In the morning, depart Trincomalee for Kandy, stopping en route to see the Aluvihare Temple. On arrival in Kandy, take a tour of the city and visit the Temple of the Tooth. Overnight stay in Kandy.
Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner
Founded by Devanampiyatissa, the first Buddhist king, Aluvihare Temple is one of the first temples of Sri Lanka. Spread across several levels throughout rock and greenery, it consists of thirteen caves which have been inhabited by monks for more than 2,300 years. The temple holds numerous relics dating back from the 3rd century to present day, including a giant reclining Buddha in the dark main rock cave and graphic paintings depicting Buddhist hell in another.
Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. Capital of the Central Province, Kandy is both a commercial and religious city; the latter being the predominant reason why the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by mist clinging hills, Kandy is prone to soft drizzle and grey skies. However, its wet climate only illuminates the rich colours of its colonial houses and intricate silk saris worn by local women. The picturesque region of Kandy is also home to The Esala Perahera, one of the oldest and grandest Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka to commemorate the first teaching given by the Buddha, and the longest river in the country, the Mahaweli River.
The Temple of the Tooth, also known as Sri Dalada, is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy. Home to Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha – it has played a central role in local politics. For centuries it has been believed that whoever held the tooth would also hold governance of the country, hence why Kandy is the country’s sacred city.