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Vacation rentals in Kandy

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Popular amenities for Kandy vacation rentals

Your guide to Kandy

All About Kandy

High in the gentle hills of the Kandy Plateau in the richly forested interior of Sri Lanka, Kandy is the capital of the Central Province and a major religious center, once home to the ancient Sinhalese kings. The city is framed by the majestic Knuckles and Hanthana mountain ranges to the east and south.

Kandy is a laidback city, known for its connection with Buddhism. The Temple of the Tooth, said to hold a sacred tooth of the Buddha, is a destination for many pilgrims as well as respectful visitors. Kandy was the capital of the former Kandyan Kingdom, and there are relics of its royal legacy all over the city. The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens was established in the 1840s and contains more than 4,000 plant species, including a spectacular collection of orchids. In the bustling city center, you’ll find a two-story municipal market with vendors selling produce, spices, and fish, as well as clothes, shoes, and crafts. In the center of town, Kandy Lake offers a respite from the hustle of the streets right beside it.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kandy

The tropical climate in Kandy means that almost every day will be warm or hot, intensified by the high humidity. The best time to visit is the dry season, which lasts from January to April. This time of year offers lower humidity levels and plenty of sunny days for walks along the river or hiking in the surrounding mountains.

Kandy experiences two monsoon seasons — the Yala, between May and September, which tends to bring light rain; and the Maha, from October to December, with very high humidity and extremely heavy rainfall, which can make trip planning difficult. For that reason, most local events are scheduled for the dry season, including the Festival of the Tooth, a light-filled procession that takes place over 15 days in July and August.

Top things to do in Kandy

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

One of Kandy’s most important Buddhist sites and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), is located within the Royal Palace Complex on the edge of its lake. Its central relic is a tooth said to belong to the Buddha himself. Buddhists travel from all over the world to visit the ornate, gold-roofed temple. You can find out more about the cultural and spiritual importance of the relic at the on-site museum. When you visit, be sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees, and remove your shoes.

Udawattekele Sanctuary

The Udawattekele forest reserve and wildlife sanctuary span more than 247 acres on a single hilltop within the city. Once the exclusive playground of Sinhalese royalty, the land is now a forest reserve and animal sanctuary. While you’re here, you can check out the monasteries and rock cave dwellings where Buddhist monks once lived. The sanctuary is home to more than 80 species of birds, as well as monkeys, pangolins, and bats.

Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue

This dazzling-white 88-foot statue of the Buddha sits beside the Sri Maha Bodhi Temple, enveloped in lush vegetation at the top of a steep set of steps. Located on Bahirawakanda Hill a little over a mile from the city center, the statue is visible throughout the town. Monks live at the temple, and at designated times you can talk with them and receive their blessings. Popular times to visit are the early morning, for tranquil contemplation, and at sunset, when the lights of the city start to twinkle below.

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