image Sri Lanka – The Pearl of Indian Ocean (2/4)

Kandy Lake and Temple of tooth relic

Kandy Lake, the main water body for Kandy, is a man-made lake built in 1807 by last Sinhalese King. This is at the heart of the city. The footpath surrounding the lake offers a place for stroll or jog. The lake is surrounded by a wall called Walakulu Bamma, which was built to increase the beauty of the lake. The triangular shaped holes in the walls were used to light oil lamps during festival days.

Since we missed the Temple of Tooth relic the day before, we had planned to visit this place in the morning. The legend of this temple goes like this: Long long so long ago, don’t know how long ago; after parinirvana (nirvana after death, which occurs on death of the body of someone who attained nirvana in his lifetime. Naturally this applies for Gauthama Buddha) of Lord Buddha, the tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga Kingdom. A belief grew that whoever possessed this tooth will have the divine right to rule the land. So naturally kings fought for the tooth. Later this was smuggled into Sri Lanka at around 3rd century. As time went on, the tooth had changed places. Many kings tried to get hold over a period of time. Upon each change in the capital, a new palace was built for the relic. Finally this has landed in Temple of Tooth relic in Kandy.

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Kandy Lake

Kandy Town and view

Kandy is the largest town in central park of Sri lanka. It’s covered by hills on all sides and close to hill stations like Nuwara Eliya. Such mix of hills stations and beaches within such a tiny country makes this country unique and special. By Srilanka’s standards Kandy can be qualified to be a hill station. The town looks even more beautiful when we look from Kandy view point at an altitude of 500m from Kandy Lake.

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Gems of Sri Lanka

Before leaving Kandy we went to a place called Sifani, a gem showroom. Then Sri Lanka was lovingly known as “Ratna-dweepa” which means “Island of Gems” (Ratna – Gems, Sweeps – Island). Travellers like Marco Polo and Great philosophers like Ptolemy made a great note on these gems. Gem trade dates back to 4th century AD where Persian traders played a major role in it. Gems are majorly found on residual soils in rivers and streams. Sapphires, Ruby, Topaz are some of the popular gems in Sri Lanka. It is said that blue sapphire is one of the most rare gems in the world and this was once in Princess Diana’s jewellery. Most of the gem deposits are found close to Ratnapura (City of Gems) again taken the name from gem industry.

Kandy to Bentota (Expressway)

There are 2 expressways which run through the country. One that connects Colombo city to it’s airport. Another one connects from Colombo to Galle. Once we are done with gem factory we started from Kandy by 3pm. It’s a 5-hour drive from Kandy to Bentota.

Bentota is small beach town relying mostly on foreign tourism. We stayed at a resort called Earl’s Reef which is right next to Indian Ocean. This is such a calm place away from noise but close to sound of the ocean.

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