The gorgeous city of Kandy is a major tourist destination in Sri Lanka. Lying in the midst of hills in the centre of the island, 115 km east from Colombo at 465 meters above sea level, it is often referred to as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It was also the last stronghold of the country against colonial rule and the final capital of Sinhala's kingdom era. Kandy was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and is absolutely stunning in terms of religion and scenic beauty. Its pinnacle attractions include the Temple of the Tooth, the Kandy Perahera and the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya.
The Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dala Maligawa), built in the 16th century is a famous pilgrimage site for Buddhists. This magnificent temple enshrines Sri Lanka's most important relic of Buddha amidst gorgeous buildings including the King's Palace, which has now been partly converted to the Archaeological Museum and Queen's Palace, which houses the National Museum. The Kandy Perahera, the festival of the tooth, is a unique procession not to be missed out on. Held during July or August annually, this ceremony involves decorated elephants parading through the street amidst hundreds of dancers. Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is a must visit for nature lovers - here you can see a wide array of tropical trees, plants and flowers in gorgeously maintained gardens.
Kandy serves as an excellent travel point to surrounding tourist hotspots such as the cultural triangle (Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa) and the hill country (Nuwara Eliya). There are also several opportunities to buy souvenirs and experience cultural performances. In terms of scenic beauty, the Kandy Lake and Knuckles mountain range are worthwhile attractions to visit. Kandy is also popular for its championship golf course, Victoria Golf Club, set in a serene 517 acre site with trees and coconut palms.