My second weekend! I travelled to the ‘cultural capital’ Kandy, which already sounds like a great place without even visiting. This is one of those places you must visit if you ever find yourself on this beautiful island. I may have only spent a couple of days there, but I packed it all in.
Beginning the journey by visiting an Elephant sanctuary. I was never before an advocate of places like this, riding elephants while sitting upon a wooden board isn’t fair on the animals (they didn’t do that here), and it just never seemed like a place such big and beautiful animals should live. However, this place was quite wonderful. The elephants were all rescued from places like temples, and captive elephants in Sri Lanka are not allowed to be bred, which means this sanctuary was dedicated only to rescuing these elephants, whilst also educating people about them. Plus, it was absolutely wonderful to be so up close to such majestic animals.
From here, I visited tea gardens and learnt about the process of growing tea (which Sri
Lanka is pretty good at), beautiful botanical gardens with rows of coconut trees that resembled Hollywood and ponds full of turtles. I also visited herb and spice gardens, a wonderful display of Kandian dancing, a very unique form of dancing with huge masks, and the unveiling of the Buddha’s Tooth in the Temple of the Tooth. This temple is believed to house the tooth of the Buddha, which they display within a golden box whilst people present the temple with wonderful lotus flowers of many colours.
Finally, I visited a Buddha statue that stood right at the very top of a huge hill. I even got talking to a resident Monk, and he invited me in for tea and biscuits.