Climate Climate in Kandy: The daytime temperatures in Kandy and the surrounding hills range from around 22C to 31C, with cooler evenings averaging 17C. It is fairly humid and misty in the evenings with short outbursts of rain. Heavier rainfalls occur during the south-west monsoon from May to August. Climate in the High Tea Country: At an elevation of above 4,000 feet the climate is cooler and less humid with cool mornings, warm days and cool evenings. Daytime temperatures are in the low to mid 20s Celsius and at nights can drop to around 10 degrees Celsius. The driest part of the year is between December and April, and September is normally quite dry. The rainy season is May, June and July, and October and November due to the north-east, south-west and intermediate monsoons, and July is generally the coldest month. February and March are usually dry and around 20 degrees Celsius. Micro-climates exist from valley to valley. The weather at Warwick Gardens, for example, is around 16C at night and can reach 26C during the day, whilst the temperature at Bandarawela goes from 12C to 20C. Festivals and Events Kandy - Esala Perahera Festival - July or August (depending on the date of the Esala full moon). This spectacular cultural pageant is held over 10 days with the processions and celebrations getting more elaborate and longer each day. Although in ancient times this was a procession to honour Hindu gods, during the reign of King Rajasinghe it was decreed that the procession should be in honour the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Each night, dancers, drummers, flute players, whip-crackers and elephants form a procession around the streets and Kandy lake. The ornately decorated elephants increase daily in number to 100 on the last night, the finest of them being the Maligawa Tusker which carries the Sacred Tooth Relic, led by the Chiefs of the Temple in traditional silver and gold ceremonial dress. The Nuwara Eliya season runs from April to June. Horse racing in High Tea Country (trotting) in January, February, April, August and December . Bandarawela Perahera on full moon day in June.
Places of interest in Kandy include the Temple of the Tooth, the sacred Buddhist site which holds the tooth of Lord Buddha which is said to have been brought from India in the third century. The Temple lies within the Royal Palace complex along with the National Museum, the Audience Hall and a museum dedicated to the famous elephant, Raja. British legacies remain in central Kandy, in the form of grand old buildings and hotels, St Paul’s Church and Royal Palace Park. It is possible to walk most of the way around the lake besides which Kandy is built, where you can see the Royal Bathing Pavilion and the royal summerhouse which is on an island in the centre of the lake.). There is a lively market and a plethora of shops, gem showrooms and arts & crafts workshops. There are also several nightly cultural shows that showcase traditional Kandyan drumming, music and dance and the city boasts a fine international cricket stadium. Other highlights of the region include Pinnawela elephant orphanage where abandoned or injured elephants are cared for; Nuwara Eliya, a hill town with many British influences; the mountainous scenery and tea plantations around Ambewela and Bandarawela; the Highland Railway between Kandy and Badulla; and Tea Experience and Tea museums, an essential part of any visit to this part of Sri Lanka.
There are plentiful cultural and active options in and around Kandy: Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha and the Royal palaces of Kandy; Kandy market; Kandy area – handicrafts villages and workshops – brass, musical instruments, basket weaving, batik, painting; Kandy evening cultural show; Kandy Esala Perahera Festival (July/August); Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage; Peradeniya Botanical Gardens; Mahaweli River and Victoria Dam; Tea estates; Drive to Nuwara Eliya and around the tea plantations, visiting a tea factory; Hantana mountain and Hantana tea plantations - walks and museum; Buddhist sites near Kandy – Gadaladeniya, Hindagala Vihara, Embekke Divale, Lankatilake; Mahiyangana – Rajamaha dagoba; Aluvihara Buddhist temple; Aluvihara Heritage Centre (Ena de Silva batik art and workshop and sri lankan rice & curry lunch); Knuckles Mountain Range - scenic drives and walking; Rubber plantations; Spice farms; Rail journey to Tea Country; Relaxing in the lush tropical hills; Treat your body, mind and soul to a programme of Ayurvedic massage and herbal treatments; Golf at the Victoria Golf course; Riding at Victoria Saddle Club; Walking and trekking; Cycling; White water rafting at Kitulgala. Getting Out and About in the High Tea Country Visit a tea factory and tea estate and leisurely walks; Visit Nuwara Eliya, Little England (market, Cargill’s, Hill Club, Golf club, Post Office, Race course); Hakgala Botanical Gardens; Scenic Railway journeys and drives; Gushing Waterfalls e.g. Devon Falls, St Clair Falls, Bambarakanda, Diyaluna; Bandarawela hill station, Ella and Ella Gap - scenic views; Haputale Gap, Adisham monastery and Lipton’s Seat; Dowa Cave Temple, murals and rock-cut Buddha Statue dating back to the 8th century; Badulla and the Bogoda wooden bridge; Day excursions to Kandy – Temple of theTooth Relic, Peradeniya Botanical Gardens; En route to the south-east when you have dropped onto the plains: Buduruvagala, the tallest rock-cut Buddha Statue (51ft) and 6 other Mahayana Statues dating back to 8th Century. Walking and treks amidst tea plantations, mountains and waterfalls; Mountain biking; Horton Plains – walk in the National Park to World’s End and Bakers Falls (a 2 to 3 hours early morning walk); Golf at Nuwara Eliya Golf Club; Ascent of Adam’s Peak, the sacred Sri Pada mountain and multi-faith pilgrimage shrine; White water rafting in Kitulgala (Approx. 1 hour drive from Ceylon Tea Trails, longer from elsewhere).
Driving Distances: Colombo International Airport (100 kms) or Colombo (115 kms) to Kandy – 3.5 to 4 hours, Kandy to Nuwara Eliya – 2.5 hours (77 kms), Kandy to Sigiriya – 3 hours (90 kms), Kandy to Galle – 6 hours (230 kms), Kandy to Wadduwa – 4 hours (150 kms), Colombo International Airport to Nuwara Eliya – 5 hours (170 kms), Colombo International Airport to Dickoya – 4.5 hours (160 kms), Kandy to Nuwara Eliya – 2.5 hours (77 kms), Nuwara Eliya to Tangalle – 6 hours (210 kms), Nuwara Eliya to Galle – 8 hours (290 kms), Nuwara Eliya to Bentota – 7 hours (240 kms), Nuwara Eliya to Bandarawela - 1.5 to 2 hours, 47 kms, Nuwara Eliya to Colombo – 5 to 6 hours (180 kms)
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Find out more about Sri Lanka
CapitalSri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, with Colombo the commercial capital AirportBandaranaike International Airport is 1 hour from downtown Colombo CurrencySri Lankan Rupee (£1 = 208 Sri Lankan Rupees) Size268 miles long and 139 miles wide Population21 million Average temperatureThe climate varies dramatically between coast and interior year-round, and between the south-west and north-east according to time of year. Average coastal temperatures in areas we feature is 30 degrees whereas the temperature is much cooler in the hills, with hot water bottles needed (and provided) at most hotels. Rainy season in the south-west is September to October, and April to May in the north-east.
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