Kandy, tea, and Adam’s Peak

Kandy is a major city in the center of the island of Sri Lanka.

It is strange that the capital of Sri Lanka is now located in Colombo. Before the British Empire completely took over the island, the city of Kandy was the country’s capital, which was then called the Kingdom of Kandy.

However, Kandy and its suburbs remain one of the most important regions of the country. Electricity is not even shut off everywhere in the region. The critical infrastructure of the country is located here, and it cannot be left without power.

The city itself is not very interesting. Indian temple domes rise behind the fences.

The sidewalks are concrete slabs thrown over a drainage ditch. There are huge gaps between them, and some slabs are completely broken. You can easily break your leg at night.

Due to the lack of sidewalks, people are forced to walk on the road.

Monkeys have to walk on wires.

Behind the facades, there is decay.

There is little colonial architecture. The main post office:

The hotel:

The bank:

In the center of Kandy, it is slightly better. Wide streets, remnants of former luxury.

Futile attempts to depict London:

There is nothing to do in the city. Life goes on its usual course. Except for rallies against the war in Ukraine, nothing happens. Fruits are sold on the streets:

Someone is pushing a broken tuk-tuk.

There is only one attraction in Kandy. It is the Temple of the Tooth, yes, the Temple that houses the tooth of Buddha.

Only those without shoes and wearing long pants are allowed into the temple. If someone does not have long pants, they tie a sarong. People have to walk barefoot on the ground, rocks, sand, and grass. This means that shoes are not allowed not only in the palace but also on the territory around it.

There is little of interest in the palace. There are several religious buildings for different purposes.

Buddhist stupas stand here and there.

They burn intoxicating herbs to make prayer more interesting.

Sri Lankan Buddhism turned out to be suspiciously similar to Orthodoxy. The same icons, only with different saints. Even the halo around the head of a saint is present.

Here lies Buddha himself. It was not possible to check his teeth as the mouth was closed.

A footprint was found.

I still don’t understand where this tooth is located. They demand twenty bucks to enter the main part of the palace. Go to hell with your tooth.

Ambuluwawa Tower

An hour away from Kandy is the Ambuluwawa Tower. It often appears in the Instagrams of tourists in Sri Lanka. It is a crazy spiral tower on a high hill.

The total height of the tower along with the hill is 600 meters.

The whole city is visible from the hill, so there is no point in climbing the tower itself.

If you have to climb, then the fear of heights will have to be rolled up and put in one place. The tower is open, so you have to walk up the spiral on the outside.

The fact that the tower is not historical only adds to the extreme experience. The tower was built in 2009 for tourists.

Damro Tea Factory

The road to the city of Nuwara Eliya goes through such a serpentine that it can easily make someone sick.

Before reaching the city, you need to get off a little later at the Ramboda waterfalls. Here is the Damro tea plantation and factory.

Central Sri Lanka is the perfect place for growing tea. It is much cooler here than on the coast, and it often rains. That’s why everything is covered with tea here. The plantation seems to have no end.

Tea covers all the hills. It descends down to the riverbeds and climbs up to the mountaintops. Everything here is covered with tea.

Tea even grows in the forest and by the roadside. It is not necessary to go to the plantation.

There is so much tea in Sri Lanka that poor Sri Lankans have already been tortured to pave roads through it. People still have to walk somehow.

It’s worth visiting the factory itself just because they serve this very tea there. They work quickly. As soon as you sit down at the table, the waiter runs up and fills the cups in a second. In the twinkling of an eye. Fortunately, the tea is free. They shouldn’t charge money for this weed anyway.

Nuwara Eliya

A small town with three thousand residents.

There are absolutely no sights to see here. People come here to see the tea plantations.

From Nuwara Eliya, you can reach the center of Sri Lanka — a mountain called Adam’s Peak.

Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak is a mountain in the center of Sri Lanka. The height of the peak above sea level is 2.2 kilometers.

There are so many legends about this mountain. It is considered sacred by almost all world religions. Buddhists believe that Buddha left a footprint on the mountain. They even found some hollow that looks like a footprint. Hindus also consider the mountain sacred because their god Vishnu is believed to be an incarnation of Buddha in human form.

But the mountain got its European name “Adam’s Peak” from an Islamic legend. Muslims believe that when Allah cast down the first humans to earth, he threw Adam here — onto the top of the mountain.

Getting to the mountain is not easy. There is no direct bus here. From Nuwara Eliya, you need to take three buses. The first one will take you to the town of Hattan. Then you can take a train to Kandy. The second bus can take you to the town of Norwood. From there, a minibus goes to Maskeliya.

You can see Adam’s Peak from Maskeliya. To climb it, you need to go even further. I didn’t have such plans. It was raining outside and it was already 5 pm, and in the equator, it gets dark at six. I had to wrap up and find my way back to Kandy.

Maskeliya is an asshole of the world. There is absolutely nothing here, and people don’t speak English. It took a lot of effort to explain to the drivers that I needed to be taken to a point higher up where Adam’s Peak can be seen.

With the help of Google Translate, I was finally able to do it. The peak was covered in clouds, but a part of the mountain was visible. I was satisfied.

It looks better on a clear day:

At the very top is a Buddhist monastery. At dawn, crowds of tourists and pilgrims climb the mountain, lighting their way with flashlights.

From the peak itself, an almost triangular shadow falls.

To get to Kandy, I had to bribe the officials at the railway station in Hatton. The conductors stopped a whole train and allowed me to sit in first class for twenty dollars.

Only for you, my friend. Only today.