5 Popular Divine Places to visit in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Kandy, a city located in the heart of Sri Lanka, has in the recent past come up as a significant attraction for visitors from across the globe. A city that is fused with a rich history has also been touted as the ‘Cultural Capital of the Island Nation’. Lake and picturesque hills are what sets Kandy apart from other Lankan cities. But, in this article, we talk about the Serene and Popular Divine Places to visit in Kandy.

With many temples nestled in this city, here are our picks of a few holy shrines that you must visit while touring Kandy.

1. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Possibly the most sacred of places to visit is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The temple, located just beside the Udawattakele (meaning – the garden of the royal palace) Sanctuary is also referred to as ‘Dalada Maligawa’.

Built in the early 17th Century, the temple houses one of Buddha’s teeth that is sheltered securely in a golden casket within a stupa-like edifice.

The temple of the tooth will leave you enthralled by the architecture; straight from the facade to interiors.

When to Visit? Open to visitors from 5:30 AM to 8 PM. To witness monks chanting prayers of Malwatte and Aegirine, we suggest you visit during dawn, noon and in the late evenings.

2. Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue

Located on the Bahivara Kanda (devil’s) hill is the herculean-sized statue of the Buddha that offers an astounding view of the entire Kandy town. The Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, a.k.a is the most noteworthy of monuments to be present in the city; a place that holds imperative Buddhists events.

To make the place easily accessible, you can either reach the summit by steps or hire a tuk-tuk to witness a panoramic view and the surrounding areas of Kandy.

When to Visit? Although the premise is open 24-hours a day, we recommend you to hit the place as early as possible in the day or post-sunset (accompanied by elegant lights lit in the dark)

3. Galmaduwa Temple

The unfolding of the Gal Oya development programme close to the Ampara area led to the findings of the Galmaduwa Temple. Post the discovery; the temple was rebuilt and modernized into the Vihara complex.

Belonging to the Kandyan era, the temple is entirely forged with stone and brick. The shrine’s foundation was laid by King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha; a structure built for his queen.

4. Ranawana Purana Raja Vihara

Yet another significant place of worship is the Ranawana Purana Raja Vihara. Unveiled on the 14th of February 2014, the place is home to the world’s tallest walking statue of the Buddha.

The majestic 80-feet tall Buddha statue is nestled amidst lush-green natural setting; considered among the beautiful temples found in the city.

How to Reach? Easy. There is a trail that leads to the forest. So go ahead and offer your prayers.

5. Gadaladeniya Temple

Lastly, we have on our list is the Gadaladeniya Temple. Constructed in 1344, the main shrine holds a peculiar South Indian design standing on an outcrop at the top end of monastery premises.

The temple draws major inspiration from the Dravidian architecture created by a south Indian architect, Ganeshvarachari. This solely explains the Indian influence on the temple’s design.

According to historical evidence, the temple was deserted until King Vira Parakrama Narendra Sinha (1707-1739) renounced it to Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thero, whose disciples have looked after it since then.

It is evident that with a strong reflection of the Indian influence in terms of artistic design, the Gadaladeniya Temple is a unique site to visit.

Honourable Mentions

  • If you consider yourself lucky enough, you get to witness a live cricket game at the Pallekele Cricket Stadium. As a cricket fanatic, visiting this stadium was the biggest charm.
  • Oldest and Biggest of Buddhist festivals to be held in Sri Lanka is the Kandy Esala Perahera. Celebrated across 10 days, the festival brings out drummers, dancers and elegantly dressed elephants entertaining crowds from across the globe. We urge you to have this noted down in your itinerary.

So go ahead and embark on this enticing journey of temples, trails and mountains. If you feel that we have missed out on something or there’s a hidden gem you’ve come across that we haven’t mentioned, drop them in the comment section below.

Escape from the monotony of everyday life and let go off yourself on this spiritual journey.