The Hill Capital of Kandy was the last bastion of the Sinhala kings and is rich in history and culture. Set around an attractive man-made lake in Sri Lanka's scenic hill country, Kandy is a charming city offering a living record of a magnificent past. Its position at an altitude of 500m means Kandy enjoys a cooler and more pleasant temperature than Colombo, its low-lying urban counterpart, and is a good base from which to explore the surrounding Knuckles Range.
It is also the site of Sri Lanka’s greatest annual spectacle, the Esala Perahera festival, a 10-day event held usually in late July or early August – celebrating the sacred tooth allegedly snatched from Buddha’s funeral pyre, which now rests in Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa ). Whether the tooth exists or not is unverifiable, as no-one living has seen it. Tooth or no tooth, Esala Perahera is an awesome show. The Temple of the Toot is located in the centre of town, alongside the attractive lake. Here, elephants paraded during Esala Perahera can be seen in the courtyards of the temple, along with small shrines dedicated to Buddha. Local women sell lotus flowers to worshippers and monkeys scamper around the buildings. The main temple contains the well-guarded tooth casket, as well as a series of elaborate Buddha images and a detailed legend on how the tooth arrived in Kandy.
Not far from Kandy is the Pinnewala Elephant Sanctuary, situated in the hill country. It was set up to care for and protect abandoned or orphaned young wild elephants including babies. Controlled by their mahouts (keepers), around 80 elephants are fed, bathed and cared for at this sanctuary of sorts.
If you are planning a Kandy holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Cinnamon Citadel Kandy
Cinnamon Citadel Kandy is the former home of the Dunivila family. Surrounded by gorgeous green hills the grounds boast an outdoor pool and al fresco dining. All rooms are elegantly furnished and have great views over the river. Spread out across three wings, the spacious rooms feature the standard amenities one would expect of a 4 star hotel with a calming design. The hotel offers a range of indoor sports activities including badminton, table tennis and darts, as well as a well equipped gym.
Earl's Regency Kandy
Earl's Regency is a comfortable and spacious hotel. The large rooms have views over the gardens and mountains, and are tastefully decorated in a neutral palette of cream and wooden furniture. A mix of international and tradition cuisine is available in the two restaurants and the spa has a range of pampering treatments. Following the contours of a natural rock formation, the hotel's outdoor pool is a scenic spot to enjoy a swim overlooking the manicured gardens and surrounding mountain ranges.
Hotel Topaz Kandy
Hotel Topaz is a charming hotel with a stunning roof top view. The elegant rooms are spacious and accentuated with splashes of vibrant colour with private balconies and good facilities. The large outdoor pool is a lovely spot to unwind with far-reaching views of the surrounding hills. Buffet meals can be enjoyed at the hotel's restaurant with theme nights that include Chinese and Mexican cuisine. Guests can also relax in the spa or the TV lounge which stocks a large collection of DVDs.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Kandy Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Kandy.