Kandy is popular because of the annual festival known as the "Esala Maha Perahera" in which the tooth relic of Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city. The tooth relic is taken on a royal tusker. The procession includes traditional dancers and drummers, flag bearers of the provinces of the old Kandian kingdom, the Nilames (temple custodians) wearing their traditional dresses, torch bearers and also the grandly attired elephant. This ceremony which is annually held in the months of July/August attracts large crowds from all parts of the country and also many foreign tourists.
Sri Dalada Maligawa, as it is known locally, is one of the most-visited sites in Kandy. The most sacred Buddhist shrine is said to possess a sacred tooth relic of Buddha, which has been preserved safely.
The lake was created by the last king of the Kandyan Empire and is artificial. It is locally called Kiri Muhuda and has an island in the center as well. You can get boats at the jetty and enjoy a boat ride. It is forbidden to swim in the lake as it is considered sacred. Make sure you wear life jackets.
A visit here to see the cultural dances of Sri Lanka is a must. You will enjoy the hour-long performance by fire dancers, kolam dancers, and other traditional and classical dancers.
The Garden is located about 5 km from the city centre to the west. The largest botanical garden in the country. The location is more popularly known as Peradeniya and they are definitely worth a visit, even if you are not too much into horticulture. It is historically interesting to note that the Commander of the allied forces during World War II in Southeast Asia was Lord Earl Mountbatten who had his headquarters in this garden.
The Victoria dam is located in the Dumbare Valley, immediately downstream of the River Mahaweli & the Hulu Ganga river in Teldeniya. It is a double curvature arch dam,122m (400ft) high, & 507m (1663ft) long measured along the crest. Its design is said to be most suitable for the geological conditions & terrain obtaining at Victoria. It has created a storage reservoir of 730 million cubic meters & a power capacity of 210 MW. A unique feature of the Victoria dam is automatically opening spillway crest gates to water when the reservoir level rises beyond full supply level.
The Knuckles Mountain Range covers parts of Kandy and Matale districts and is separated from the Central Hills by the Mahaveli Valley to the South and East and the Matale Valley to the West. Knuckles mountain range and forest reserve is a famous destination for hiking, trekking, bird watching, camping and many other adventure activities.
The 18-hole championship golf course set in a 517-acre site by the Victoria reservoir was designed to USPGA specification by golf architect Donald Steel.
A Visit to meemure village offers guests an opportunity to experience what it is like to live in the ancient isolated village of Meemure. The village is situated deep in the Knuckles Wilderness, where the local people have maintained their traditional and cultural attitudes towards the forest's existence. They rely heavily on the forest for their survival and gain as much as 63% of their total income from the forest resources.
Temple of the Gadaladenia, Asgiriya Maha Vihara, National Museum, Tea Museum. This occupies the 1925-vintage Hanthana Tea Factory.
According to legends, God Kataragama is believed to have lived on a mountain called Wedihiti Kanda, sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus. A walk of 2 hours will make you reach the summit of this holy mountain.
Outside of Kataragama is the small town called Sella Kataragama. It is said that this is the place where God Kataragama first met his first consort Valli Amma.
An ancient stupa built by King Mahasena. It is 95 ft. in height with a circumference of 280 ft. This structure probably dates back to the 3rd century BC.
Has a history of over 2200 years, located deep within the Yala National Park within the Hambantota district. It is believed that this rock temple once housed a total of 12,000 monks who achieved the highest mind level in Buddhism.
A town with rich archaeological attractions. Also known by the name of Mahagama in the ancient times was founded by Prince Mahanaga, brother of King Devanampiyatissa in the third century BC. The Buddhists believe that Lord Buddha visited Sri Lanka thrice, and on his third visit, he set foot on Tissamaharama.
The ancient temple is sited atop a rocky outcrop with a view of the stunning beach. One of the most well-known attractions in Kirinda is the statue of Queen Viharamaha Devi. This is situated on the spot where she is said to have landed after being set adrift on the sea from Kelaniya.
Jeep Safaris to Yala National Park (to spot leopards & Elephants), Bundala & Kumana National parks (Birds), Lunugam Vehera and Udawalawe National Parks. (Elephants)
It is believed that a bath taken from this river purifies an individual. Local residents declare that one can be healed of ailments by bathing in it not only from its high gem content but also the medicinal properties of the roots of various trees that line the river through the jungle.
The Maadu river; a preserved wild life sanctuary, offers very popular boat trips. You can arrange to visit temples, cinnamon estates and other nature resorts.
Bentota beach is of golden sand, swaying palm trees, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Ideal for Windsurfing and Sailing. The Bentota Ganga and Lulu Ganga are rivers that make Bentota into a sort of peninsula.
Swimming, body-surfing or diving in the sea, jet-ski, windsurf, parasail, and water-skiing. Equipment could be hired.
Bentota has a selective range of gift and souvenir shops, find local markets, supermarkets and many small shops to explore.
The Buddha Statue which is 160� ft tall is constructed in Bhoomi Sparsha Mudra (Calling the Earth to Witness His Enlightenment).
It consists of the house and garden of Bevis Bawa, a famous landscape architect, who developed the place, starting in 1929. Many sculptures by Bevis and other artists can be seen here. Formerly a rubber plantation, but now the estate is more of a museum.
This temple has the tallest ancient marble Buddha statue in Sri Lanka
Take a look at the conservation of turtles. The turtle hatcheries are open from 06:00 in the morning to 18:00 in the evening. If you wish to release a freshly hatched three-day old turtle into the ocean, try it.
