Buddhist retreat center imparts impeccable meditation sessions to soothe your mind to the core. You can even try out some Yoga here. Overall, Kandy is one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka to explore its beauty as well as culture. Come and explore the best things to do in Kandy.

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Perandeniya Botanical Gardens

Peradeniya Gardens is a spacious 147 acre of natural extravaganza consisting of more than 4000 species of plants, and 10,000 varied kinds of trees, incidentally serves as the largest garden of Sri Lanka. The unique and rarest collection in these gardens is the Giant Bamboo of Burma which grows 12 inches each day to a height of 40 meters. Apart from this other amazing collections include Javan fig tree, Cannonball tree, Double Coconut Palm and about 200 other varieties of palm trees and versatile collection of flora.

The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is one prime tourist attraction of hill country and remains quite flooded with tourists every weekend. One can pack some food to enjoy an open air picnic here or can relish the cafeteria inside serving local and western cuisine.

Kandy Lake

Nestled in the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka, Kandy Lake (Bogambara We) is a serene artificial reservoir that enhances the city's natural beauty. Constructed in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the lake is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a tranquil escape. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along its scenic promenade, soak in panoramic views of the city, and appreciate the cultural significance of this iconic water feature in the heart of the hill capital.

Udawattekele Sanctuary

The Udawattekele Sanctuary, also known as Royal Park Palace is located at the hilly terrains of the Temple of Tooth Relic. The sanctuary scatters around 257 acres and is deemed as the most important Bio Reserve of the country. The sanctuary, centuries back was a kingdom named Kandyan and jungle area on the far side of the palace was known as the Uda Wasala Watta or the upper palace garden; hence the name.

The forest reserve was made into a sanctuary in 1938. Additionally, the forest’s catchment areas provide fresh water to the lake and the city avail its air purification supplies from this royal forest reserve.

Ceylon Tea Museum

Located at Hantane, the 1925 vintage Ceylon Tea Museum is one of the important attractions of the hill country, Kandy in Sri Lanka. The Tea Museum is a building of four floors where from ground floor to second floor it’s all old machineries, library and auditorium. For purchasing lip smacking variety and flavors of Sri Lankan tea one must visit the third floor which is sales unit. The fourth floor comprises of a magnificent restaurant where one can enjoy a free cup and the captivating and breathtaking surrounding view of the hill country from the top. One can visualize Matale Range and Kunckles Range through a telescope positioned here. From the top it’s an encircling view of green landscape comprising tea plantations of myriad types.

 Location: Hantane Road, Kandy

Best Time: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30am to 4: 30pm

Price: 1070LKR for adults and 428LKR for child.(approx)

British Garrison Cemetery

This striking European style graveyard has many stories to tell of the young souls who died during the British Colonisation of SriLanka. The most heartfelt part of this beautiful old churchyard is the 163 graves of young men, women, and children that take us back to time immemorial. Most of the tombs have inscriptions written on the lives of these good souls (few brave soldiers, many infants, and land owners).The cemetery was established in 1817 and today is being nurtured by a Caretaker, Charles Carmichael.

National Museum of Kandy

The building that houses the National Museum of Kandy was earlier known as the Palle Vahala and was home to the royals. The building’s architecture is pure Kandian and it stores about 5000 artifacts from the Kandian era including weapons, utensils, jewelry, etc. This is the best place to learn about the history of Kandy, the hidden gems and resources of Sri Lanka. 

Commonwealth War Cemetery

This cemetery is maintained and served by the commonwealth war commission office. This graveyard is a humble reminder of those brave hearts of the country who sacrificed their lives protecting the nation’s honour during the World War II. The cemetery is beautifully kept and has over 190 tombs. Apparently, this place was initially known as Pitakande Military Cemetery and was owned by the Military authorities until it was taken over by the war Commission.

It is also noted that Army Graves from over 10 burial grounds have been transferred to this cemetery till 1958. There are 6 commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka, but the Kandy War Cemetery is considered the best amongst all because of its stunning landscape and well kept land.

