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Kandy

The last royal capital of Sri Lanka is a major tourist destination. (465 meters above sea level). Kandy Famous for the Temple of the Tooth and many other temples the city could be called the cultural capital of the island Once capital of the ancient Singhalese kingdom, this bustling town is the cultural and spiritual heart of Sri Lanka. Set around a scenic lake, nestled among surrounding forested hills, it is a charming and atmospheric place to explore. Highlight is the Buddhist Temple of the Sacred Tooth, containing a symbolic relic of Lord BuddhaNearby Kandy Perahera, the pageant of the temple of tooth where Buddha's tooth is kept is held either in July or August each year to parade the golden caskets is a must see itenary if one is visiting Sri Lanka during these month attractions include the beautiful Peradeniya Botanic Gardens, Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage, a number of Kandyan-era temples, tea and spice plantations  are major tourist destination.

Festivals & Events

The tooth relic is removed from its shrine only once a year, during the Esala Perahera, a 10-day torchlight parade of dancers and drummers, dignitaries, and ornately decorated elephants. It is now one of the better-known festivals in Asia, and it may be the largest Buddhist celebration in the world.

This ritual procession and festival began in the 18th century. During the full moon in late July or early August, a royal male elephant carries the reliquary of the sacred tooth and leads the procession, flanked by two perfectly matched, smaller elephants.Unfortunately, due to tensions with the insurgent Tamil Tigers and corresponding worries about it being damaged or stolen, the relic itself has not been brought out during the festival since 1990. In the meantime,the casket is honored as its representative. As many as 100 elephants, dressed in elaborate finery, make their way into town while torches and fire dancersfend off curses. Whip-cracking porters clear the way through the throngs of pilgrims, followed by musicians,jugglers, torch bearers, boy dancers and acrobats, and members of noble families in Ceylonese garb.On the last night, the procession moves from the city to the temple, led by elders in the costumes of the ancient kings of Kandy and lit by handheld candles. The procession flows into the temple compound to encircle the shrine, following the route of the sun in its course across the skies.Attendance at the Esala Perahera numbers at about a million people. The festival brings today all ranks of Sri Lankan society in a vast throng of devotees and interested onlookers.Because of the national character of the shrine, many Tamil Hindus and mixed-blood Christians take part as an expression of their common cultural heritage.At the festival, the president and leaders of Sri Lanka continue the nationalist Buddhist tradition by taking part in a ceremony in which they dedicate their service to the people in the presence of the sacred relic.

Places to visit
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens ,Sri Dalada Maligawa (Palace of the Tooth Relic of Buddha),The Ceylon Tea Museum,Kandy National Museum, Hindu Shrines,Kandyan Architecture,Wood Carvings From the Dalada Maligawa,Elephant Columns at the Royal Audience Hall in the Dalada Maligawa ,Lankatillake Temple in Udunuwara ,Gadaladeniya Temple.
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