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The ancient capital of Kandy has always been an important bastion of Buddhist power and it has a distinctive architectural character, thanks to the gently sloping tiled roofs that most buildings have. Kandy is settled along a nice lake and surrounded by picturesque hills. In the center of town are countless old shops, markets and hotels and there is the bustle of everyday life with all its noises, fumes and rattling old buses.

Kandy's most important sight is the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth). It is an octagonal shrine that is home to Sri Lanka's most important religious relic, the sacred tooth of Buddha. Every day ceremonies are held in homage to the Tooth Relic. The ceremonies are attended by large crowds of pilgrims carrying lotus blossoms and frangipani. During the Kandy Esala Perahera celebrations, a replica of the shrine is carried through Kandy on the back of an elephant.

Other interesting sights in Kandy include the small, but excellent National Museum and the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens. The nearby Udawattakelle Sanctuary is a fantastic place to study birds. If you go to the Mahaweli, you can watch elephants being bathed. Next to the lake is the Kandyan Art Association & Cultural Center, which has exhibitions of local crafts and offers dance performances.

There are numerous hotels and restaurants in Kandy. Buses and trains connect the city with Colombo, 95 km to the southwest.

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