Next stop on our tour of Sri Lanka was Kandy, the last capital of the kings of Sri Lanka. We were put up at the Swiss Residence. Check the review of the same here.
Kandy is on the UNESCO world heritage sites list. It home to the temple of Tooth Relic which is the most important place for all the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It has been the belief in Sri Lanka, that whoever holds the tooth relic governs Sri Lanka.
First stop in Kandy, though was to the Cultural centre in Kandy for a cultural show which show- cased the difference dance forms of Sri Lanka. The 1 hour program culminated with the performance of fire-walkers.
Walking distance from the Cultural Centre is the Temple of Tooth Relic. The entrance to the temple is guarded by armed guards and one needs to go through metal detectors. It seems these measures were put in place after a bombing attack by the LTTE. Dress code is strictly checked and we saw a couple of visitors being stopped for wearing shorts/sleeveless.
The tooth relic is showcased for the visitors for a period of 5 minutes at around 8:00. Again, the information we got here was that the exact time is shifted forward/backward as a security measure.
Another interest fact regarding Kandy was provided to us by our guide. This was the last capital of the kings of Sri Lanka before being ruled over by the British. The last king of Kandyan kingdom was overthrown through a coup by the aristocrats in his court. The king was arrested and the aristocrats signed a treaty recognizing the British crown as their new king. The king was held prisoner in Vellor fort along with all the claimants to the throne.