Kandy was the third stop during my Sri Lankan holiday and the first city Sister and I stayed in (in this instance I am not counting Colombo as we only landed there and didn’t actually see or do anything). Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and in comparison to Sigiriya and Dambulla, bustling with activity and people! As an urbanite I felt instantly at home but as someone who loves everything more rural places offer I missed the relative quiet and calm of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle.
We had planned to take the train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya the next day (as this route is supposed to be stunning) but as we hadn’t been in Kandy the week before tickets for the train we wanted had sold out. However, we were told that on the morning of the day we wanted to travel they sold unreserved seats. After decided to try our luck the next morning we decided to explore one of Kandy’s most precious treasure: the Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Also called Sri Dalada Maligawa the Buddhist temple can be found in the very heart of Kandy and houses the relic of Buddha’s tooth. As with the Buddhist temple we visited in Dambulla it was very important that we made sure our knees and shoulders were covered before entering – this rule applies for both men and women.
The inside of the temple was absolutely beautiful. I only discovered that the temple sustained damage from bombings after I had visited and as I tourist I really appreciated the restoration work which had taken place. There were a lot of people inside but it was also cool and calm.
Once we had also wondered around the grounds we headed back to our hotel to come up with a battle plan for the train journey the next day. Called the scenic train, the route from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is reputedly one of the most scenic routes in the world, cutting through rice fields and tea plantations. Apparently every single tourist who comes to this part of the world takes this train and Sister and I were no different. The next day we managed to get two unreserved second class tickets and bid a fond farewell to Kandy before heading higher and higher to Nuwara Eliya.
The aim was always to get first class reserved tickets but they are only possible if you pre-buy and as I said, we weren’t in Kandy long enough to do this. But second class unreserved was an adventure let me tell you and you can read all about it in my next Travel Diary instalment!
Here are my previous instalments: