A Travellerspoint blog

Kandy - Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Visit the illustrius Temple of the Scared Tooth Relic and the picturesque Botanical Peradeniya Gardens

overcast 27 °C

Hotel - The Kandy House, Amunugama Waluwa, Gunnepana, Kandy - Room Indian Admiral

We were all glad to have a little sleep in this morning, as we weren't leaving until 9 am.

Breakfast was lovely, under cover but on the edge of the garden, listening to the birds and watching the monkeys jumping from tree to tree.

Our first stop was the Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens date back as far as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near Mahaweli Ganga. Later, in the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe from 1747 to 1780 this was made a Royal Garden and from 1780 to 1798 the King resided here where a temporary residence was erected for him. These buildings were destroyed by the English when they occupied Kandy.

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The gardens were lovely and we strolled around them for a couple of hours. The sky was overcast and threatening to rain and it started to spit just as we were finishing. Our bus arrived and took us to a gem shop for a short video about Sri Lankan gems and how they mine them. It was very interesting and then we looked through a small museum and then went into the shop. I was very interested to see a star sapphire. It was beautiful. Apparently the mid blue sapphires are the best, but I really prefer the dark blue sapphires. We looked at some eternity rings but they were a bit expensive and were mid blue not dark blue.

Back on the bus and we were taken to the Olde Empire Hotel for lunch. It is within easy walking distance of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic where we would be visiting after lunch. The Olde Empire Hotel is a bit run down but the food was okay. I had a Caeser Salad and Phil had a lamb curry.

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As soon as lunch was over, we walked across the road to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth which is where Buddha's right upper canine is kept in a box, within a box, within a box, within a box and locked away so you can't even see the container it is in. Buddha would just hate his followers worshipping a relic like this. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple. Because there will be a full moon tonight, a lot of people were visiting the temple today. Sri Lankans have a public holiday on every full moon day (65 per year) plus all the other normal public holidays. At least there was a photo of the container that holds the tooth.

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People were placing beautiful flowers in front of the place where the tooth is kept and the perfume was lovely.

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Back at The Kandy House, we were just in time for afternoon tea and we sat around chatting for a while but I needed to catch up on my blogging.

We dressed for dinner and at 7.30 pm we went down for a performance by Kandyan dancers. The show was very good and some of the men were very physical doing back flips and it lasted for half an hour which was just about right. It was very entertaining. The fire dancer actually had a mouthful of kerosene and every time he blew on the flames, the smell of kero would fill the air. It was awful and the smell of kero hung around long after the dancing had finished. One does wonder what awful things a mouthful of kero does for one's body!

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Then dinner was served and tonight was authentic Sri Lankan Curry Night. It was all very nice. Some of it I didn't have, like egg plant and ochra but I ate most of the rest and it was good. Something was a bit warm so I ordered a mango lassie to help with the heat! We had a lot of fun at the table tonight telling stories. We are going to Hatton tomorrow on the train and we will be split into two groups for two nights and will be eating separately. We will miss our travelling companions.

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There was a full moon last night, a blue moon AND a lunar eclipse, which only happens every 150 years, but it was overcast and drizzling so we didn't see anything.
Sleep in tomorrow. Bags out at 10 and on the bus at 11 am.

Posted by gaddingabout 09:31 Archived in Sri Lanka

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