History Of Kandy

FEBRUARY 10, 2012

History Of Kandy

Home to the Temple of the Tooth, or the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, or a quite peaceful city lying amidst the hills – there can be several perspectives to studying the history of Kandy, considered to be the cultural capital of the island country. The city is full of surprises, so goes a common adage among the travelers to this historic city, and so it proves to be too!
Back in the late 1400s when Kandy was referred to as the Kingdom of Kandy, it served as the throne to the ruling king Sena Sammatha Wickramabahu and his successors, followed by others in due course of time. Nayaks are considered to be the last royal rulers till the British successfully invaded it in the year 1815.
The most attractive feature about this city is the relic, according to which the protector of the tooth of the Buddha is the ruler of the Kingdom, which subsequently explains the proximity of the royal palace from the temple.
Known as ‘Maha Nuvara’ in the vernacular language, implying the ‘Great City’, Kandy’s nomenclature can be traced back to the Sinhalese ‘Kanda Uda Rata’, meaning, the land on the mountain. The journey to its present shortened version saw the influence of the Portugese ‘Candea’.
At present Kandy stands as the second largest city of Sri Lanka, apart from being the capital of the country’s Central Province. Every year, during the month of July or August, the Kandy Perahera is organized, which offers a true glimpse into the ancient traditions of the city, with colorful processions, masquerades, elephant parades and much more.  

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