Photo by Carlo Sarion.

The Sacred City of Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhala kings and holds an important Buddhist relic.

Kandy was Ceylon’s capital till the arrival of the British in 1815 and the Royal Palace remains. It also still is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site for the presence of the Temple of the Tooth. According to tradition, a tooth of the Buddha is kept here.

Community Perspective: Kandy is a small city set in pleasant green hilly surroundings. Frederik has described what you may expect from a visit to the Temple of the Tooth.

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Michael Turtle

Australia - 23-Jan-16 -

Kandy by Michael Turtle

The highlight of Kandy is the Temple of the Tooth and I spent most of my time there. What I found most interesting was all the people there. Every generation within a family comes along together and spends time in the temple - often just sitting on the floor and hanging out together. It's a lovely portrait of the people in Sri Lanka and their relationship with their religious buildings.

Kandy is a really easy city to get to and it has good train connections with other parts of Sri Lanka and it's a pleasant way to get in and out of the city.

Read more from Michael Turtle here.

Frederik Dawson

Netherlands - 18-Jan-09 -

Kandy by Frederik Dawson

Kandy, the third world heritage capital city of Sri Lanka, is regarded as one of the most sacred places for Buddhists locating in the beautiful lush green hill country, a very contrast with dry flat land of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Similar to Anuradhapura, the center of Kandy is the sacred city, but for Kandy, its sacred area is quite small only comprise of the former royal palace complex and nearby associated shrines and temples.

The most important place of the sacred city is the famous Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Holy Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha. The temple is actually a part of the Kandyan royal palace, so the temple is a good example of Kandyan architecture, a Sri Lankan national style. Not only the temple, the nearby four small Hindu shrines for local gods and goddesses are also very interesting for study local belief that use Hindu gods as the protectors of Buddhism.

The Tooth relic is very important for Sri Lankan as it is the symbol of sovereignty over Ceylon, so every time Sinhalese move their capital city, the Tooth will go with them except Colombo. Even today the president has to come to pay respect the Tooth every year and become state tradition. Apart from local Sri Lankan, all Buddhist around the world especially Thai and Japanese come and make lots of donations to this temple as part of their pilgrimages.

Every visitor to the Temple of the Tooth has to walk on bare foot and pass security checkpoint as in Anuradhapura, but the atmosphere here is much more relax. Inside the complex is decorated with many beautiful objects from annual temple parade. The shrine that is housing the Tooth is very small but its decorative wall is truly a masterpiece of art. Hundreds of worshippers put their flower to make beautiful flower carpet liked in front of the shrine, praying and chanting for their good lives was an indescribable moment. After visit the shrine, do not forget to admire the beautiful golden roof donated by the Japanese government to protect the whole complex from rain and sun.

To be honest, if you are not Buddhist, this place is just another temple that has more beautiful decoration and lots of worshippers. But in terms of world heritage site, I will not question its spiritual value, this is the only place you can admire the last authentic of Kandyan royal architecture which can not be compared with any other place in this world, and this reason alone can make this place to be a world heritage site. I think this place is deserved to be protected by UNESCO more than many other European site that using only criteria IV for inscription.

Rob Wilson

UK - 16-Jul-08 -

Kandy is a lovely city, but I'm not convinced that it is WHS material really.

The Temple of the Tooth is interesting but is marred by some rather nasty political nonsence in one of the exhibition rooms.

Still, the city is a nice place to hang out for a few days before seeing the more interesting WHSs nearby.

Els Slots

The Netherlands - 12-Aug-96 -

Kandy by Els Slots

Kandy is a green city with 100.000 inhabitants. It is dominated by a large, central lake. Compared to the capital Colombo a stay here is a relief. There are several shrines to visit, and it is also a good place for walking tours.

The Temple of the Tooth of course is the major sight. Watching the pilgrims even more ... each day the room where the tooth is saved is opened up to let the numerous visitors catch a glimpse


Malaysia - 01-May-05 -

I was in Kandy for one year stint as an expatriate in year 1998. Kandy is a small, serene and hilly city with a big man-made lake in the center. Its climate is perfectly nice for me. Ooops..Tamil Tiger suicide bombers bombed the temple of the tooth few days before I arrived at the city.

Kandy is like Mecca to Muslim, a holy city visited by many Buddhist worshippers especially on 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar. The rooftop of the temple is coated with the gold sheet.

The annual grand parade or processing in somewhere June or July is an unforgettable event, not found in other part of this world. Singhalese dancers in traditional gears performing traditional dance and music in acrobatic movement to entertain bystanders and a platoon of elephants carrying Buddha tooth is truly eye-opening experience. This grand processing usually last for three long weeks!

Wesak day is a big celebration day to Singhalese people. Almost every house is decorated with lantern made from the bamboo and white paper.

Kandy botanical garden is a beautiful and magnificent tropical garden. Watch out for the countless of fruit bats hanging upside down on the treetop. Bad thing is foreigners need to pay 10 times more entrance fee than local folks.

Bull carts and elephants are still a mode of transport to some local people. Don't be panic when you see elephant is blocking your four wheels car. Lastly, I hope my friends in Sri Lanka can email me and keep in touch.

