Sri Lanka’s Central Province consists of the districts of Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Matale. It is primarily mountainous country known for its tea production and its pleasant climate.
Kandy is a district of the Central Province of Sri Lanka, situated near the centre of the island. Its capital is Kandy City, the cultural heart of Sri Lanka.
Sedate, quiet and homely, Kandy is the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. The hills that surround it act as natural barriers to the expansion of the city. Property prices are expensive because of this.
The Kandy Perahera is a colourful pageant held every July or August. The final night procession is a spectacular event with a parade including 50 elephants accompanied by drummers, dancers and chieftains.
Kandy has always been a popular destination for foreigners looking for a quieter life away from the beach. They can choose to stay at tea estates or in bungalows on the hills. There is a golf course half an hour from town overlooking the reservoir, with plots for sale in the neighbourhood.
Kandy has several attractions:
- The Tea Museum in Hantane, Kandy, has a fascinating collection of old machinery used in tea production. It narrates the 130-year history of the first tea plantation in Sri Lanka, built by the Englishman James Taylor. Visitors can also buy the finest Sri Lankan teas here.
- The Udawattakele Sanctuary is in the centre of the town and protects many bird species.
- Lankathilaka Viharaya is a Buddhist shrine in the traditional Sinhalese style. The four guardian deities of the island, or Devalas, are also depicted.
- Embekke Devalaya is a wooden temple in the village of Ambakka. There is a courtyard inside the temple where hewisi puja (homage to drums), one of the musical traditions associated with Buddhism, is performed.
- The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage in the verdant hills of Kegalle covers 25 acres of forest. It feeds and nurses young elephants that were lost or abandoned. There are about 75 elephants in the orphanage and visitors are welcome to watch the feeding.
- The Hindagala Viharaya is a monastery about 6 miles from Kandy proper. Along with Malwatu Maha Vihara, it is one of the great centres of the Buddhist Sangha.
- The Knuckle Mountain Range is a conservation area spread over 155 square kilometres, protecting a variety of flora and fauna unique to this region.
- The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is a walker’s paradise with over 4,000 species of trees and plants. In the centre of the gardens is an artificial lake with giant lilies and papyrus reeds. Peradeniya was the headquarters of Lord Mountbatten during the Second World War.
- The Hantana Mountains on the outskirts of Kandy are famous trekking destinations. Seen from the city, they present a picture-perfect view, appearing to be dressed in mist.
Kandy Lake is an artificial lake created over paddy fields by the last Sinhalese king in 1807. A World Heritage site, the lake is in the middle of the town, beside the sacred Temple of the Tooth and ringed by trees. The Walakulu (clouds) boundary wall goes halfway around the lake—the king who had it built was defeated by the British before it could be completed. There are triangular holes in the wall used to place lit oil lamps.
Gampola is a large town near Kandy in the Central Province. It sits about 3,500 feet above sea level and has the famous temples of Lankathilaka, Gadaladeniya and Embekka Devalaya. It also has also a biodiversity complex that resembles a Buddhist stupa.
The hill station of Nuwara Eliya is the cool, green heart of tea country. Situated almost 2,000 metres above sea level, the town has a mild temperature, falling between 14°C and 21°C. It has a small English country town atmosphere, with red brick homes and a country house-like hill club.
Craig Bank is a villa set amidst magnificent gardens, overlooking a golf course, just above the town. Though centrally located, the atmosphere is serene, secluded and unpolluted, offering guests much-needed privacy. The European design perfectly blends with the property’s atmosphere of a bygone era.