Kandy View Point

The mesmerizing view point is located on the Rajapihilla Mawatha and is ranked 5th out of 105 tourist attractions in Kandy. The place is located near the Kandy Lake and is enclosed in breathtaking landscapes of mountains and meadows. From the city, you have to take the Rajapihilla Mawatha Route, after which a 1 km steep climb will guide you to the view point. You can also hire a tuk-tuk to reach the top.The panoramic view that you would get to see is worth the pain of the ascent. The entire Kandy town lies ahead of your eye, and from the top, you can also spot the Kandy lake and Dalada Maligawa.

Lankatilaka Vihara Temple

The Lankatilaka Temple or Lankatilaka Vihara is one of the most ancient Buddhist temples. It’s unique architecture is known across the world. What makes this temple famous is the fact that it is built on a base of a natural rock called the Panhalgala Rock and stands stable even today.

There are two different sides of the temple- the East and the West- both showcase the intricate designs and delicate Sinhalese sculptures. You will also find some breathtaking paintings and sculptures of the Kandyan era in this temple.

International Buddhist Museum

Located close to the Temple of the Tooth, inside the royal palace complex, The International Buddhist Museum is a complete knowledge base and a showcase of the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. There are separate rooms dedicated to different countries illustrating Buddhism in that location. There are photographs, models and gigantic statues which portray the spread and influence of Buddhism on people in various places.

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Nestled close to the Udawattakele Sanctuary, The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most important shrines of Sri Lanka. Also named as Dalada Maligawa, this temple is based in the royal palace of the Kingdom of Kandy.

Housing the legendary Budda tooth, the temple is a World Heritage site though very little are the remnants of the original temple built around 1600. Amazing ornamentation with golden fence and extravagant Canadian architecture makes it a blissful sight for the visitors.

Dedicated monks unanimously chant the prayers of Malwatte and Aegirine, three times every day, during dawn, noontime and evening at the inner temple. Every Wednesday a holy symbolic bath of the Relic is done is fragrant water and that water is distributed among the visitors known to have healing powers.

Location: Royal Palace, Kandy

Timings: 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM

Wales Park
For that perfect fun time along with your family and friends Wales Park is the best option for you while you are visiting Sri Lanka. For your bucket list this is another best places to visit in Sri Lanka. Situated at the top of a small hill this park overlooks the Kandy Lake, this park is known for its majestic view. This park is also known as The Royal Palace Park.

Highlights: There is one Japanese field gun in the park which was captured by the British 14th Army in Burma during World War II and presented to the city of Kandy by Lord Mountbatten.

Location: The Wales Park is located at Rajapihilla Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Price: The approximate price for the entry is 219 LKR.
Horton Plains National Park

Horton National Park is a ‘food for the soul’ kind of mesmerizing locale. The park is perched in the shadows of the country’s 2nd and 3rd highest mountains, Kirigalpota and Totapola. The place is also termed as world’s end due to its undaunting mysterious views of waterfalls, misted lakes and earthy species of flora and fauna. The national park is actually a plateau and is 2000m high. It is better to start early in the morning to witness this heavenly place.

Huluganga Falls

Huluganga Falls, located in Sri Lanka, is a captivating natural wonder. Nestled amidst lush greenery, the waterfall cascades down rocky cliffs, creating a picturesque scene. 

Spice Garden
Spice Gardens forms a key attraction of Sri Lanka. The country is famous across the globe for its rare collection of herbs and spices. The key attraction of this location is to explore the popular as well as the rarest herbs being sown and processed in the most exquisite manner. Herbs those are common in a household like Turmeric, Pepper Corns, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Aloe Vera, etc are being processed here. The best part of visiting the Spice Garden in Kandy is to gather knowledge about the herbs, their growth process, their benefits and usefulness in Human life. The natural environment and serene beauty of the Garden is one of the mesmerizing experiences for every traveler. Away from the hustle of city life, this is a complete contrast of environment.

Located: Located at the Hill capital, Kandy this is close to Botanical Garden

Royal Palace Of Kandy
The Royal palace of the Kandyan Kingdom is the last reminiscence of the reigning King of Kandayan, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. The palace dates back to the 14th century, yet witnessing the glory and glamour of the kingdom is stupendous. The Palace has seen scars from many wars and tremors of foreign invaders like the Portuguese.