A beautiful Temple dating from the 12th century. It is said to have been built by Parakramabahu the Great, who also built the city of Polonnaruwa. There is a maze of underground tunnels that connect the area's temples. In January a festival is celebrated on full moon day and a procession held in memory of Buddha's visit to the island.
A great starting point to discover this great city is the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara where Lord Buddha practiced, nearly 2000 years ago.
National Museum, Wolvendaal Church, Fort District, clock tower, the president's house and much more.
Fort, Pettah, Galle Face green, old parliament, Viharamahadevi Park, Independence Hall, Dehiwala Zoo, Beira Lake.
National Art Gallery, The Sapumal Foundation
Buddhist Temples, Hindu temples, mosques and churches
Shopping, Recreational Activities, Spas & Saloons, Movies and cinemas, nightlife, cafes, Events & Exhibitions, theatres
Location: Located in the west coast of Sri Lanka. 1 hour drive from the International Airport
Climate: Average temperature varies from 26 C to 30 C. Humid.
Colombo is the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It is also the economic and political hub. It reflects the trade culture of the past and showcases some historic colonial buildings. The city of Colombo offers historical monuments, colonial architecture, festivals and events, beaches, fine dining, shopping & night life. Many restaurants, shopping malls, banks, travel agencies, tourist information centers and hotels are located here.
By sunset, the city is more tranquil and nice. One of the loveliest sights here is watching the sun slip into the ocean while walking along Galle Face green, or while having a drink on the terrace at the Galle Face Hotel. Colombo is a city of many festivals. The most important festival in Colombo is the celebration of Lord Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Death. The city of Colombo is decorated with lanterns during this Vesak festival. The festival takes place in the month of May.
Attractions in Colombo
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
Location: Southwest coast of Sri Lanka, 2-3 hour drive from the International Airport.
Climate: Average Temperature is around 30�C.
Known for its stunning beaches and water sports, Bentota is a great starting point for day excursions along the West and South Coast. Bentota, used to be a place of rest on the way to Galapatha Temple which legend claims is linked by a maze of subterranean tunnels with all other temples in the area. From a number of festivals to shopping, Bentota is truly a tourist's delight. The artifacts and handicrafts on offer at many stalls/shops at Bentota are great gifts to carry back home. Tourists could Indulge in water sports, explore the beautiful coral reefs or take a boat ride.
Located in the southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka Bentota is known for its stretches of indigo Sea and golden sands. It is positioned 60 Kilometers away from Colombo and can be easily Accessed after a one and half hour drive. Like the naming of many other villages Bentota too derives its name from a mythical story, according to legend a demon called 'Bem' ruled the River which was referred to as 'tota'. The village of Bentota remains to be peaceful, making it the perfect beach sanctuary to escape into. Staying true to its location the village is renowned for water sports that exploit the lagoon, river and sea. Travel to Bentota and explore the Temples located within the village and delve into the culture and heritage of the southern coast Of Sri Lanka and release a baby sea turtle into the ocean late at night and observe how it waddles its way into the sea across the sand.
Madu Ganga River Safari
Bawa "Brief Garden"
Attractions in Bentota
Kande Vihare Buddhist Temple
Sri Kalyanarama Maha Viharaya, Kaluwamodera
Location: Located in the south-east corner of Sri Lanka. 5 - 6 hour drive from the International Airport.
Climate: Average Temperature 30 �C
Kataragama is one of the oldest and certainly the most venerated variety of religious sites of pilgrimage, devoted to various deities of Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim worship in Sri Lanka. The temple complex is unique because there is a Hindu and a Buddhist temple in the same grounds, along with a Mosque. All of these people pray together in the same complex. The main shrine devoted to Skanda popularly described in eulogies as God having six faces and twelve arms whose assistance is sought for worldly gain. The history of the shrine dates back to 2 century BC. The annual procession held in July or August is the main event of the shrine with fire walkers and Kawadi dancers. It is said that King Mahasena who ruled Kataragama during the 3rd visit of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, became a follower of Buddhism after meeting Lord Buddha, was worshipped as God Kataragama (Kataragama Deviyo), by the people after his death.
Attractions in Kataragama
Location: Situated in the Central of Sri Lanka. 3- 4 hour drive from the International Airport.
Climate: Average temperature lies between 18 C to 31 C
The busy town is situated in a valley at an elevation of 600m, inside a wide loop of the Mahaweli River and is surrounded by hills covered with tropical vegetation. Home to the Sri Dalada Maligawa - the beautiful temple that houses the tooth relic of Lord Buddha - Kandy is also a popular stop during July/August when the annual Esala Perahera (holy festival) takes to the streets of the city. Thousands of drummers and dancers perform accompanying a parade of decorated elephants. The leading tusker carries a tooth of Lord Buddha. The cool climate, the Kandy Lake and the drives around it are set amidst great scenic beauty. Kandy is famous for its hand-made silver jewelry and traditional craftsmen working in bronze.
Discover ancient rituals by touring Kandy's stone temples, uncover history by visiting its cultural attractions and challenge your body with invigorating activities. Experience one of the most outstanding historical retreats in the tropics, a place where you find yourself lured by the island's enchanting history and the majestic beauty of its surroundings. The last royal capital of the country, Kandy lies in the midst of rocky hills, forest-covered peaks and tropical tea plantations. It is the second-largest city in the country, and has a lot to offer - rich culture and heritage, stunning views and a touch of urban buzz.