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Holidays in Kandy: Sri Lanka’s cultural capital

Kandy might not be the actual capital of Sri Lanka but it certainly deserves the title of its cultural capital. As far as historical riches go, a holiday in Kandy, the capital of the last Sinhalese kings, will tick every single box and more. Situated among wooded hills on the shores of a lake, Kandy is home to rambling colonial buildings which sit alongside ancient temples.

The most famous temple is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is said to hold Buddha's tooth. If you visit in July or August, you will experience the Kandy Perahera festival, at which the golden caskets are paraded around the city accompanied by drummers, dancers, chieftains and more than 50 elephants.

Kandy, which was established in the 15th century, is also a thriving market town and a centre for artisans. You can bag yourself some memorable souvenirs made by local woodcarvers, metalworkers and jewellery makers here. If you are a nature lover, then a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens should be on your to-do list. We can arrange for you to be guided by a local botanist who will be able to tell you all about the varied plant life here.

Make the most of the evening cultural shows on offer and experience traditional Sri Lankan dancing. If this isn’t your thing you can always slope off to Victoria Golf Course on the outskirts of the city for a sneaky round or two.

Indian Subcontinent team

From the sacred stupas of Bhutan to Sri Lanka's sun-kissed beaches, our Indian Subcontinent team have seen it all. They are in an ideal position to help you curate the perfect escape to this fascinating region
Meet the team