Wednesday, May 13, 2009


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Coordinates: 7°17′49.06″N 80°38′18.43″E/7.2969611°N 80.6384528°E/7.2969611; 80.6384528

Coat of arms of Kandy
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Nuwara
Motto: Loyal and Free
Kandy is located in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 7°17′47″N 80°38′6″E/7.29639°N 80.635°E/7.29639; 80.635
Country Sri Lanka
Province Central Province
District Kandy District
Senkadagalapura ~1480
Kandy Municipal Council 1865
- Mayor L.B. Aluvihare
- Total 1,940 km2 (749 sq mi)
- Land 1,917 km2 (740.2 sq mi)
- Water 23 km2 (8.9 sq mi)
Elevation 500 m (1,640 ft)
Population (2001)
- Total 111,701 UNIQca598,836a3,420af-ref-00,000,000-QINU
- Density 57/km2 (147.6/sq mi)
- Demonym Kandyan
Time zone Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone (UTC+5:30)

Kandy (maha nuvara, pronounced [mahaˈnuvərə], in Sinhala, கண்டி kaṇṭi, pronounced [ˈkaɳɖi], in Tamil) is the English name for the city of Maha Nuvara (Senkadagalapura) in the centre of Sri Lanka. It is the capital of the Central Province and Kandy District. It lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy Valley which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka. Kandy is of both an administrative and religious city. It is the capital of the Central Province (which encompasses the districts of Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya) and also of the administrative district of Kandy.



[edit] The Name

The name Kandy is derived from the Sinhalese kaⁿda uḍa pas raṭa. The Portuguese shortened this to "Candea", using the name for both the kingdom and its capital Senkadagalapura. In Sinhala, Kandy is called Maha Nuvara (pronounced [maha nuʋərə]), meaning "Great City" or "Capital", although this is most often shortened to Nuvara.

[edit] History

[edit] Establishment

View of the lake from Rajapihilla Mawatha, on the right the golden roof of the Temple of the Tooth, top left a Toque Macaque

Historical records suggest that Kandy was first established by the King Wickramabahu (1357-1374 CE) near the Watapuluwa area, north of the present city, and named Senkadagalapura at the time, although some scholars suggest the name Katubulu Nuwara may also have been used. The origin of the more popular name for the city, Senkadagala, could have been from a number of sources. These include naming after a brahmin named Senkanda who lived in a cave near the city, after a queen of King Wickramabahu named Senkanda or after a colored stone named Senkadagala.

[edit] Kingdom of Kandy

In 1592 Kandy became the capital city of the last remaining independent kingdom in the island after the coastal regions had been conquered by the Portuguese. Several invasions by the Portuguese and the Dutch (16th, 17th and 18th century) and later by the British (most notably in 1803) were repelled. Portuguese invasions in the 16th century and 17th century were entirely unsuccessful.

The kingdom tolerated a Dutch presence on the coast until 1761, when King Kirti Sri Rajasinha attacked and overran most of the coast, leaving only the heavily fortified Negombo intact. When a Dutch retaliatory force returned to the island in 1763, Kirti Sri Rajasinha abandoned the coastline and withdrew into the interior. When the Dutch continued to the jungles the next year, they were constantly harassed by disease, heat, lack of provisions, and Kandyan sharpshooters, who hid in the jungle and inflicted heavy losses on the Dutch. The Dutch launched a better adapted force in January of 1765, replacing their troops' bayonets with machetes and using more practical uniforms and tactics suited to jungle warfare. Though initially successful in capturing the capital which was deserted, the Kandyans withdrew to the jungles once more, refusing to engage in open battle. The Dutch, worn down by constant attrition, came to terms in 1766.

The last ruling dynasty of Kandy were the Nayaks. Kandy stayed as a independent until March 2, 1815 when the treaty, the Kandyan Convention signed by the British and Radala the (Kandyan aristocrats) which recognized the King of England as the its King and became a British protectorate following an invasion that met no resistance that reached the city on February 10, 1815. The last king of the kingdom Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was captured and taken as a royal prisoner by the British to Vellore Fort in southern India along with all claimants to the throne.

As the capital, Kandy had become home to the relic of the tooth of the Buddha which symbolizes a 4th-century tradition that used to be linked to the Sinhalese monarchy, since the protector of the relic was the ruler of the land. Thus, the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth were where placed in close proximity to each other.

[edit] World War II

During World War II the South East Asia Command of the allies was moved to Kandy in 1944 where it remained till the end of the war.

[edit] Modern Kandy

Today Kandy remains a important religious center of the Sinhalese and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, namely those belonging to the Theravada school. It is the second largest city of in the island.

