Although we admire Kandy as a major tourist destination in Sri Lanka, and everyone seem to have know the whole place, yet there are amazing gems unearthing that most of us did not set our feet.
These are some of those lesser known but very intriguing places that can visit while you are in Kandy.
1. KNUCKLES MOUNTAIN RANGE
Resembling the shape of a knuckle of a clenched fist from the top, Knuckles Mountain Range is probably one of the most scenic visiting places in Kandy. The mountain Range in the region towards the northern end of Sri Lankan highlands (39 km from Kandy) is the place to be. Perfect place to try your hands on adventure traveling and camping, the Knuckles Mountain Range spans from Matale to Kandy and is a treat for the nature lovers. Look around and embrace the wilderness brought to you by sprawling grasslands, jagged peaks, torrents of streams, and gushing waterfalls. Enjoy the series of painted canvas around.
The great biodiversity of the Knuckles brings you wild boar, spotted deer, giant squirrel, barking deer, purple-faced leaf monkey, and mongoose.
Prime attractions of Knuckles Range: Mini World’s End (1192 m) towards the southern end of the mountains, hiking, and wild trekking
2. HULU RIVER AND WATERFALL
30 km from Kandy into the quiet town of Dumbara lies Huluganga Falls on the Hulu River. The river originating from the scenic Knuckles Mountain Range is the perfect escape to leave the onlookers awed. The 75-meter high waterfall, located in the Dumbara town, is a true beauty enclosed by nature’s allure. And it’s no wonder that Hulu is considered as one of the popular Kandy places to visit!
Caution: The place experiences sudden and rapid increase in water level. Be wary!
3.DUNUMADALAWA FOREST RESERVE
Dunumadalawa, also known as Wakara-watta or Walker estate, is a forest reserve overlooking Kandy. With an area of about 480 hectares, this forest forms the catchment of two reservoirs, which are fed by the two main streams—the Dunumadalawa Oya and Roseneath-ela—which provide drinking water for the entire city of Kandy.
The forest reserve extends from above Hillwood College and runs through the Hantana range of hills, on towards Galaha. It is another paradise for nature lovers. Even those who aren’t that interested in nature, can still relax and enjoy the reserve, because it is located at a height of 1800-3200 feet above sea level, and has a much cooler climate than the city of Kandy. The reserve is under the purview of the town council and prior permission is needed to visit it.
4. MUTUKELINA WEWA AND THE OBSERVATION POINT
This is one of the hidden jewels that Kandy which managed escape the average traveler. The Mutukelina Wewa lies in a tranquil background surrounded by mountains about 17 km away from Kandy town, The tank lies 1000 meters above sea level and is small with a surface area of about 15,000 square meters.
The lake itself is not the main attraction but the view point at the lake. At the top of a ridge near the lake, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Kandyan hills.
To reach this tank, take the Ampitiya road from Kandy and travel upto Talatuoya. From Talathuoya continue on the same road towards Bellwood and go pass Pathahewaheta. The google maps shows the road half way upto Pathahewaheta. Continue on this road for few kilometers further to reach the Mutukelina Wewa.
Meemure is an isolated village in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, located 324m above sea level and hidden amongst the mountains. The only way to reach it is from the ‘Hunnasgiriya’ mountain, which is part of the Knuckles range, approximately 50km from Kandy. It’s a difficult trail of 33km from Hunnasgiriya to Meemure with many tricky spots, though the view along it is excellent. The village itself receives abundant water in the form of waterfalls that have their sources in the evergreen forests of the Knuckles. East of the village lies the pyramid shaped Lakegala mountain; while the west is dominated by the picturesque Knuckles range. The northern boundary of Meemure borders a forest which runs to the ‘Pitawala Pathana’ grassland; and the south is bounded by Heen River.
Pack-bulls used to be the solitary method of transport to Meemure until 2004. Herds of cattle carried sacks full of goods and equipment to the village. Due to the fertility and prosperity of the village; the pack-bulls were only used to carry salt, cloths, tobacco and calcium bicarbonate. But with the invasion of modern technology, the trails have been widened to allow three wheelers, jeeps and small trucks.
6. HANTHANA MOUNTAIN RANGE
Central province of Sri Lanka is home for many scenic venues of the country. Hantana mountain range is one among them and located closer to University of Peradeniya.
The mountain range stretches from Galaha to Kandy. The mountain range of maximum height (nearly) 4200 ft consists of seven peaks and the highest peak is named as Uura Kanda. In 2010 February, the Hanthana mountain range area was declared as environmental protection area. Presently the department of forest conservation governing the mountain range area. From the highest peak of the mountain range every hiker can adore the panoramic view of the surrounding and grassy land. Also the mountain range is famous for communication purposes. Travellers can enjoy the grassy lands, smooth cool breeze, flora and fauna along the path well.
The Hanthana mountain range reached more popularity because of mountain hikers, adventure travellers and nature lovers.
7. VICTORIA GOLF CLUB, DIGANA
Set within a 500 acre coconut estate in the hills of Digana just outside of Kandy, the Victoria Golf and Country Resort is Sri Lanka’s newest and probably most picturesque golf course. Perched on the mountain slopes overlooking the Victoria Reservoir, it’s 18 hole, 6,946 yard course follows the natural contours of the undulating land and presents a tricky course to negotiate with its elevated greens and narrow fairways. Designed by Donald Steel, the course was named “Best In Asia” in 2005 by the publication Asian Golf, and is also ranked in the top 100 of “Most Beautiful Courses in the World” by Golf Digest. Other than its golf course, the resort offers accommodation, a horse riding school, pool facilities and an excellent restaurant within its clubhouse making it the perfect venue for a few days away with the family.