Kandy, Sri Lanka's second largest city and cultural capital is the gateway to the higher hills and tea plantations.
The clarity of the air and its verdant, hilly outlook around the sacred lake make it a pleasant escape from the heat of the coasts.
Kandy, is Sri Lanka's second largest city and home of the Dalada Maligawa, one of Buddhism's most sacred temple grounds containing the palace of Sri Lanka's former king and the holy of holies, the repository of an actual tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. It is said that in all the world there are three of the Buddha's teeth - one in India, one in Thailand and this one in Sri Lanka.
All are Buddhism's most sacred relics. The Dalada Maligawa houses the tooth in a carefully guarded shrine, behind a gilded altar and inside a series of nesting golden and bejeweled caskets. The caskets are brought out once a year for the crowds that gather at that time, but the tooth itself is never displayed.
Kandy is a laid-back place, and most visitors choose to base themselves at one of the hotels here for a few days and to explore the surrounding Kandyan countryside, before heading into the highlands or setting off for the cultural triangle and the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and Sigiriya.
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