A local bus took me in 4,5 hours from Negombo to Kandy. Kandy is Sri Lanka's second largest city. It is located in the center of the island and known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The down-town city is crowded and polluted. But the Bogambara lake and the surrounding tropical hill country on the sides places it in a beautiful scenery.
My guesthouse was on the hills next to the lake and just a short walk to the Royal Palace of Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth. The temple houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha and is one of the most sacred places of worship and pilgrimage of the Buddhist world. The room with the casket with the actual tooth in it is opened three times a day. When I visited there were hundreds of Buddhists (all wearing white clothes) who were offering flowers for the tooth relic. For me this ceremony was way more interesting then the temple itself.
Next to the Royal Palace are the Kandy National Museum and the World Buddhist Museum. The last mentioned museum demonstrates the expanding of Buddhism all around the world.
At the Kandy Lake Club I watched a show of Kandyan dancing, the traditional form of dancing in Sri Lanka. Another activity during my two full days in Kandy was climbing the hill with the omnipresent Buddha statue that can be seen from everywhere in Kandy city. From this place I had a perfect view on down-town Kandy and the Bogambara lake.
My plan was to take the train from Kandy, through the central hill country, to Ella. This 7-hours train ride is supposed to be one of world's most scenic train rides. Unfortunately one day before I was supposed to take the train the railway employees started a national strike. Because I didn't fancy taking local busses through the hills, I had to take a taxi to Ella.
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Places in Sri Lanka