Pinnawala elephant orphanage
Elephant Orphanage - Let us start the day by visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants. The orphanage was opened in 1975 to provide shelter and care for orphaned baby elephants found wandering around the jungles of Sri Lanka and was established by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Orphanage has now become a tourist attraction and the funds collected are used towards food, medicines and care of the elephants. Baby elephants require a lot of hands – on care and several mahouts and care-givers both employed and volunteers spend several hours simply keeping the baby elephants fed and nurtured. You can watch the elephants having a bath at the nearby river, see how each of the elephants are taken care of by their caretakers and enjoy bottle - feeding the tiny baby elephants before leaving the orphanage to continue your journey.
Kandy Tooth relic temple
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - You will then be taken to visit the monumental Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Enclosed by a parapet of white stone dating to the beginning of the 19th century, are the city's official religious monuments, the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth. The 18th Century BCE temple which is built on a base of granite is associated with the history of the dissemination of Buddhism and is one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community all around the world; it was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. A relic belonging to the Lord Buddha is said to be resting within the temple and apart from being heavily guarded, it is deeply venerated by the Buddhist community all across and during the months of July/August aprocession called the Esala Perahera weaves through the streets of the city where one of the inner caskets used for covering the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is taken on display. This casket is carried on a grandly attired royal tusker elephant and the procession includes traditional dancers and drummers, flag bearers of the provinces of the old Kandyan kingdom, the Nilames (lay custodians of temples) wearing their traditional dresses and torch bearers. Explore and understand why the temple is one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community all around the world before you continue your journey.
Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya - Next we will take you one of Kandy's oft visited places called the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. It was formally established in 1843 and its origins date as far back as 1371, the Botanical gardens was developed towards the enlightenment of concepts of floriculture conservation, birdlife conservation, butterfly conservation, biodiversity and sustainability of the island and is situated on approximately 150 acres of land with an artificial lake in the centre of the Gardens. There are 4000 labelled species of flora some of which were planted by visiting dignitaries including King Edward VII who planted a Peepal tree in 1875; the King of Greece who planted the Brownea Grandiceps tree and the Czar of Russia who planted a Ceylon Ironweed tree in 1891, the Emperor of Austria who planted the "Asoka" tree in 1893, Prince Henry of Prussia who planted the Amherstia Nobilis, and the "Flamboyante" of Madagascar in 1898 and 1899 respectively. There is also a Spice Garden which abounds with exotic spices like Cardamom, Cloves, and Pepper & Vanilla as well as Suspension Bridge that stretches across the River Mahaweli and links to the School of Tropical Agriculture at Gannoruwa hill, where research is carried out into various important spices & medicinal herbs as well as into tea, coffee, cocoa, rubber, coconuts and varieties of rice and other cash crops.
herbal spice garden
Ayurvedic Herbal Spice Garden - On the way, a visit to the Ayurvedic Herbal Spice Garden is a must in order to understand the root of a branch of Science known as Ayurveda. Sri Lanka has been associated with Ayurveda since the 3rd Century BCE and is not only a form of medication but rather a complete way of life to generations of Sri Lankans. The preservation of health and curing a body afflicted by disease are the 2 aims of Ayurveda and is also known to treat many known illnesses treatments of the human body both psychological and physiological and also provide treatment for the general well – being of a person. Most of the Ayurvedic therapies include herb – infused oil therapies and some of the rich assortments of medicinal plants used in the practice of Ayurveda are endemic to Sri Lanka.!