[edit] Geography

[edit] Topography

[edit] Climate

[edit] Urban morphology

Queens Hotel in Kandy

The city of Kandy lies at an altitude 465m above sea level. Its plan developed around two open spaces: an elongated square at the end of which are the administration buildings of the old capital, and an artificial lake that is quadrangular in form. A public garden adds to the openness of the city's spatial organization.

On the north shore of the lake, which is enclosed by a parapet of white stone dating to the beginning of the 19th century, are the city's official religious monuments, including the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth, known as the Dalada Maligawa (daḷadā māligāva). Reconstructed in the 18th century, the Dalanda Maligawa is built on a base of granite that was inspired by the temples of Sri Lanka's former capital city, Anuradhapura. An array of materials (limestone, marble, sculpted wood, ivory, etc.) contribute to the richness of this temple. Throughout this small holy city, a number of recent Buddhist monasteries can be found.

Kandy has now grown out to encompass Peradeniya, home to the University of Peradeniya and the Botanical Gardens, Katugastota to the north, and east to Kundasale, Tennekumbura and Gurudeniya.

[edit] Culture

[edit] World Heritage Site

Sacred City of Kandy*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy
State Party Sri Lanka
Type Cultural
Criteria iv, vi
Reference 450
Region** Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1988 (10th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.
Palace of the Tooth relic

The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an example of construction that associates the Royal Palace and the

The Temple of the Tooth (Palace of the tooth relic) is the place that houses the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Originally part of the Royal Palace complex of the Kandyan Kingdom, it is one of the holiest places of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhist around the world. It was last of a series of temples built in the places where the relic, the actual palladium of the Sinhalese monarchy, was brought following the various relocations of the capital city.

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.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Kandy is the last Royal Palace built in the island. Although only part of the original palace complex remain. The Temple of the Tooth was part of this comples, due to the ancient tradition that stated that the monarch is the protector of the relic though which the ruler of the land. It today houses the National Museum Kandy which holds an extensive collection of artifacts from both the Kandy Kingdom and the British colonial rule.

Lankatilaka Temple

The Lankatilaka Temple is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of traditional Sinhalese temple architecture. Built on a rock, the temple is reached by a long series of rock cut steps. An arched passage of the image house leads through a Mandapa (hall) into the inner sanctum which is richly decorated with beautiful floral designs. The two side walls and the ceiling are decorated with paintings. In the inner sanctum is a colossal seated image of the Buddha.

Gadaladeniya Temple

The Gadaladeniya Temple's design is of South Indian origin with a Devale attached to it, similar in character to the Natha Devale and the Gedige of Adahana Maluwa. The main shrine room has a seated Buddha statue and the remains of some paintings of the Gampola period.

[edit] Festivals

Elephants at the Esala Perahera

Kandy is very popular due to the annual pageant known as the Esala Perahera (ˈɶsələ ˌperəˌhɶrə) in which one of the inner caskets used for covering the tooth relic of Buddha is taken in a grand procession through the streets of the city. This casket is taken on a royal tusker. The procession includes traditional dancers and drummers, flag bearers of the provinces of the old Kandyan kingdom, the Nilames (lay custodians of temples ) wearing their traditional dresses, torch bearers and also the grandly attired elephant. This ceremony which is annually held in the months of July or August, attracts large crowds from all parts of the country and also many foreign tourists.

[edit] Parks and gardens

Royal Botanical garden
Peradeniya Botanical garden

The Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5 km to the west of the city centre at Peradeniya and is visited by 1.2 million people per year. It is the largest botanical garden in the island.

Wales Park

The Wales Park is a small park that over looks the Kandy lake and most of the city. In the park is a Japanese field gun which had been captured by the British 14th Army in Burma during world war 2 and presented to the city of Kandy by Lord Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Theatre.

[edit] Culinary

Kandy has a modest range of restaurants, as well as an abundance of confectionaries. A range of cuisines is available including Chinese, European, Sri Lankan, Indian and some multinational fast food outlets.

[edit] Sport

[edit] Economy

[edit] Demographics

Kandy is a Sinhala majority city; there are sizeable communities belonging to other ethnic groups, such as Moors and Tamils.

Ethnicity Population % Of Total
Sinhala 77,560 70.48
Sri Lankan Moors 15,326 13.93
Sri Lankan Tamils 9,427 8.57
Indian Tamils 5,245 4.77
Other (including Burgher, Malay) 2,489 2.26
Total 110,049 100

Source: [1]

[edit] Governance

The Kandy Municipal Council governs the City of Kandy, it was established under the Municipalities Ordinance of 1865. The inaugural meeting had been held on 20th March 1866. The Town Hall and the Office Complex was installed in the present premises (Dunuwille Walawwe) in 1870.[2]

The Government Agent of the Central Province had presided over the council until 1939 when the Mayor was elected. The first elected mayor was Sir Cuda Ratwatte. With further amendments to the ordinance in 1978 the Mayor became the Executive Head whilst the Commissioner was the Administrative head.

