Kandy Travel Guide | Sri Lanka’s Cultural Gem

Kandy Travel Guide | Sri Lanka’s Cultural Gem

Don’t forget your umbrella or your rain jacket. You’re watching Vagabrothers, and this is Sri Lanka. I’m Alex. I’m Marko, and we’re the Vagabrothers, brothers, vagabonds, and your go-to guides for travel tips, inspiration, and vlogs on YouTube. In this series, we’re discovering the best of Sri Lanka: ancient cities, stunning nature, rich culture, and delicious food. Good morning everybody. Welcome back to Vagabrothers. I’m Alex. I’m Marko, and today is another beautiful day exploring Sri Lanka. What do we have on the schedule? Well right now we’re at the beautiful Amaya Lake Hotel. We’ve been up here exploring the cultural triangle for the last couple days. Today we’re going to Kandy, a cultural heart of Sri Lanka, and on the way, we’re going to make some really cool stops. Our bus is leaving right now. Come with us Let’s go. All right ladies and gentlemen, well to start things off today, we are going to learn a little bit about the relationship that Sri Lanka has with spices. It’s got an incredible climate, this jungle climate, that is actually the homeland of many of the world’s most precious spices, including cinnamon. Sri Lanka actually is the exporter of over 90% of the world’s cinnamon, and it’s where cinnamon comes from. So to learn a little bit more about Sri Lanka and its relationship to the spice trade, we’ve come to Ranweli 99 Spice Garden, and we’re going to get a tour to learn more about the spices. This is vanilla, pure vanilla extract, which comes from the vanilla plant, from the leaf right here. You know tiger balm you people use? Yeah, menthol. But this is no menthol… cardamom, clove, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, coconut – together a paste. I show how to use little cream This is no menthol. Oh my god, you have magical hands. It’s so crazy how pepper, something that we have on our dinner tables every single night, is actually an import for most of the western world. Europe really only had the onion and garlic native to the continent, and everything else was imported. That’s nutmeg? This is cinnamon; it grows as a bark on a tree that’s native to here in Sri Lanka. It’s been popular since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used it in the embalming process. It was later an aphrodisiac, and the Romans were obsessed. But nobody in the west knew where it came from, that is except for the Arabs who arrived here in the seventh century, set up trading posts, and monopolized the trade by bringing it by sea to Europe. In order to throw Europeans off the scent of where it came from, they made up tall tales, including one that they said it came from mythically large birds that used it to build their nests, and the only way to get this down from their nest was by putting a big chunk of oxen at the bottom. The birds would pick it up, put in their nest; the nest would fall down, and the Arabs would collect the cinnamon. That of course was false, but it was tall tales like that that allowed the Arabs to maintain a monopoly on the cinnamon trade for centuries, that is until the Portuguese found a way to get here by sea. The Portuguese outmaneuvered the Arabs by sailing around the tip of Africa to arrive in Sri Lanka, but they in turn were outmaneuvered by the Dutch and then the British. The one thing all of these colonizers shared in common was that they exported almost everything imaginable back to Europe and made a fortune in the process: wild Indigo, cardamom, ginger, sandalwood, mustard oil, ivory, coral, and seven different types of cinnamon, and in the process they conquered almost the entire island, that is except for the Kingdom of Kin. Thank you Now we’ve kind of finished our tour of the spice garden, and we’re having a little demonstration. They’re cooking some okra with a lot of different spices that we just learned about. But first things first, having a little bit of tea. It’s ginger tea. It’s got some cinnamon in there, some cardamom, some cloves, really, really tasty, really good for you. It’s good for your throat. As someone who loves cooking and who loves knowing where their food comes from, this is an incredible experience because if you ever try to cook curry at the very best, you can just usually buy curry powder, which itself is a combination of about five different spices. It’s really cool to come here and see all those components spices that make up curry powder and then to make a curry from it. It’s actually quite tasty, and it just gives you a little bit more perspective of where that flavor comes from. That is good. Right now we are inside the store; we’re checking out all the Ayurvedic treatments that they have, all the different tonics. This one’s perfect for living in our modern western world where FOMO dominates and where there’s just too much stuff to do and not enough time. This is the tonic for nervous breakdown. Like we’ve said, as YouTubers, we’re all avoiding burnout. I’m going to buy a bottle of this tonic for nervous breakdown— two little caps twice a week and easy. I got incense galore. Always got to be burning incense in the house. I did two lotus because I love lotus. They’re beautiful, and they smell delicious… cinnamon because I feel like cinnamon is a great incense and scent to have around during Christmas and the holidays, and then I did sandalwood because that’s my all-time favorite, and then I got some yoga oil, which I think all of us went for it, which I’m really excited to try. It’s just really good for your back and your body and your muscles and all that good stuff. And then I got the herbal balm which is minty. It’s a natural tiger balm. After a couple of hours of driving, we have arrived to the city Kandy, spelt with a “k” and not with a “c,” but pronounced like the confectionary. It’s on a lake. It’s supposed to be very beautiful. It’s the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, and we’re going to go check out the palace. It’s supposed to be very beautiful. There’re really cool artifacts. Also, it’s probably going to start pissing rain in less than a minute or two. Okay, everybody well, unfortunately it is starting to rain, and that’s because Sri Lanka is a tropical climate. We’ve actually been super lucky so far with the weather, but the second monsoon season is starting up, starting to ramp up, and this rain is really starting to come down. So right when we walked into the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, it’s really started raining. Don’t forget your umbrella or your rain jacket. Kandy is considered the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, and that’s because of this right behind us. Inside this building is the Buddha’s Tooth, and this is considered extremely holy because it’s the place where all of Buddha’s teachings passed touching that tooth. It’s been in this place for over 300 years. It’s one of the most important religious pilgrimage sites in the entire country. