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Kandy: Buddhist temples and botanical gardens

Throughout Kandy it is as if the landscape had taken a bath of color and had come out decorated of such intense shades as to be blinding. The fruit in the markets, the Buddhist temple of Dalada Maligawa, the elephants decorated for the processions. All these things are a colorful vortex intertwined with the green of the lush vegetation. The city of Kandy has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. This put the city on an equal footing with Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya. Kandy is located in a hilly area near an artificial lake created in 1907.

THE TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH OF BUDDHA

The main feature of this place and which makes it a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists from all over the world, is the presence of the “Dalada Maligawa” temple. This is the temple where the Buddha Tooth is kept. That is the most sacred relic of this religion. According to legend, it is a canine tooth of the god, which was not burnt during the cremation of his body. Since then the tooth was venerated, protected and passed on from generation to generation by the Sinhalese kings.

The temple is located within the building complex of the royal palace. Among others, one of the things that strikes when visiting this place is the contrast between the temple and the nearby Victorian-era building. The latter building is the seat of the former local court. These two buildings together seem to narrate, without using a single word, the political, historical and even architectural upheavals that occurred in these places in the colonial era. Inside the temple, as neutral on the outside as it is colorful on the inside, after going through a theory of immense decorated corridors, it is possible to observe the finely worked golden urn that houses the relic.

Other noteworthy places to visit in Kandy are undoubtedly the important places of worship Natha Devala and Vishnu Devala. Finally we can mention the “Kiri samudraya” or the island located in the center of the lake.

A SPECTACULAR BOTANICAL GARDEN

Extraordinary is the Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya, whose construction dates back to the end of the 1300s. This splendid garden has an extension of about 59 hectares. It is really difficult to describe the countless species of plants, flowers, and insects that populate this magical place. The very rare orchids with iridescent colors, the wonderful butterflies and the centenary trees. In this place even spiders are beautiful and colorful (and sometimes dangerous).

Those who can plan their stay in Sri Lanka between the end of July and the beginning of August, cannot absolutely miss the Buddhist festival of Esala Perahera. In the course of eleven days you can observe the dancers in white and red clothes, the temple of the sacred tooth illuminated by day and the procession of the elephants decorated in the most colorful and bright ways that you can imagine. Nature, culture, art and traditions make Kandy a precious place to discover during a trip to Sri Lanka. Kandy is a destination between culture and religion capable of surprising even the traveler accustomed to traveling the world.

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