Perfectly located in the Central region of Sri Lanka, Kandy has an exquisitely ethereal beauty, especially when it rains. Wet weather makes me feel nostalgic for my time in this beautiful city that fascinated me with its beautiful scenery, peaceful pace of life and hospitable locals.
As the second-largest city in Sri Lanka, Kandy is a far cry from the bustling and dynamic capital of Colombo with its idyllic and serene ambience. When I arrived in Kandy, it rained sporadically all day, clearing the air and refreshing the surrounding environment. Looking out over the city, the tree-lined roads and streets are packed with many different types of vehicles, people slowly going about their daily lives and dogs lazing around. I was met with the same scene every day in Kandy, but oddly, I did not tire of the view.
The beauty of Kandy has always intrigued me and made me want to visit Sri Lanka. Travelling through many modern and flashy places has allowed me to understand and appreciate the simple beauty of this unique country. Kandy provides an exclusive cultural context that you can see in both its long rows of greenery and its beautiful winding alleys. With the inconsistency in the weather, I was always prepared for the rain in Kandy, making sure to always carry my umbrella. I meandered downtown catching sight of colourful fruit stalls, opulent jewellery stores and small sidewalk eateries. It took me nearly a full day to travel around the city, but it was well worth it as the people of Kandy are so gentle and kind-hearted. Whatever my preconceptions of the people of Sri Lanka, I was proven wrong. The local people are hospitable, gentle and enthusiastic, they always greet visitors with warm smiles and will go above and beyond to help in any way they can.
I had such a strong first impression of Kandy thanks to the breathtaking landscapes and warmness of the local people that I was soon asking myself how I could have only allowed two days for my visit to the city.
Your trip to Kandy would not be complete without visiting the infamous Temple of the Tooth. Commonly called Sri Dalada Maligawa, the place is known for being a signature Buddhist icon in Sri Lanka. Situated along the romantic Kandy Lake, the white architecture of the Temple of the Tooth fascinated me. After passing through stringent security, rather similar to that at the airport, I bought a ticket to visit the temple, which has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.
Walking barefoot on the brick floor inside the temple, I was astounded by the delicacy and meticulousness of the interior. Known as a sacred pilgrimage destination for both Sri Lankan and international Buddhists, the temple is best known for being home to the Buddha Tooth Relic. According to Sri Lankan legend, the Buddha Tooth Relic was preserved in Kalinga, India, but it was threatened by Hindu forces. Therefore, the king gave the Buddha Tooth Relic to Princess Hemamali who hid the precious artefact in her hair. When she finally arrived in Sri Lanka, she decided to give the Buddha Tooth Relic to the King of Sri Lanka. Since then, the relic has become a significant national treasure of Sri Lanka.
I vividly remember taking an afternoon stroll around the famous Temple of the Tooth and being able to appreciate the 360-degree view of the houses surrounding the alluring Kandy Lake. Everything about Sri Lanka was absolutely delightful and ever since my departure from the beautiful island, the image of a peaceful Kandy still fills my heart.
Kandy is considered to be a paradise for tea drinkers as it offers a vast array of famous fresh Sri Lankan tea. On my last day in Kandy, despite the rainfall, my journey to the tea hills was not interrupted. I marvelled in awe over the lush green tea plantations along the rolling hillside and then was once again overwhelmed by the tranquillity and serenity exuding from the Kandy countryside.
Whenever I think of Sri Lankan women gathering delicate tea leaves, beautiful melodies dance around in my head. Remembering my time in Sri Lanka conjures an idyllic, joyful and beautiful picture about the working life of the local people. I have to admit that the gentle flavours of Kandy tea bring endless joy to my heart. The Sri Lankan tea plantation tour was quite short, but my companions and I bought all kinds of tea in Kandy, not only to savour the world’s best tea but also so that we could share with our friends the signature taste of the Sri Lankan tea.
My two days in Kandy passed quickly, I said goodbye with a heavy heart to a city that is home to such a cool atmosphere, peaceful nature and friendly people. Kandy was just one of the destinations on my Sri Lanka travel itinerary, but it made an unforgettable impression on me. Most importantly, the city completely made me relax and feel at peace without any worry. If I could have one wish right now, then I would wish for a cup of tea on a hillside whilst watching a spectacular sunset across the city of Kandy.