The Royal court, another architectural capture has confronted many meetings formed by the king and it is here that the end of Kandyan Kingdom convention was signed.
The temple of Tooth contributes maximum attraction to the tourists. Even though, the original palace walls have been burnt and rebuilt, the interiors remain the same.

Highlights: Dalada Maligawa - Temple of Tooth (relic of Buddha’s Tooth), Royal Court (Magul Maduwa), Queen’s Bathing pavilion – Ulpange and the Royal gardens inside the Palace gates

 Location: Sri Dalads Veediya

 Kandy Price: Rs 100 per head Timings: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Millenium Elephant Foundation

MEF is an estate as vast as 15 acres and is dwelling to countless of majestic elephants. The name of the estate, Samragiri has been inherited from the Samarasinghe family who have lived here for many generations. It is the only foundation where visitors are allowed to ride elephants bare back and interact with them with safety measures in the form of a educational tour. The foundation also provides a special Elephant Walk where you would be taken a 30 minute walk along with the animal.

MEF has charity trusts for the welfare of these humble animals.

Highlights: One hour educational walk and a tour of the museum, personally bathing the elephants, exotic walk on the grounds of the estate with an elephant, entry to Maximus Dung Paper factory.

Tea Estate Trails

Waking up early in the morning and being served the finest bed tea by the butler will be a delight in itself. The tea planter will take you through the entire tea making process starting from the fields where the tea was first plucked and then taken to the factory where all the conversions take place. The tea trails will take you to the colonial era time. The afternoon cream tea is something to truly relish. The nearby places are an appropriate place to walk, cycle and biking.

 Close to Hatton, near Bogawantawala valley.

: Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka which is a must watch.

Best Time:
December to April.

Price: The approximate price ranges from 484 LKR to 1626 LKR.

Take A Walk Around Kandy Lake
One of the greatest attraction and a must do for the visitors of the hill country, Kandy, is to take a walking tour around Kandy Lake which dominates the heavenly location with its cascading beauty. A silent stroll especially during the sunset time, enjoying the sounds of nature is a splendid way of coming close to Mother Earth and devouring the blissfulness. Being based next to Temple of the Tooth this is an artificial lake built in 1807 by the Royal King of Sri Lanka.

The whole walk is around 2.1 mile and consists of enchanting scenic splendor covered with several rest zones where one can sit and enjoy the harmony and serene beauty of the Temple and the lake. In the midst of the lake there is a small island with palm trees making the lake look more eye arresting.


 Location: Heart of the city, Kandy
Temple Of The Truth

Nestled close to the Udawattakele Sanctuary, The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most important shrines of Sri Lanka. Also named as Dalada Maligawa, this temple is based in the royal palace of the Kingdom of Kandy. Housing the legendary Budda tooth, the temple is a World Heritage site though very little are the remnants of the original temple built around 1600. Amazing ornamentation with golden fence and extravagant Canadian architecture makes it a blissful sight for the visitors. Dedicated monks unanimously chant the prayers of Malwatte and Aegirine , three times every day, during dawn, noontime and evening at the inner temple. Every Wednesday a holy symbolic bath of the Relic is done is fragrant water and that water is distributed among the visitors known to have healing powers.

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Kandy Things To Do FAQs

Which are the adventure activities that I can do in Kandy?

Here is the list of best adventure activities to do in Kandy:

Hiking -
Go for a hiking tour at the Royal Palace Park. This falls amidst the most picturesque places of Kandy. The hiking tour will lead you to the beautiful Rajapihilla Mawatha where you can have a spectacular view of the mesmerizing lake. You will get to view the amazing sights of the nearby located hills as well as the town. Concludingly, you can take up a hiking tour, get back to the town and pat your back for accomplishing the activity.

Motorboat Riding -
Have a breathtaking view while taking a Motorboat ride on the mesmerizing Bogambara Lake. You can view the beautiful Kandy City Center, Royal Palace Park as well as Sangaraja Mawatha. You would get to view a wide range of species of birds, monkeys, coloured fishes and lush greenery around. You can end this boat ride at Colombo and enjoy a hearty meal.  

