Kandy became capital of the kingdom in 1592 and resisted European domination for hundreds of years. It is most famous as a scared site of pilgrimage for Buddhists, who flock to see Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Tooth, which contains the sacred tooth of the Buddha, taken from his funeral pyre in 543 BC and brought to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. Each evening the casket containing the tooth relic is put on display during the Thewawa ceremony whilst the city hosts the spectacular Esala Perahera festival every July or August, when thousands of dancers and hundreds of elephants march through the town with a replica of the tooth carried on a richly decorated elephant. Elsewhere in town, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens contain 4,000 species of plants including a massive weeping fig tree, numerous orchids and the rare Coco de Mer coconut tree while a performance of Kandian dancers and fire eaters is worth checking out.
Location: Sri Lanka
Travel to Kandy
Organised group tours: Click here to see 21 tours to Sri Lanka which may include Kandy.