Things to do
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Kandy is a treasure trove of ancient monuments and rich culture. Visit the Temple of the Tooth, or discover the beguiling artefacts in the Alut Maligawa shrine hall, before strolling around the Royal Palace Park. Then retreat to the lake that lies at the heart of the city. Dating back to 1807, this serene stretch of water, island and ‘cloud wall’, were created by Kandy’s last king and offer picturesque views.
Leave the city and head for the hills. Near the Temple of the Tooth you’ll find Udawattakelle Sanctuary. Formerly a royal pleasure garden, the forest is home to ancient trees, tropical birdlife and Buddhist cave dwellings. Or escape to the central highlands near your luxury hotel. The immense Knuckles Forest Range is covered in grassland and forests where you could spot black eagles, buffalo, macaques and even an elephant or two.
Dancers, drummers and daredevil acrobats – travel to Kandy in July or August and you might be lucky enough to witness the spectacle of Esala Perahera. This ten-day Buddhist festival is full of ritual, colour, light and music, with a central parade that features dancers, jugglers and fire-breathers. Not to mention lavishly decorated elephants.