There is a simple reason to visit Kandy: It’s in the very centre of the island. Almost all travelers visiting both Sigiriya Lion Rock in the lowlands and the tea growing area of the central higlands will have to cross Kandy anyway. Kandy is a major attraction in itself, of course, as the cultural capital of the Sinhalese is definitely the city number one worth seeing in Sri Lanka, much more lovely than Colombo. Surrounded by green hills and grouped on either side of the picturesque Kandy Lake, the city is a cozy place for relaxing days, although the town centre is quite busy. The colonial ambiente contributes to the much to the charming cityscape, too.
Kandy’s main attraction is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is of utmost significance for the Sinhalese Buddhist culture of the island nation. The ceremonies called pujas can be joined by foreigners three times a day. Another important centre of Buddhist culture is the Malwatta monastery on the opposite side of the Kandy Lake. It’s the headquarter of the most significant branch of the Buddhist order in Sri Lanka. The ceremonial hall and a museum in traditional monk accommodations and some other buildings are open to the public. Hindu temples also frequented by Buddhists are part of the garden-like World Heritage Site area around Kandy's Tooth Temple, too. Tamil Kovils and Muslim mosques shape the market area within walking distance from the Buddhist sacred sites. Furthermore, Kandy is a perfect place for shopping and even nature activities such as hiking or birdwatching. The world-Famous Peradenia Botanical Gardens are in situated in Kandy’s university suburb.
Puttalam is a predominantly Muslim town in the at Sri Lanka’s northwestern town. Puttalam is not a major tourist destination and not worth a longer stay when you are a first time traveller and like to see as many beautiful places within your holidays as possible. Better cut the inconspicuous Puttalam from the shortlist in this case. Kalpitiya Peninsula at the other side of the Puttalam Lagoon is more inviting with its long sandy beaches or kitesfurfing activities or dolphin watching tour. Nochchiyagama to the northeast of Puttalam is a better starting point for safaris in Wilpattu National Park than Puttalam. Puttalam in itself is interesting only for ethnologists or others wholike to meet people most of all. Thhe town and its hinterland are inhabited by variuous ethnic minorities.
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Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka