In the 6th century BC , Indo-Europeans from the Ganges Valley invaded Sri Lanka. Ancestors of the Singhalese , they ruled the island for more than 2,000 years. Beginning in the 3rd century BC , the country was converted to a pure form of Indian Buddhism that would continue to be practiced in the future. The famous tooth of Buddha, a relic symbolizing a 4th-century tradition that is often linked to royalty, was brought to Sri Lanka.
From this time on, the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth have been associated with the administrative and religious functions of Sri Lanka’s capital city.Anuradhapura enjoyed the status of capital city from the 4th century BC until the 8th century AD , when it was replaced by Polonnaruwa , which was capital until the 13th century . From 1592 until the 19th century , Kandy was the capital city and thus the home of the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth. Conquered by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century , Kandy preserved its independence until it finally submitted to the British in 1815. Since then, Kandy has preserved its function as the religious capital of Sri Lanka and a place of pilgrimage for practitioners of the original form of Buddhism .
The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth. It was one of a series of temples built in the places where the relic, the actual palladium of the Singhalese monarchy, was brought following the various relocations of the capital city. The Temple of the Tooth, the palace complex and the holy city of Kandy are associated with the history of the dissemination of one of the most important religions of humanity, Buddhism. The Temple of Kandy is the product of the last peregrination of the relic of the tooth of Buddha and the testimony of a cult which continues to be practiced today .
Traditional Sri Lankan dance is generally divided into two styles: “Low-country dancing” which is found in coastal regions and is generally used in aristocratic ceremonies, and “Up-country dancing” which flourished in the hill region around the ancient capital of Kandy, and so is often called “Kandyan dancing”. It is to this latter style of dancing. Kandyan dance is currently featured at one of the great summertime Buddhist festivals of Sri Lanka, the Esala Perahera, but is also a part of any number of ritual occasions.
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate. Kandy is the central part of the country and it is world famous for its natural beauty and pleasing climatic conditions. The temperature of the central part of the country is cooler. Within a one or two hour any one can enjoy the difference of the temperature. There are two monsoons, which occur May to July and December to January. The average yearly temperature for the country as a whole ranges from 26Â° C to 28Â° C. Day and night temperatures may vary by 4 to 7 . January is the coolest month, causing people, especially those in the highlands, to wear coats and sweaters. May, the hottest period, precedes the summer monsoon rains.
Sri Lanka has plenty of tempting wares to offer for shoppers, and what is best is that there is something to suit virtually every budget. If you have plenty to spend, there’s nothing quite as enticing as Sri Lanka’s precious gemstones , sapphires, rubies, beryls, zircon, quartz and more. Although Kandy & Ratnapura, is the most important gem centre, gemstones are also easily available though usually at a higher price, at other places. If gems don’t quite fit your pocket or your preferences, there are handicrafts aplenty. Among the most popular are painted wooden ceremonial masks ranging in size from key rings to full, life size ones; batik – an originally Indonesian method of dyeing cloth using wax to create patterns, leather worker (especially bags), lacquer-work, jewelery, coir-ware and earthenware.
Kandy is the venue of the Esala Perahera, easily the most colorful pageant of Asia, held in July/August each year, in honour of the tooth Relic. As the pageantry of the Esala Perahera unfolds through ten nights each year, the city takes on the air of a torch-lit dreamland, complete with a hundred or more colorfully caparisoned elephants, drummers, dancers, and chieftains in the rare colorful trappings of the old kingdom.
A pageant of great and aesthetic and socio-cultural value, the Kandy Asala Perahera has been the subject of much scholarly study and intense artistic appreciation. There are several theories and interpretations regarding the origin of the pageant which are really complementary and not exclusive of each other.Kandy is the famous for the huge cultural pageant that has hundreds and thousands of traditional drummers, dancers, performers accompanying a parade of heavily gilded, ornamented elephants, the leading tusker carrying the sacred relic, a tooth of load buddha in procession.
Temple of Tooth Relic
The tooth relic was brought to Sri Lanka in 371 A.D. from India. In India there was a king called Buhasiva. He has instructed his son in law Dhantha supposing if he lost in the battle take the tooth relic to Sri Lanka where his friend was living. He handed over this tooth relic to his son in law DhanthaThe king lost the battle and his daughter princes Hemamali and son in law Dhantha brought the tooth relic to Sri Lanka, and it was hidden in her knot of hair foe safety. When they reached Sri Lanka King Buhasiva’s friendly king Mahasen had died.