Presently the Council consists of 24 members. The Governing Party (U.N.P.) has 14 and the opposition 10.

The Council meets once a month to review the progress and decide on the implementation of its projects. Five standing committees of the Council namely Finance, Law, Works, Sports and Welfare Services (Pre-Schools, Library) also meet monthly to evaluate and recommend to Council relative matters for approval.

[edit] Education

Kandy is home to some of the islands finest public and private schools these include the Dharmaraja College, Trinity College, St Anthony's College, St Sylvester's College,& Kingswood College.

The county's second oldest university, University of Peradeniya is at Peradeniya, a suburb of Kandy. The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology has a center in the the city.

[edit] Transport

Kandy has an public transport system based on primary on buses. The bus service is operated both by private and government own Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB).


[edit] Knuckles Mountain Range

Forest trails the Knuckles mountain range are the most suitable for trekking in Sri Lanka. It has many nature trails cleared trough the forest by specially forest department. Also there are many footpaths of cardamom planters, toddy tappers, tea plantation workers, farmers and villages. It is located in the Kandy and Matale Districts of central province, one of South Asia’s premier sites of mountain tropical forest habitats and lies within the biodiversity hotspot that extends from the Western Ghats of India into Southwest Sri Lanka.Semi evergreen forests can be seen in the lower elevation (below 700m) contains large trees. Sub mountain forests are in between lowlands and highlands with bamboos pigmy forests and upper mountain forests in high peaks. Grasslands are in many areas where open to wind with high bio diversity. Riverine forests by the tributaries to the Mahaweli River like Hulu Ganga, Heen Ganga, Kalu Ganga and Thelgamu oya from the streams of the forest. There are a number of breathtaking waterfalls and small crystal clear water streams can be found in the area.It is a home to many endangered and endemic species. Five of the endemic species, three fresh water fishes, one amphibian and one lizard are restricted to the knuckles range itself. Most of the large mammals in the country like elephant, leopard and wild boar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, and giant squirrel etc are found here. A unique bio–cultural landscape, Meemure, Ranamure, Kaikawala, and Galamuduna are few villages out of 37, which can be found in this area. The indigenous community of the villages likes Walpolamulla, Galauda debokkawa and Dandeniya which have only a small connection with the rest of world. The people always interacted and depended upon the frosts. This association to day-to-day lifestyle is very simple and their main income generating sources are farming, rice cultivation, slash and burn cultivation and Cardamom. These villagers relay on cattle for transporting good between villages and sub-urban areas and this is referred as Pack Ox (Thawalam). The highst peak of the range is Gombaniya (1906. The peak call Knuckles 1864, Dumbanagala (1644), Kalupahana (1617)are the other sumits of the massif.

[edit] Trekking

The Kandy district has large number of treks. Within the Kandy city the short walk of Asgiri Maha Viharaya via Bahirawakande hill is an interesting. Udawattakelle forest reserve in within the city limit, gives valuable walking in nature. The secret Walkers Forest upper Hantane trek is on the permission from Municipal Council of Kandy. The famous Western Shrines of Kandy Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake temples and Embakke shrine are connected by a very scenic walking trek. Other part of the west of Kandy, Portuguese War Route from Ihalakotte railway station to Aluthnuwara Devale at Dodanwala is passing forest reserves, Alagalle Mountain, tea estates and kandyan traditional villages. East of Kandy the Eastern temple Gangaramaya, Galmaduwa temples, Degaldoruwa temple is with much cultural values such as paintings.

Knuckles mountain range of Kandy and its forest trails are the most suitable for trekking in Sri Lanka. It has many nature trails cleared trough the forest by specially forest department. Also there are many footpaths of cardamom planters, toddy tappers, tea plantation workers, farmers and villages. It is located in the Kandy and Matale Districts of central province, one of South Asia’s premier sites of mountain tropical forest habitats and lies within the biodiversity hotspot that extends from the Western Ghats of India into Southwest Sri Lanka.

Short walks such as Last King Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe (1798-1815) hideout place, Mini Worlds Ends are also withing Knuckles range. From Knuckles to East Rathna water fall trek, south of Kandy large reservoirs such as Victoria Randenigala and Rantabe sanctuary, the most panoramic rice field view Lamasuriyagama treks are fantastic. adventure team help you to trekking from kandy.

[edit] Maps

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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