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Kandy Sri Lanka

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Kandy Sightseeing Tour

          Кandy the hill Capital of Sri Lanka - is Maha Nuawara in the vernacular: Big City, to distinguish it from other towns generically known as Nuwara. Kandy - Sri Lanka has been rhapsodized by both local and foreign writers. Visitors have sung its praises, and no wonder-it is beautiful, unique and has an indefinable charm, not yet quite obliterated by crowds and smoking vehicles and the commercialism of globalization.

         One of the most famous and meticulous of these writers was Robert Knox, held prisoner with privileges by the king of the Kandyan Kindom, Rajasinghe 11, in 1660 and detained for twenty years in the village Eladatta, close to kandy. He called the town Conde.  The chief or Metro political City of the whole Island. Rajasinghe 11 had a penchant for retaining Europeans in captivity.

         It became the capital of the country after the mighty Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa  were abandoned and lesser sites settled in to be given up soon enough. It resisted colonization for three centuries and under its kings fought the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Due how ever , mostly to intrigue with in the court and the superior outfoxing power of the Englishman, it fell to british sovereignty in 1815. The last kandyan king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe and his lovely wife were banished to South India.

         What is about Kandy that makes it serendipitous  apart from its fame as the home of the Esala Perahera and site of the sacred Temple of the Tooth which houses a tooth relic of the Buddha, Which in the olden days was used as a symbol of rightful kingship: he who possessed and guarded the dalada hamuduruwo was king.

        Is it the beautiful placid lake that is centered in the city  bordeed by large trees  who branches overhang and sweep the water. Is it the lush green of grass and tea plantation that surround the city. Is it the people – fair and comely, more polite and slower moving than the frenetic of Colombo. Is it the historic feeling of being steeped in grandeur, intrigue, betrayal and the knowledge that a mother  had to pound her children in a mortar, a very young aristocrat bravely made an example of himself by bending down calmly to the executioner’s sword.

        Yes all these and more. The breeze is cool and carries with it a feeling of religiousness and   serenity. Udawattakalle {upper forest } exemplifies the mystery and serenity of the place with its very tall trees and cool walks from which one suddenly comes upon a lake or meditation abode of monks.

         Yellow robes are a commoner sight in kandy than anywhere else since the two highest and oldest Buddhist monastic orders are in kandy- Malwatta and Asgiriya. The highest ranking monk in the Malwatta Chapter, its buildings being opposite the maligawa across the lake, is the highest ranked prelate in Sri Lanka. Almost equal in status is the head monk of the Asgiriya Chapter.

         If you prefer the living and lovely  to temples and carvings, go a couple of miles out on the Colombo- Kandy road and enter the Peradeniya Botanical garden, covering 60 hectares  and bounded on three sides by the loop of the Mahaweli River. You can no longer drive in because the plants were averse to the resultant smoke and grim. So walk in, or if your legs refuse, get in to the available cart and be trundled along by two huge bulls. The orchid house never fails to put on a wonderful show for you and the ‘house” of herbaceous plants might show you its insect- catching pitcher creeper.

         If its placid waters you seek to rest by, go to the banks of the Mahaweli ganga. If you wish to see the river tamed and reservoir then travel a couple of miles to Lewella    and further to Victoria site  where the biggest river in the Island was impounded and diverted to give of its irrigating waters to agriculture in the dry zone and electricity to the national grid.

         The Victoria International Golf Club near Digana, the village built for the engineers who worked on the Mahaweli Diversion Scheme, draws the sporty crowd. The peaceful, lush Dumbara plains are famous for drumming, dancing and handloom textiles, where the looms are often placed in large pits dug in the earth to give the thread its needed humidity. Kandy  is famous for its Kandyan dance : a stately, majestic style that has come down, undiluted, through the centuries. Most famous are gajaba wannama and the mayura wannama  which when performed depict so closely the lumbering   movement of the majestic elephant and the strutting gait of the conceited, show-off peacock.

          Kandy is usually peaceful with a happy mix of religions and races. It welcomes and gives rest onto the visitor. The cool breeze gently wraps around you; the temple and church bells lift to your spirits; the people will be friendly, but with dignity ; and the stars at night will put on a mighty twinkling show in the sparkle of the clear mountain air.

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