Things to Do in Kandy
Located to the northwest of the Kandy palace complex, Maha Vishnu Devalaya is one of four interconnected shrines, called devales, important to both Buddhists and Hindus in the region. This particular devale honors the Hindu God Vishnu, who, according to Sri Lankan belief, will be a future Buddha after the God Natha (who is honored in one of the other three devales). Sri Lankan Buddhists also believe that Vishnu was charged with guarding Sri Lanka after his death.
Vishnu famously took the form of King Rama in the Indian epic Ramayana, and a cloth painting displayed within the devale depicts a battle scene from the epic between Rama and Ravana. Visitors enter the shrine through colorful arched doorway into a timber-columned hall where both Hindu and Buddhist devotees come to pray.
The Alagalla Mountain Range, also known as the Potato Range, stretches along the borders of the Sri Lankan Provinces of Sabaragamuwa and Central. Popular among local hikers, the highest peak of the range summits at only about 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) above sea level, but since it’s significantly taller than the surrounding mountains, the scenery from the top is particularly breathtaking.
The trail to the top begins by passing through verdant tea plantations at the base of the mountain before passing through a mossy forest. As the path ascends, the forest gives way to shrubs. It’s possible to make the trek as a day trip, but many visitors choose to camp at the summit to enjoy sunset and sunrise from this spectacular viewpoint.
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