Trekking -
Take a trekking tour in Kandy and witness the best landscapes ever. You can start the trip from Mount Alagalla. You can take up this adventure activity and view the beauty of Kandy from an elevation. While taking this trek you will get an opportunity to explore the amazing tea gardens of Kandy.

Which are some famous treks in and around Kandy?

Kandy offers various opportunities of trekking to travelers. Moreover, the pleasant climate of Kandy allows the travelers to enjoy the trekking expedition to the core. Some of the many places to go for trekking in Kandy are as follows:

Trekking in Knuckles Mountains - Trekking in the Knuckles Mountains is absolutely mesmerizing. The location offers the beautiful view of the tea gardens, lush green meadows as well as pristine villages. The trek includes exploring Ash Cave Trail, Pitawala-Pathana trail, Mini World's End Trail as well as the Knuckles trail.

Meemure Trek - Meemure is an adorable village lodged amidst extreme greenery. It offers beautiful views of the mountains. It is beautifully nestled between Matale and Kandy districts.

Hanthana Tek - Hanthana mountain ranges offers mesmerizing hilltops that are absolutely impeccable for trekking. You will find beautifully landscaped areas which are dotted with eucalyptus trees.

Where can I experience wildlife in Kandy?

Some of the places that can be visited on a wildlife tour in Kandy are as follows:

  •      Udawattekele Sanctuary
  •      Millennium Elephant Foundation
  •      Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  •      Horton Plains National Park

Where can I visit a spice garden in Kandy? Which are some special spices found in Kandy?

Spice gardens form one of the major attractions of Sri Lanka and while touring Kandy you can visit New Ranweli Spice Garden located in Gannoruwa. The country is highly popular for its spices as well as herbs all across the globe. The rare most herbs, as well as spices, are sown, reaped as well as processed here. Common spices found here are as follows:

- Cocoa
- Cloves
- Nutmeg
- Turmeric
- Aloe Vera
- Cinnamon
- Peppercorns
- Cardamom
- Vanilla

By visiting these spice gardens of Kandy you can gather an in-depth knowledge about the spices and herbs grown here. Additionally, the beautiful landscapes further add on to the charisma of the place.

Is it worth travelling in a charter plane from Colombo to Kandy? What’s so special about it?

A charter plane ride from Colombo to Kandy is undoubtedly one of the best experiences to undertake while visiting Sri Lanka. It will let you escape from your monotonous kind of life and explore the heavenly beauty of Sri Lanka. The plane will not only lead you to Kandy within minutes but give you a memorable experience that would last a lifetime.

This facility is made available by Cinnamon Air which is Sri Lanka's air taxi service imparting brand name. Witnessing the beauty of Kandy via a charter plane is simply impeccable. Viewing the hills, mountains as well as the underneath located water bodies can be better experienced than written as the feel is absolutely out of the world.

Which are some famous locations for sightseeing in Kandy?

Some of the places that can be visited on a sightseeing tour in Kandy are as follows:

  •      Temple of the Tooth
  •      Udawattekele Sanctuary
  •      Millennium Elephant Foundation
  •      Wales Park
  •      Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue
  •      British Garrison Cemetery
  •      Kandyan Art Association
  •      Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
  •      Ceylon Tea Museum
  •      Kandy View Point
  •      The Bogambara lake
  •      Royal Palace of Kandy
  •      Commonwealth War Cemetery
  •      Ranweli Spice Garden
  •      Horton Plains National Park
  •      International Buddhist Museum
  •      Kandy Lake
  •      Bahirawakanda temple
  •      Perandeniya Botanical Gardens
  •      Spice Garden

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Kandy Things To Do Reviews

Gautam Shah
Reviewed: 08 Jul 2019
On the way to Kandy from Colombo take a visit to see the Elephants. If your timing is right you see them having a bath in the river then cross the road back to the orphanage where they are feed and roam the grounds They appear well cared for and are checked for illness and treated.
Ganesh Achari
Reviewed: 08 Jul 2019
Was stunned with the city view one side and mountains on the other side. What a great day, Well spent
Gautami Varman
Reviewed: 08 Jul 2019
This was the most recommended thing to do in kandy amazing dance performances and stunts

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