Situated in the island’s central hills, Kandy was the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, bringing to an end 2500 years of royal rule. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this ancient kingdom and its kings warded off attempted invasions by the Portuguese and Dutch, but fell to the British at the beginning of the 19th century. A sacred pilgrimage site and amongst the most important places in Sri Lanka for Buddhists, it is the home of the Sri Dalada Maligawa – the Temple of the Tooth where the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is housed. The Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, which is close to Kandy, was a royal residence and park during the reign of the last king of Sri Lanka.
The Temple of the Tooth which dates back to 1687 is an imposing structure which contains the Tooth Relic of the Buddha which was smuggled into the country in the 4th Century BC, after the Buddha’s death. The Tooth Relic, which is concealed in an inner shrine in the temple, is taken through the streets of Kandy during the Esala Perahara, a magnificent procession of elephants, drummers and dancers, which is held for about ten days in July/August. What remains of the Royal Palace, the Maha Wasala is now used as the National Museum. Also to be seen is the Meda Wasala (middle palace), the Magul Maduwa (audience hall), the Natha Devale and the Vishnu Devale. The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is home to more than 4500 species of trees and plants among which are to be found some rare and endemic flora.
The excursion begins at 08.00 hours from Jetwing Vil Uyana, and it takes 4 hours each way from the hotel to Kandy. Situated 90 km away from the hotel, there is a walking distance of about 2 km at the Temple of the Tooth, and 3 km at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The hotel provides transport, entrance fee, soft drinks and lunch. Guests should wear comfortable clothes suitable for a visit to a religious site, comfortable shoes, and carry sunglasses, caps or hats, cameras, insect repellent and sun block with them.