Kandy skies seem perpetually bruised, with stubborn mist clinging to the hills surrounding the city’s beautiful centrepiece lake. Delicate hill-country breezes impel the mist to gently part, revealing colourful houses amid Kandy’s improbable forested halo. In the centre of town, three-wheelers careen around slippery corners, raising a soft spray that threatens the silk saris worn by local women. Here’s a city that looks good even when it’s raining.
And when the drizzle subsides, cobalt-blue skies reveal a city of imposing colonial-era and Kandyan architecture, none more impressive than the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of Buddhism’s most sacred shrines.
History and culture are on tap. Yes, the city is renowned for the great Kandy Esala Perahera festival (held annually in July/August), but its vibrant cultural life and attractions more than justify a visit at any time of year.
The hill-country capital of Kandy lies on a plain amidst towering hills and looped by Sri Lanka’s largest river : the Mahaweli. The town’s pleasant temperate climate, its scenic location and its rich history has made it a favourite haunt for travellers. It is also the natural gateway to the stirring peaks of Sri Lanka’s hill country. For almost two centuries Kandy provided a safe haven for the proud Kandyan Kingdom, until it finally fell to the British in 1815. Now a tiny but bustling city, Kandy still regards itself as the bastion of Buddhist philosophy. During the month of August, Kandy dazzles with the sounds and lights of the Kandy Perehara – a magnificent procession where a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha is majestically paraded on elephant back along the streets of Kandy.