Kandy, the 2nd largest city in Sri Lanka

If you know Sri Lanka you have probably heard of Colombo. But does the name Kandy ring any bells?
No, I do not mean the place out of Tarantino’s new movie, but the 2nd largest city in Sri Lanka after the capital Colombo.

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Royal palace of kandy

Kandy has quit a large history with many kings, a visit to the royal palace therefor is a must.
When you enter the gardens of the royal palace you will find many people in front of the entrance trying to cover themselves up with cloths. Men have to wear a sarong, which is a cloth they use for a skirt. Anyone is aloud to enter the royal palace and its temple, it does not matter if your a Buddhist or a Christian or follow any other religion.

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My brother and his family walking towards the temple of the tooth relic

The name speaks for itself. Although this palace is not just a simple palace. Its walls protect the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

According to the legend, the tooth had been snatched from the flames at Buddha’s funeral pyre and was smuggled into Sri Lanka, hidden in the hair of a princess. It got carried back again to India after a while, but was soon brought back to Sri Lanka once again by King Parakramabahu III. It is a mystery if the tooth which is being kept in the temple is a replica or the authentic tooth.
Unfortunately, you can not actually see the tooth during the visit, since it is kept in a gold casket, which contains a series of 3 caskets of diminishing size and eventually the tooth itself.

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The tooth sanctuary

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

A little village in Kandy called Pinnawala currently protects 73 elephants in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Their first elephant arrived in 1975.

After leaving the Tuk-Tuk who brought me to the orphanage, I walked through a tiny street, where the elephants have to walk through as well from time to time. At first I just saw the river, with many elephants in the water and a few local men in sarongs. Then I noticed that the entire area is like a park where the elephants are being protected and where these animals actually have everything they need.

A local man told me that I could walk down to the river and pet the elephants. So I did. Immediately the giant creature searched for food in my hand, but there was none. So it let me pet him while the other elephants minded their own business in the river.

After an hour or so, the elephants walked out of the river to their shelters and it was like a beautiful natural parade.

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Walking toward the elephants of Pinnawala

Tsunami

My visit to Sri Lanka was back in the summer of 2007, after the tsunami.
This was after the catastrophic tsunami, so I went to see the effects of this devastating history and noticed a lot of land was gone and palm trees standing there in the sea.

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It has been a while ago,
but the memories of my short visit to Sri Lanka stay fresh.

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Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.

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