Kandy, also Known as the hill capital or Hill country, is the last stronghold of Sinhalese kings after Portuguese, Dutch and British ruling periods. Kandy is located in the mountainous and thickly forested interior of the island. The city is located in between multiple mountain ranges including the Knuckles mountain range and the Hanthana Mountain Range, giving the city an elevation of 500 metres (1,600 ft) above sea level. It lies adjacent to the artificial Kandy Lake and south of Udawatta Kele Sanctuary. Kandy is the second-largest city of the island and the capital of Central Province of modern Sri Lanka. Its geographic location has made it a major transportation hub in the island: while Kandy being the gateway to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, the city can be reached by major motorways in every direction of the island.
To all Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the place that houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth (Palace of the tooth relic). The Palace of the Tooth relic, the palace complex and the holy city of Kandy are associated with the history of the dissemination of Buddhism. The temple is the product of the last peregrination of the relic of the tooth of Buddha and the testimony of a religion which continues to be practiced today.
The Bahirawakanda Buddha stature that is known as big Buddha where you can see it from the Kandy city. It is located approximately 2 km form the city center. The statue of Buddha is depicted in the position of the Dhyana Mudra, the posture of meditation associated with his first Enlightenment, and can be seen from almost everywhere in Kandy. It stands at 26.83 m (88.0 ft) high and is one of the tallest Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. This temple is known for its giant Buddha Statue and its spectacular view from the top.
This tour covers both these historical temples and reach Kandy Lake. The beautiful lake in front of the Temple of the Tooth was formerly a stretch of paddy fields known as Tigolwela. It was converted to a lake by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha in 1807. As there had been a beautiful pond named 'Kiri-muhuda' (a 'sea of milk') in the middle of the Tigolwela, the lake constructed subsequently too was named, 'Kiri-muhuda'. Deveda Moolacharya is considered the architect of the Kandy Lake. The king first built a dam across the paddy fields, starting from the Pattiruppuwa (Octogen) side, where the steps leading into the lake by the Mahamaluwa (Esplanade) are still visible, stretching across to the Poya-maluwa. The dam, upon which a roadway was constructed, allowed the king to go across to the Malwatte Vihare. According to D’Oyley, the dam was constructed between 1810–1812. There are numerous local legends and folklore regarding the lake. One such is that the small island at its center was used by the king's harem for bathing and was connected to the palace by secret tunnel.
Doing an upper lake drive is one of the most scenic and memorable rides you will ever experience in Kandy tour. Today Kandy is the center of Buddhism, Arts, Crafts, Dancing, Music and Culture. At the end of the tour you can witness a cultural show which encompasses various dance forms popular and native to Sri Lankans.