Kandy is excited for August. The Esala Perahera mood is already on.
Last week when I was passing the quaint olden city I got caught-up in the beautiful excitement. Lovely Kandy with its unspoilt heart, beautiful tranquillity, and old-fashioned glamour. The high hills that stand still, the serene winds that blow from beyond the lake, and the charming old buildings that hark back to colonial days. There isn’t a city that has enchanted me more.
August days in Kandy
“Amid green hills – the city sits still
The glory of the past – the quaint glamour lasts”
Kandy is one of those cities that no adjectives can do justice to. The place’s so beautiful! That’s why you just have to visit Kandy this August. Be there in August when magic is going on in the streets of Kandy. Kandy Perahera is a wonder-strucking procession that celebrates the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. It’s a festival of lights that lasts for ten days. Of course, the most exuberant pageant shows up on the last day. The torches glow under the starry night skies. The fire-breathers create an arresting radiance. The whip-crackers pep up the streets from a distance letting the crowds know ‘the procession’s here!’
The movements of the traditional dancers are so natural and graceful. They dance along to the vibrant drum beats. The sunshade bearers and the lance bearers tread along in soft serene steps. The prettiest thing to see though is the hundreds of ravishing elephants that are lavishly dressed in gold and silver and red and many other shining colours. The baby elephants, of course, will jazz things up. They do their own little dance to the drum beats! They simply rock! However, the tusker that carries the Sacred Tooth Relic walks solemnly, understanding what a sacred thing is on his back. He’s so serious about the business that you begin to think he is so human, or rather, cleverer than the humans.
That is Kandy Perahara. It’s the grandest thing I’ve ever watched. Glitter, romance, and traditions, Kandy Perahara has it all.
Now that I’ve invited you to Kandy, I think I will suggest you some places to stay in there. Whatever kind of place you should fancy, I assure you Kandy has it. It’s the kind of city that has everything, the city that never disappoints.
Queens Hotel Kandy – Colonial at heart
Do you want to feel like a governor? Then stay at this former governor’s residence right in the heart of the Kandy city. It’s 160 years old! And has a totally colonial appeal. The Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Kandy Lake backdrops the Queens hotel. The old building looks quite quaint and romantic. The rooms are elegant and cozy at the same time. The wooden floors, colonial paintings hanging on the walls, and wooden furniture all go together beautifully. Look out of your balcony into the olde-worlde city that has beautifully retained its old-timey glamour. Bask in the blue-eyed swimming pool that sleeps in mild sunshine.
Hotel Suisse Kandy – Magically quaint
Kandy never runs out of colonial houses. Hotel Suisse is another colonial residence by the side of the Kandy Lake. I love how it sits grandly in a four-acre garden. It spells out 17th-century glamour in its wooden furnishings and floral fabrics. Out of your room windows, the world is beautiful with a charming city, a lake, and a landscaped garden. The rooms are adorned with furniture that gives the antique feels. You’ll love the hand paintings hanging on the walls and the ‘shades of tradition’ that are put against the walls of the rooms. Have a dip in the swimming pool as the winds that carry the secrets of the lake whispers to you. Or just spoil yourself with a lazy couple of hours at the spa.
Theva Residency Kandy – Romance in the air
There’s this romantic boutique hotel along the slopes of stunning Hantana Mountain. If you want to lose yourself in the white mists, mountains, and fresh air this is the place. Theva Residency definitely makes for a chapter off a fairy-tale book. The rooms are tucked in such a way that the mountains seem so close by out of your room balcony or the glass windows. I felt like I really dwelled in the mountains! The cottons and silks and the cushions on the snug sofas are so inviting that you just can’t wait to get cozy in your room!
Mahaweli Reach Kandy – Hidden behind the river
Wouldn’t it be lovely to stay behind a beautiful river? And listen to the soft music of the slow waves as they flow. That’s exactly what the Mahaweli Reach Hotel has on offer. It is silhouetted against the sky behind the banks of the lovely Mahaweli River. ‘Luxury inside of the windows and scenery outside of the windows’ – the line sums up the experience. An evening by your room balcony just listening to the furtive murmur of the river will make an enchanting evening out of a just – another- evening. You can even cruise down the pretty river!
Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge Kandy – Story-bookish and dreamy
What could be more picture-perfect than this eco-lodge set against the backdrop of misty mountains, viridescent valleys, and tea plantations? Translucent brooks and glass-like streams meander through beautifully at a stone’s- throw- away from the Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge. If you want to relax the regular black-and-whites away and breathe in some life and colour into your soul, this is where you should stay at. The lodges are so delightfully private with a front porch that’s all yours to sit and enjoy the view. Or you could just read your afternoon away on a cozy seat set in the tea estate. Dine in the restaurant in the rosy radiance of the fireplace and wine in the English-styled estate lounge bar.
So this is Kandy for you. And you know the experience is a thousand times better than what I’ve painted, because as I always say no place is ever like Kandy. Kandy is golden. Kandy shines brightly in the month of August and glows softly for the rest of the year. It’s the city whose soul is studded with shimmering lights. Between its high hills, Kandy still holds the fragrance and the magic of the old-fashioned yesterdays…