Kandy - Sri Lanka
Kandy is the last Sinhalese Kingdom of the country. Having witnessed the last of the British days and left with a number of Kandyan legacies to protect, it has evolved into being a perfect mixture of culture and modernity, as many feel Kandy is the only other 'proper' city other than Colombo. Blessed with a relatively cool weather, at an altitude of 488m above sea level, and cradled among lush green hills, the city is laid back but bustling with activity any time of the year.
Set, next to a picturesque man-made lake, the heart and soul of this city is the Dalada Maligawa, or the temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. A holy pilgrimage for Buddhists everywhere, the temple is flocked with devotees any day of the year where the ancient rituals of offering are performed every day for you to see.
A South Indian inspired temple is a little different from the typical Buddhist temples of Sri Lanka as it was built by Dravidian architects, giving it a more oriental touch. A must see temple for its uniqueness.
The temple at Lankatilake is what a village temple in the olden days exactly looked like. Built on a summit of Pahangala, with a panoramic view of the surrounding paddy fields and the ring of Blue Mountains, it brings to life proverbial tales of Sri Lanka, where the temple was the heart of every village.
This temple is the holy land of Sri Lankan artists and architects for it's a temple renowned for its intricate and ornate wood carvings. The carvings are uniquely pictorial and each carved with a story to tell, well worthy of a visit.
Built with royal patronage during the 14th Century BC it was also the King's garden. With lush green meadows and well manicured lawns, it is a popular place for picnics among the local crowd. The star attraction being the orchid house which boasts of a great variety of exotic orchids like you have never seen before. The institute also dedicates itself to nature research partnering with the Department of agriculture. A true nature lover's paradise.
Kandy is such a small city that a walk around the town area, would sum up your shopping sightseeing. The town square has a number of little temples associated with the temple of the tooth. It also comprises of interesting little boutiques and shops to wander through. You can spend your day idly roaming through this town and its little intricacies as its people are very friendly. The city's attractive mall is always bustling with activity, but come twilight, you may make a retreat as everything falls cold and silent in Kandy at night.