Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sri Lanka - Visit to Kandy

Kandy, the last royal capital of Sri Lanka is a major tourist destination. (115kM from Colombo at 465 meters above sea level). Though it does not seem that far, the narrow 2 lane roads with fast buses and slow scooters make the ride "exciting" and long. (3 hours at least)

Famous for the Temple of the Buddha's Tooth Relic and many other temples the city could be called the cultural capital of the island.

Part of the city is on the side of hills and they make a spectacular view! Kandy city central is full of life, and near the vicinty of one spot, Temple of Buddha Tooth Relic, you can find lots of old Hindu shrines, Buddhist temples and a church!

One thing I like about Kandy among the beautiful architecture, is the great sky! The blue and whites are simply amazing!

The building are really beautiful and unique, and with the coconut trees surrounding the area, the atmosphere is relaxed and it just feels great to be here.

There are lots of nice scenes to see, but here's a tip: WEAR SANDALS! -- You have to take off your shoes often here!

This place is crowded, and there are lots of things to see, above is a Hindu Shrine.

I would love to see this at night as the holes have candles and they will definitely make the picture look better at night.

Here is a satellite map of Kandy (Courtesy of Google Maps)

View Larger Map

Next Stop: Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, Sri Lanka

There is an entrance fee for tourists and an extra fee for your camera. You have to leave your shoes at the ticket booth, and there is a fee to keep the shoes, and seemed to have a tip (mandatory) as well. At the entrance, there are a few guides that will show you around the temple:

Remember: Negotiate for a price first before accepting the guide. A fair price would be Rs$300 (About US$3) as there are many other things to pay for (like tips for taking care of your shoes!)

Greeted by a golden dome from the outside, the walls are elaborately carved and the walls are beautiful!

On the outside, the temple buildings are kind of plain. White with red roofs, they cluster around Kandy Lake, and one building with a golden roof, but that is pretty much it.

In contrast to the plain exterior, the interiors of the temple buildings are richly carved and decorated with inlaid woods, ivory, and lacquer.

The relic of the tooth is kept in a two-story inner shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks. The relic rests on a solid gold lotus flower, encased in jeweled caskets that sit on a throne.

The Relic is further down on the left...

The Buddha's tooth Relic.

The temple is joined to the Pattiripuwa (Octagon) tower, built in 1803, that was originally a prison but now houses a collection of palm-leaf manuscripts. The king's palace is also in the temple compound.

Manuscript Room

Manuscript Room

The courtyard is also very interesting and the pillars and columns are intricately designed.

Again, the sky in the courtyard is amazing.

There is another building behind and it stores a lot of Buddha's from all over the earth!

Around the hall, there are lots of pictures which tell the story of Buddha's journey.

More information on the story can be found here...

There are still many interesting things to see outside around the compound.

I remember seeing this in JAPAN!!

There is something beautiful every corner.

There is also a church outside. (Not so strange as it was controlled by the British some time ago)

Be sure to look around and find interesting things.

Next Stop: Kandy City

The city is very pretty and architecture varied throughout. It is definitely interesting to look at.

Although there were barriers to keep out cars, it was still very walkable and interesting.

There is always lots of cars and lots of people.

Kandy lake is absolutely beautiful, and a must visit to anyone who has not seen it.

Wait, there is a big Buddha on the hill? We gotta check it out, but first food.

I would like to review some food places in Kandy, however, since I am only there for a day, I only had food at "The Pub"

The Pub

Founded in 1999 "The Pub" has established itself as one of Kandy's most outstanding casual restaurants. And ist not only the amazing concept of "eater-tainment" but the range of competitive priced wines which are making "The Pub" the place to go to while in Kandy.
PHONE: 94-812234868, 94-812234341
Pub Restaurant Kandy Sri Lanka

The food was great, and beer was good as usual. No worries to find a nice spot to drink at all!

Next up: Towards the big Buddha on the hill!

There are definitely spots for Great Photography.

With Kandy City below, it is indeed a great place for great shots!

The big Buddha which was visible from a far, was not as big as expected.

This is a picture to give you a better idea of the size.

There are many interesting finds and beautiful relics inside.

Check out the sculptures!

They are indeed beautiful and the picture could not do them justice.

Even the entrance look very interesting.

From this high point, you can see Kandy Lake and the city of Kandy below!

It is very interesting to see the city from the top!

There are lots of greenery around and a beautiful sight, even when I am going back. Adam's peak from the distance is visible and I hope one day I can visit there.

Kandy is a great place to visit, and I highly recommend it!


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