By NKKhoo


Site Info

Full Name
Sacred City of Kandy
Unesco ID
Sri Lanka
4 6
Religious structure - Buddhist

Site History

1988 Inscribed


The site has 1 locations



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A. Mehmet Haksever AC Adrian Turtschi Afshin Iranpour Akhilpreeti Alberto Rodriguez Gutierrez Alessandro Votta Alexander Barabanov Alexander Lehmann Alexfangel Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Ali Zingstra Allison Vies Allnamesused Ammon Watkins Amylaic@msn.com Andrea & Uwe Zimmermann Antlane Anuradha Goyal Arnaugir Artur Anuszewski Aspasia Atila Ege Bamse Bazikoln Bdella Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero Bill Maurmann Bin Bob Parda Bob pateman Bodil Ankerly Boj Boroka Szamosi C82wc1 Carlo Medina Carlo Sarion Carstenhansen Chen Taotao Chris Law Christravelblog ClaireWhiteley ClaraHH Cmtcosta Corinne Vail Coulpete DannyB Dennis Nicklaus DennisNL87 Dimitar Krastev Disnsam Djpatten Donald M Parrish Jr Donnico Drinkteatravel Dutchbirder Dutchnick Easymet Eleonora Eljx1988 Els Slots Erfe91 Eric PK Erik Jelinek Errol Neo Estemomento Eva Kisgyorgy FGKJR1492X Fan Yibo Fedemarch92 Ferdimerkx Fernweh Finsbury_jo Frederik Dawson Frediehung Fuaron Garrett Gary Arndt Ge zhang Geert Luiken George Evangelou GerhardM Gernot Ghostbear Gillian Taylor Gisella GithaK Glenn Nightingale Grzegorz Andruszkiewicz Haining Guan Hanming Harald T. Harry Mitsidis Hazcraig16 Henryjiao18 Houqian Howe Siang Tan Hrishikesh Hsjamsil Htupaz Hyoga Iain Jackson Ingatastic Inomusay Ivan Rucek J Mitchell Jacob Otten Janameerman Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jaroslav Klement Jason and Corrinna Jaynew Jcendres2 Jeanne OGrady Jeffrey Chai Ran Jezza JobStopar Joel on the Road JoeriNortier John Westray John booth Jonathanfr Jonathanliao Jos Schmitz Joshuakirbens Josie Borst Joyce van Soest Judit Dalla Judith Tanner JudyWalsh Julie July Junwang111 Juropa KB1 Kalattime Karin Heyl Kbecq Kellyfries Kjlauer Knogles Knomadc Knut Koen Vliegenthart Kokoro Krijn Kristin Kurt Lauer La Concy Lars Jensen Leontine Helleman Lichia Lisa Ross Liverpool1023 Lizzy Loic Pedras Longdutch Loratodorova Lorenzo Mejino Lou1983 Ludvan Luis Filipe Gaspar Lukasz Palczewski MMM Malgorzata Kopczynska Maltishah100 Maria Mariam Mariska Mark K. Marlies van Wolfswinkel Marta Lempert Martin Funkhauser Martina Rúčková Martinacurra88 Matthewsharris Małgosia Łupicka Michael Ayers Michael Novins Michael Turtle Michael anak Kenyalang Michaelsballard Michal Marciniak Mikael Bjork Mikek Mikita M Mikko Milan Jirasek Miloš Tašković Monica Tasciotti Morodhi Morti Mtlmr N273235s NCosta Naim Y Nan Nanvano NataliaS Nihal Ege NonDuality Nongbulinqing Nushsamy OnlyTheSnake PJ PabloNorte Pang Liang Fong Pasha Globus Patrik Paul Hilder Paul Schofield Peter Day Peter Lööv Philipp Leu Philipp Peterer Piotr Wasil Piotrurbanski Plutomu Priyaranjan Mohapatra Rae25 Ralf Rotheimer Randi Thomsen Rebeccafward Red Reinhardt Reisedachs Reza Ri Rich Forrest Richardleesa Rickard Alfredsson Riomussafer Rob Wilson Rocky Rodinia Roger Ourset Roman Bruehwiler Roman Koeln Rudegirl SHIHE HUANG Sascha Grabow Saxondean Sazanami Seethebee Sergio Arjona Shandos Cleaver Simmot2019Z Sisa_p Sneijder55 Socon Solivagant Stanimir Stanislaw Warwas Stephanv Stephanvermeulen Stephen Brooker Stephen S. Kamin Strogan Sumo446595@hotmail.com Suzanne Svein Elias Szucs Tamas Tevity Thanneermalai L ThoOlb Thomas Buechler Thomas van der Walt TimAllen Timothy C Easton Toffee64 Tonioto Tony H. Tony0001 Travelure Trevni Truls Brekke Uwagner Vanessa Buechler Vanjavod Vernon Prieto Victoria | Bridges and Balloons Vlad Lesnikov Voyager WHS Lux Walter H. Waxwing Westwards Wj1997yi Wojciech Fedoruk Xiquinho Silva YAO WEI YY Yuri Samozvanov Zach Zhang xiaozhong Zos M Zoë Sheng Zsuzsanna Forray