Sri Lanka: Kandy
Here are some pictures taken from the bus on our way to Kandy, the third capital of Sri Lanka:
Sarong, is the “skirt” that many men wear in Sri Lanka.
Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka, after Colombo of course. Our hotel was on one of the busiest streets in Kandy. My room was on the fourth floor. Let’s see the view from my balcony, but first read this:
Here is the view during the day:
and at night:
Kandy is the bastion of Sinhalese culture and religion, home to the island’s most revered Buddhist temple, its most sacred relic and its most magnificent festival. Kandy has its own energy. You may feel overwhelmed with the noise, traffic, very loud birds, thousands of pilgrims and tourists but all this constitutes its charm. It is a very unique place.
I will describe the Temple of the Tooth and its relic in the next post.
The last independent bastion of the Sinhalese, the kingdom of Kandy clung to its freedom long after the rest of the island had fallen to the Portuguese and Dutch, preserving its own customs and culture which live on today in its unique music, dance and architecture.
Having gained control of the island in 1798, the British wanted to get rid of this final remnant of Sinhalese independence. Kandy had its natural protection: it was surrounded by the jungle. Using political machinations and its army, the British conquered this last Sinhalese kingdom in 1815. The Queen’s Hotel is an example of British colonial architecture:
Kandyan dance is the national dance of Sri Lanka. The movements in this unique dance are taken from the “Ramayana”, a Hindu poem that tells the story of Lord Rama.
Two big attractions were the fire dancing and the fire walking:
AN AMAZING TREE:
to end this post I would like to present a tree that I saw for the first time in my life in Kandy. It is called cannonball tree (coroupita guianensis). You can easily figure out where the name of the tree comes from:
and its beautiful flower: