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Maha Nuvara, Kandy in English, is the center of the Kandy District and the Central Province in Sri Lanka. Colombo may be the nation’s seat of government but Kandy acts as the cultural capital, being the last kingdom of Sri Lanka. Kandy may be only 115 km away from Colombo but it is starkly different in terms of both its cultural offerings and its climate. The 500 meter altitude is responsible for its largely different climate. As for culture, Kandy is the center of the last Sinhalese Kingdom. Associated with it then are evidences of history, such as antiques and old architecture. Kandy does offer modern hotels but activity seems to come to a halt at night. This calm and quiet place is home to only about a hundred thousand people.

The people of Kandy are mostly Buddhists. The cultural capital is then generally calm, with few incidences of crime. It is evidently more peaceful than other parts of Sri Lanka. However, Kandyans are no longer as trustworthy as historical records proclaim them to be. So when you do visit Kandy, take care of your belongings as you would in any place.

The best way to reach Kandy is from Colombo. You can travel to Kandy via bus, train, taxi or mini-van. Your best choice will be to ride the train so that you can enjoy the view. Choose the intercity express train and book it on advance to avoid having to ride other trains, which can be both late and crowded. You can also take an air-conditioned bus. However, women are warned against sitting with men they do not know; it is best to sit next to another woman. In Kandy, you can experience its local transport, the Three-Wheelers or Tuc-Tuc. You can also walk around to best appreciate the place. The cultural capital’s temperature is generally warm, in the high twenties or low thirties, in the Celsius scale.

Coming from the United States, you will need a passport which is at least six months valid. You are not required to have a visa, however, but you need to show proof of return travel.