Kandy is a major attraction in itself but a good starting point for excursions, too. It is even managable to visit Dambulla and Sigiriya on a day-trip from Kandy. Day trips from Kandy can combine many cultural and natural attractions in the highlands and lowlands as well. Some of them are popular with tourists, for example Nuwara Eliya tea plantations and Pinnawela Elephant. Other interesting regions less frequented by tourists can be reached, easily, too, such as the Mahaweli valley and the Ridigama cave temples. Kandy and surroundings are really worth to stay here more than one or two nights. Below, we present itineraries for a whole week. Indeed, you could spend your whole holidays in Kandy town or close to it and discover something new every single day.
For nature lovers and others who look for relaxing holidays Team Sightseeinglanka proposes to stay near Bambarella in only 15 km distance from the city centre and at the western gateway to Knuckles Range. For more information about hiking and trekking opportunities in and around Bambarella, please visit our blog article “Knuckes Range holidays very close to Kandy City"
day trip itineraries for holidays in or near Kandy
Enjoy a small city tour in the morning, see the Sacred City with Tooth Temple and nearby Hindu Devales and Buddhist monasteries, relax at a viewpoint above the Kandy Lake, take your time for strolling around and shopping, Join a traditional Kandy dance performance and, if you like, an evening Puja at the Sacred Tooth Relic Temple.
Enjoy a hike in the Udawattakale forest very close to Kandy city, with panorama views to Kandy town and the Mahaweli valley. In the afternoon proceed to Gadaladeniya, which is one of three temples from the Gampola period (14th) century. Gadaladeniya is famous for its medieval paintings. Lankatilaka is the most scenic of the three temples from the Gampola period. Embekke is a Hindu shrine. It is Sri Lanka’s wood-carving attraction No.1.
In the morning, visit the uniquely designed historical temple of Hanguranketa in 32 km distance from Kandy city or 39 km distance from Bambarella. Study its Kandy paintings and an interesting library with palm-leaf manuscripts. On the way to Mahiyangana see the vast Randenigala reservoir and cross the Randenigala dam. After dinner visit Sri Lanka’s most ancient Dagoba, which is built in Mahiyangana at a place visited by the Buddha. Afterwards proceed to the tribal village Dambana and meet Sri Lanka’s aboriginal Vedda people. In the evening return via the famous 18-bend road, which is a very comfortable road now.
After breakfast visit the Degaldoruwa temple close to Kandy, besides Dambulla, this cave is the second best place to study original Kandyan style paintings. Afterwards proceed to Victoria Dam at Victoria Reservoir. A small museum will allow you to study Sri Lanka’s modern hydroelectric and irrigation scheme. After dinner have a small hike to the remains of the Meda Mahanuwara palace, which was once a hiding place of the Kandy King in times of European attacks on Kandy. Enjoy the very scenic mountain road from Hunnasgiriya to Deanston. Here we start a 1 or 2 hours hike to the “Mini World’s End”. The late afternoon is the very best time to enjoy the breathtaking mountain panorama.
Enjoy a day-excursion to Sri Lanka’s highest city, visit a tea plantation and factory on the way. See the British colonial architecture in the former “hill station”. Nuwara Eliya is a very good place for birdwatching, too. Drive back a scenic side road with views to the Mahaweli valley, crossing Sri Lanka’s first tea plantation area.
After breakfast drive to Kurunegala and to the top of the Elephant Rock, at a new giant Buddha statue you can enjoy a perfect vie to the coconut plains of Kurunagala District. Proceed to visit the Ridigama monastery with a Polonnaruwa period temple and ancient caves covered with paintings from the Kandyan period. After dinner proceed to the Aluvihara with cave temples and a palm leaf scriptures museum. Close to the Aluvihara you have the opportunity to visit a spice and herbal garden. On the way back have a short break at the largest Hindu temple in the Central Province.
You have to start a little bit earlier than usual in order to join the bottle feeding of elephant babies in Pinnawela about 9.00 o’clock in the morning. Afterwards you can observe the elephant herd’s bath in the nearby Maha Oya river, from a restaurant platform, where you can have a cup of tea or a second breakfast. On the way back there will be an opportunity to visit a spice and herbal garden. Enjoy the view from Kadugannawa Pass to the Kegalle valley and Bible rock and see the cave tunnel. After dinner you will have enough to time to relax in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya.
What the British called “Bible Rock” is known as Batalegala among Sinhalese. Batalegala is situated 25 km east of Kandy and can be seen from Kadugannawa padd at the A1 mainroad. The rock seems to steep to reach the plateau without mountaneering experience, however, there are two treeking routes allowing you to reach the plateau without special skills or equipment. It is a strenuous but rewarding trekking tour. When staying in Kandy or Bambarelle, you should spend a whole day for this tour and not do it without a guide and avoid thunderstorms. We will give a detailed description of this trekking in two weeks from now, on the 16th of November.
For more details concerning day-trips from Kandy or Bambarella please contact us
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