The latest institution added to the Dalada Shrine is the ` Sri Dalada Museum ‘.Ever since the Tooth Relic shrine was established in Kandy, different grades of visitors and devotees, ranging from the Roylty and Heads of States to the poorest of the general public, have been offering various gifts to the Sacred Tooth Relic, and these were preciously protected in specially built store-rooms by the successive line of Diyawadana Nilames. THE DALADA MUSEUM is located on the first and the second floors of the new wing called the Alut Maligawa set up by one of the past Diyawadana Nilemes, T.B.Nugawela. The display on the first floor consists of historical records from the time when the Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka to the time of the British rule.
Gadaladeniya Viharaya Pilimatalawa, Kandy Built almost exclusively of stone in 1344 by the Gampola King Wicramabahu, situated on a hilltop, commanding views of the surrounding countryside. The architecture is Dravidian. The entrance porch features large stone pillars which support a roof of huge stone slabs.cted food offerings for centuries. Within the vihara, an ancient stone and plaster Buddha image looks down upon milk rice pots that have colle The 638 year old jak wood doors still exhibit their original paintings.
Above the Dalada Maligawa lies one of Kandy’s hidden treasures; seldom visited Udavattekale was the ‘Forbidden Forest of the Kings of Kandy’. The forest is still a primeval forest, as it had been preserved in that state by the Sinhalese Kings as a ‘Tahansi Kale’ a sequestered forest from which all civilians were barred on pain of execution not even firewood was allowed to be collected.The forest today is only a fraction of its former size now just over 200 acres, but still boasts trees of its former glory such asTalipot trees, cinnamon, olive, rattan cane, betel, bo-trees, kitul palms, jak, mara, betel nut and arecanut access is obtained behind Trinity College High School.
Peradeniya GardensSituated in the Hill capital Kandy. Visit to this garden will provide spectacles at extraordinary beauty and absorbing interest for any nature lover and casual visitor. 68 miles off-Colombo, 4 miles off Kandy this garden dates from 14th century reign of king Vikrama Bahu III. Peradeniya is well know for it’s large variety of plants ornaments, useful machine and other creepers that produce the special spices at Sri Lanka. The great lawns highlight huge tropical trees and variety at bamboo can be found in one place.The best know attraction of the garden is the orchid House, which houses more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids. A spice garden gives you a first hand introduction to the trees and plants used for the traditional Ayurvedic medicine
Lankatilaka temple is built on the summit of the rock called Panhalgala. This is in the village of Rabbegamuwa, Udunuvara division of Kandy district, approximately 12 km. from the Peradeniya bridge. It can be approached from two directions, one from the Colombo-Kandy Road and another from the Gampaha-Kandy Road. Lankatilaka, together with another Buddhist shrine at Gadaladeniya and the Embekke Devale dedicated to God Kataragama, all dating from the fourteen century. Overlooking the eastern escarpment of the rock, the surroundings provide a magnificent panorama with distant hills ,paddy fields and diverse vegetation . Apparently the site had been selected as usual for its beauty and peaceful environment , at a proper distance from bustling village life.
Its name describes its outline. The Knuckles Range consists of the Knuckles massif, the Knuckles range and the Knuckles peaks. The Knuckles massif is about 90 square miles in extent and is a detached block of the central highlands separated from the main highlands by the the Dumbara Valley. There are 35 peaks rising to more than 3000 feet (915 m) in the Knuckles range. It has a rich variety of plant and animal life. Mammals include leopards, sambhur, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth deer, leaf monkeys, toque monkeys, wild squirrels, giant squirrels, wild boar, otter and lorries. Besides these, many species of amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, spiders, fish and birds can be found here.
Hanthana is a range of mountains spread on the outskirts of Kandy from which many glorious rivulets and streams flow. One such stream flows past the village of Udaperadeniya and the University.
Here is a small village called “Arathtana” which was, many moons ago in Sri Lanka, well known for its dancers and drummers. In this village lived a drummer who had a skin disease. He tried every possible treatment to rid himself of his problem, but none of them worked. Every medicine failed to cure him. He decided to go to the “temple of Katharagama”, a temple in the southern part of Sri Lanka. This temple was built for the god of Katharagama.
A private hideaway on the peak of a mountain set against a mirrored lake which flows into the cascading waters of ‘Hunas Falls’ – a haven of peace and tranquility where quiet moments become treasured memories is this paradise hotel – Hunas Falls.
Sri Lanka’s indigenous inhabitants, the Veddas or Wanniya-laeto (‘forest-dwellers’) as they call themselves preserve a direct line of descent from the island’s original Neolithic community dating from at least 16,000 BC and probably far earlier according to current scientific opinion. Even today, the surviving Wanniya-laeto community retains much of its own distinctive cyclic world view, prehistoric cultural memory, and time-tested knowledge of their semi-evergreen dry monsoon forest habitat that has enabled their ancestor-revering culture to meet the diverse challenges to their collective identity and survival.