About Kandy District
Sri Lanka’s second-largest city after Colombo, located in the central hills 116 KM east of Colombo, 1551 ft above sea level, Kandy is a historic city of the highest religious and cultural importance. The last capital of Sinhalese King until it fell into the hands of the British in 1875, Kandy which is also known as Senkadagalapura was established by the Wickramabahu 111 ( 1357-1374 CE ). Kandy remains the most sacred Buddhist site in Sri Lanka, perhaps the religious capital of Buddhism since it is the home of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ( SriDaladaMaligawa )- the most venerated Buddhist shrine in the world-and this historic sacred site was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. Most famous for the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ( Sri DaladacMaligawa ), this beautiful city is gifted with scores of attractions that include Sri DaladaMaligawa, Kandy Lake.
Main Attractions Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ( Sri Dalada Maligawa )
The most sacred place of Buddhist worship in Sri Lanka and perhaps the world’s most sacred Buddha shrine venerated by millions of the Buddhists all over the world, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa is a monumental palace built in the heart of the city of Kandy to house the sacred relic of the tooth of Gautama Buddha, brought from Kalinga( Orissa ) in India during the reign of Sri Meghavanna ( 310-28 ). The sacred relic of the tooth was taken from the funeral pyre of Gautama Buddha in 483 BC. Later on, the princess Hemamali with her husband prince Danta smuggled it into Sri Lanka hidden in her hair on the instructions of her father Guhasivadruing 4th century AD and it was first enshrined in Issurumuniya Temple in Anuradhapura, the first established Kingdom ancient Sri Lanka. Then it moved through a number of kingdoms across the country from time to time and at the end, it was brought Kandy by Hiripitiye Diyawadana Rala and Devanagala Ratnalankara Thera, during the reign of King Wimaladharmasuriya 1 ( 1591-1604 ) who built a two-story building to place the sacred relic of the tooth. After that, it was improved by various Kings who ruled the Kandyan Kingdom and the last improvement was done by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha( 1798-1815 ) who added the octagonal Pattirippuwaand the moat. The famous Kandyan architect Devandra Mulacharin is credited with building the Pattirippuwa. When it comes to architecture, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the Palatial complex depict the architectural marvels of ancient Sri Lanka. The present grander edifice has been built upon a granite substructure. In addition to granite, a wide variety of materials were used for this extraordinarily rich building: limestone, marble, sculpted wood, terracotta, metal, and ivory. The pained decorations vie with the sculpted décor and include purely decorative motifs as well as different series of figures ( dancers, acrobats, animals ) on the beams and ceilings. Kandy Esala Perahera( Sri Dalada Perahera ) is the grandest religious and cultural event held annually by DaladaMaligawa to honor the Sacred Tooth Relic. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ( Sri Dalada Maligawa ) together with Malwatte and Asgiriya Maha Vihara ( temples ) has been playing a tremendous role in the sustenance of the world’s greatest teaching-Buddhism-and Sri Lanka’s Buddhist culture flourishing over 2500 years.
Magul Maduwa ( Audience Hall )
Lying in between the palatial complex and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the Magul Maduwa( audience hall ) which is an open-air tall carved wooden pillared pavilion built-in 1784 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha. The Magul Maduwa which served as an audience hall, as well as the place where the Royal Court was convened, is a place where a number of historic events took place. It was AT THE Magul Maduwa that the patriots such as the Madugalle Disava and the Keppettipola Disava who fought against the English for independence were sentenced to death by the English. Also, it was at this hall that the Kandyan Convention of 1815 was signed between the British and Kandyan Radalas on 5th March 1815 ceding the Kingdom of Kandy-the last Kingdom in Sri Lanka-to the British.
Built-In 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the last Sinhalese king of Sri Lanka. Kandy lake that adds much beauty to the splendorous city of Kandy lies in the heart of the city beside the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri DaladaMaligawa). Forced labor is said to have been used by the King for the construction of the lake and those who objected to this were ruthlessly killed.
The lake surrounded by an ornate wall of 2060ft on length lies in a parameter of 2.1 miles and the depth o which is about 60ft. The islet in the center of the lake was used by the King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe as his privet harem and the royal bathhouse was used by the king’s wives and concubines as a bathhouse.
When you visit Kandy, the surrounding area of the Kandy lake filled with cool breeze coming from the lake and nearby forests is an ideal place for you to spend a few hours walking leisurely on the shady path around the lake and enjoying the scenic view is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic lying on the backdrop. Also, you could enjoy boat rides on the lake.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
Peradeniya botanical garden in Sri Lanka and one of the best in the region. It dates back to the ancient kings of the country although the British changed the look of it. The British are said to have used the gardens to grow trees that could not be grown at Kew Gardens. The large banyan tree, the orchid house, the suspension bridge, and the bats are some of the main attractions.
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