Today we were on the move again, on our way to one of the larger cities in Sri Lanka, which was Kandy. We woke up for a 9 am start and climbed into our car, to head out to the Dambulla Rock Temple. This was probably about an hour drive away, so we ended up arriving at the Temple around 10 am. To get to the Dambulla Rock Temple, you buy your ticket at the base of the temple.
As is apparently becoming a theme in Sri Lanka, they built this Temple on the top of a hill. Our guided warned us that again it would be a really hot climb, since this is their hottest season. However this climb was all stairs that were cut out of the rock face. This Temple also had a lot of monkeys. The monkeys have figured out that if they stay close to the trail, they would be able to get food and treats from the tourists, so if you do go to this temple make sure not to get too close to the monkeys.
At the top of your climb (probably 20 minuets) you get to a cobble stoned area, that has several shoe drop off areas. As usual you cannot wear shoes into working temples. The shoe drop off costs 2$. The Dambulla Rock Temple itself, consists of fie caves. The largest cave measures about 52m from east to west, and 23m from the entrance to the back, this spectacular cave is 7m tall at its highest point. Its filled with painting and statues. The other caves were fairly similar.
We then drove to Kandy. We arrived in Kandy around 2pm. We had time to eat lunch and check out the fabric warehouse. before we checked into our hotel, and went for a swim. Our hotel was a really cool hotel from the 40s. It was the colonial styled hotel, called Hotel Suisse. We loved the charm, even though we we are pretty easy going.
Afterwards we went to the Temple of the Tooth, which is actually a 20 minuet walk from this hotel. The Temple of the Tooth, does a ceremony every day at 6:30 pm. The nightly ceremony involves drums and opening the tooth relic room to the public for 30 minuets. Once a year, there is a larger festival, that involves, elephants and parades where they tour the tooth relic around the city. We missed this festival by about two weeks.
The every day festival that we saw was still really cool. This temple is one of the more conservative temples that we had gone too. There was a separate entrance for men and women, and you need to be totally covered up. Once in the temple, we were actually really glad to get there early and have a guide. Our guide knew the order that the various rooms of the temple were opened to the public, and knew the order that you should view the rooms in order to not line up with the crowds.
After watching the ceremony and visiting the different rooms, we wandered the streets of Kandy. As mentioned Kandy is a larger city then the majority of cities we had been to. So we could go to actual restaurants and go to the markets. We loved the city compared to the smaller villages. We found a little cafe that served all different types of food, and got milk shakes. The food was pretty good too.