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Overview

Moving inland from Sri Lanka’s humid coastline, the air cools off as the land rises up hundreds of feet in steep hillsides and jagged peaks. Verdant tea plantations cover the slopes and each winding turn up the highway brings ever more spectacular vistas. The major destination here is Kandy, the capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom and spiritual center of modern day Sri Lanka. The big sight here is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a large complex that houses a tooth of the Buddha. The town offers numerous other sights including a tea museum and the pleasant Peradeniya Botanic Gardens. As a cultural center, Kandy also has a good ...

Moving inland from Sri Lanka’s humid coastline, the air cools off as the land rises up hundreds of feet in steep hillsides and jagged peaks. Verdant tea plantations cover the slopes and each winding turn up the highway brings ever more spectacular vistas. The major destination here is Kandy, the capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom and spiritual center of modern day Sri Lanka. The big sight here is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a large complex that houses a tooth of the Buddha. The town offers numerous other sights including a tea museum and the pleasant Peradeniya Botanic Gardens. As a cultural center, Kandy also has a good offering of traditional theater, music and dance. From Kandy, travelers set off on public transport or hired vehicles south to sacred Adam’s Peak; a pre-dawn walk up the mountain is rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise and views that stretch to the Indian Ocean. The most romantic way to get around the Hill Country is by train; the old engines chug their way through tea plantations from Kandy to hill towns Haputale and Ella. There is great walking to be done in both areas and it’s worth calling in at a tea plantation or two. Hikers should also visit Horton Plains National Park and its stunning lookout point, World’s End.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Capital of the Central Province and Kandy District, it lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy Valley
  • Language: Sinhala, Tamil
  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The Hill Country offers cool temperatures year round but December to March has the best potential for dry weather.