Kandy. The name couldn’t get any sweeter, unless you are Honey Rider: that is Ursula Andress of magnificent pair of legs emerging from Pacific singing
“Underneath the Mango tree” to the bewilderment of Bond, James Bond. Honey: What are you doing here, looking for shells? Bond: No, I’m just looking. Looking cannot get any better either: Kandy’s location over the river, Mango trees, the man-made lake right at the centre of the town, the surrounding hills, the nature reserve, the temple, the ambience, the royal history, botanical gardens, and cultural attractions around the city; everything about the town is beautiful. Look to the content of your heart & play. Golf too in the Mediterranean climate.
Medieval kingdom of Sri Lanka: 1469-1815 AD
Altitude: 500 meters above sea level surrounded by mountain ranges
Temperature: Jan/Apr 29/17 May/Aug 29/21 Sept/Dec 28/18 Centigrade
Distance from Colombo: 116 km
Transportation: by road, by railway, by air
Geographical location: in the central highlands of the island
Other names: Mahanuwara that means “Great City” in Sinhalese
Original Name: the city was known as Senkadagala pura after a hermit named Senkada who lived there
Importance of the city: focal point of Sri Lankan Culture
Central cultural attraction: The Sacred Temple of the Tooth
Centre of the town: the man-made lake
Cultural attractions: numerous medieval Buddhist temples in & around the city
Nature: Knuckles Range, Udawattekele Bird Sanctuary
We travel form Colombo, capital of the island to west, to the interior of the country to reach Kandy, the gateway to the Central highlands.
Green hills surrounding the city
Situated amidst rings of precipitous green hills at the heart of the island, Kandy is the proud & last bastion of an independent Sinhalese tradition which preserved its freedom through two & half centuries of assaults by Portuguese & Dutch.
The town centre, close to Kandy picturesque lake set in a bowl of hills, is a delightful jumble of old shops, antique & gemstone shops, a bustling market & fine selection of hotels, guesthouses & restaurants.
Kandy is also home to the country’s most important religious shrine, the Sacred Temple of the Tooth. Still more it is home to the most exuberant religious festival in Asia, the Kandy Esala Perahera pagea
nt in July. The city enhanced by its scenic highland setting is looped by River Mahaweli. The atmosphere & pleasantly temperate climate coupled with distinctive cultural heritage apparent-in its music, dance & architecture bring about an aristocratic air to the city.
The Transportation hub in the centre of the island
Kandy is not only the centre of culture but also the transportation hub to all four directions of the island. To the north is ancient kingdoms Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa, to the south is central highlands – Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains National Park, to east is Mahiyangana (modern irrigation site, cultural attraction), Badulla (tea plantations, cultural attractions), Monargala, Gal Oya National Park (wild elephants) and Batticaloa & Arugam Bay (beach & surf of international standing)
The beautiful countryside around Kandy is home to a wealth of varied attractions. Most visitors head straight for the world famous Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage & the beautiful Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, while the region’s cultural legacy can be traced in the various beautiful temples, dating from the heyday of the Kandyan kingdom, which dot the countryside.
If you really want to get away from all the king’s culture & king’s men, there there is wilderness. The rugged Knuckles Range (within the Central Massif), just east of Kandy, is the hill country’s last great wilderness area & a wonderful location for trekking, cycling & bird spotting. The highest peak in the Knuckles Range (KR) is 1904 m. In certain parts of Knuckles Range, within the Knuckles Conservation Forest, the natural vegetation occurs as a pygmy forest with trees just over waist high.
Knuckles Range (KR) was recommended for the tentative listing of World Heritage Sites (WHS) to United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Sri Lanka on 20th March 2006.
Victoria Golf Club, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Year round golf in a cool, sunny climate 1500 ft above sea level
“Some golf courses have a splendid undulating terrain over which the holes are routed. Some golf courses have a scenic backdrop of hills & lakes which excite the senses. However, the Victoria Golf Course is blessed with both attributes.” Donald Steel
Victoria Golf Club is 40m drive from Kandy via Kundasale, Digana & Teldeniya. The 18-hole championship golf course set in a 517-acre site by the Victoria reservoir was designed to USPGA specification by golf architect Donald Steel. Stately trees & avenues of coconut palms lend the course an air of maturity although it was established only in 1999. Impressive natural outcrops of rocks are a distinctive feature as well as a hazard of the course. The club house consists of changing rooms, showers, food service & golf shop
At the same location there are bird watching and nature trails, bike riding, horse riding, canoeing & croquet.
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