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Kandy, which during the 15th and 16th century was where the cultural and political center of Sri Lanka was as the island was invaded by colonial powers. This was the last independent kingdom of Sri Lanka. It was independent until 1815, and it was, for that reason, a very important place in all of Sri Lanka. It’s also an extremely beautiful building. You can tell that pilgrims come here from across the country to pay their homage to the Lord Buddha. So we’re going to do a little bit of homage paying, a little bit of pilgrimage, and maybe if we’re lucky snap a photo or two. We have been exploring the Temple Palace complex for about an hour now, extremely beautiful, very ornate, lots of very intricate little details, even the wood carvings on the pillars of this building, particularly impressive. This is a very beautiful part of the island. We’re surrounded by these big rolling hills of jungle, and here in Kandy there’s a lake. There’s all these beautiful houses around it, and this shrine is actually inside the Royal Palace because in order to be the king of Sri Lanka, you had to be in possession of the Buddhist Tooth. The tooth is inside. We can’t film it because it’s encased in seven Russian dolls almost but of gold, and it’s on the inside. It’s just a very serene peaceful place and compared to Colombo, just night and day. The vibe here is way more chill. The weather is quite literally more chill. The temperature is cooler. It’s fresher. The air is cleaner. We’ve had this big storm roll through with thunder and lightning and torrential downpour, and then it’s gone, and that air is fresh and clean. I think that coming here.. coming to Kandy, it’s been on the list. And I think that now that we’ve experienced the Temple of the Tooth relic and Palace, I think it’s time to head out, check out what’s going on on the streets. We have left the temple, and we’ve come over to the lake. Kandy is built around a central lake, and we’re going to take a little boat ride just to get a better feel for the city. It’s very beautiful, very scenic. It’s nice to be out on the water instead of on the shore. There’s a lot of bird life, lots of little tuk-tuks whipping around. it’s rained and now it’s kind of the calm after the storm, and you can see why this is such a desirable place to be. The temperature is cooler. It’s lush; it’s green. It’s verdant and it’s definitely my favorite place so far that we’ve visited on this trip. Kinda reminds me of a cross between Thailand because of the red roofs with Hanoi because the lake out in the capital of Vietnam But it’s a very different vibe from Colombo. This is the gateway to the hill country. Tomorrow we’re going to be diving into the hill country, and you’ll see what that means. Because of the religious importance of the temple and the palace, there’re no bars or discotheques in the immediate area, so it’s a very, very quiet peaceful place. I really like it. I like that if you have a hustle and bustle of a city, but right in the center you have a really calming lake in between everything, and it’s nice to have a busy city but then be able to escape that here or at a temple. And so I like that balance. We’ve now completed our scenic boat ride, and now we’re going to get something to eat. Food time. It’s dinner time and we’re going to try some local Sri Lankan specialities. First dish we’re going to try is egg hoppers, which I love. it’s kind of like a rabbit in an egg. Bad joke. And we’re going to try some ho kottu roti, which I personally love. Are you hungry? I’m very hungry, and I heard the street food here is great. Let’s eat. Let’s munch. The first course has been served. We have egg hoppers and we have kottu roti. The kottu roti is kind of like a fried rice, but instead of rice, they’re using chopped up bits of roti, which is like an Indian style flatbread. And then the egg hopper is a mixture of corn and rice flour, a little bit of coconut milk, and then it’s placed into this circular pan/bowl thing where it gets.. it’s really crispy around the edges, and then they just chuck an egg in the middle and you go for it. I’ve never had an egg hopper. I tried the kottu roti the other day, and it was delicious. This is the first meal we’ve had in a local’s restaurant. I’m very happy that we’re here. Good? Umm, yeah. That’s good. Definitely has a kick to it. Spicy? But I love spice, and it’s good. Dinner was delicious. We made new friends. Thank you very much Good very good. Yeah, the roti was on point. Yeah, but that is the end of our episode here in Kandy. We’ve had a super fun day exploring. Hope you’ve enjoyed the video. If you did, please give it a thumbs- up. Thumbs-up? Yeah, he liked it. Well stay tuned. Tomorrow we’re going to be exploring the Hill Country. We’re going on one of the most scenic train rides in the world. It’s going to be an awesome trip. So stay tuned for that. Subscribe to Vagabrothers for more travel videos. And in the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace Thank you

100 thoughts on “Kandy Travel Guide | Sri Lanka’s Cultural Gem

  1. Travelling in Sri Lanka for 2 days under the budget of INR 5000

    Does this intrigue you???

    If yes then you should definitely watch my new video


    Why you should watch this video;

    *You get to know things to do in Sri Lanka
    *Will help you plan a budget trip to Sri Lanka
    *Takes you through Sri Lanka's must visit places- Kandy, Pinnewala, Spice Garden
    *To get glimpses of Sri Lankan Food and Culture

    I hope you enjoy travelling with me to Sri Lanka

    If you do then don't forget to hit on the SUBSCRIBE button and click on the BELL shaped icon

    Awaiting for your FEEDBACK 😊

  2. Ayubowan,
    Great job, thank you very much for visiting my motherland and making a great video like this, Theruwan saranai!!!

  3. Really appreciate all of your guy's respectable attitude.. awesome.. And good luck.. Keep it up! 😋 Blesses from Sri Lanka..

  4. Kandy is my hometown. One thing this video missed was the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is over 500 years old. If visiting Kandy, a neat thing to see is the Pera Hera festival with over 100 elephants. dancers and other performers, that takes place during July.

  5. Last year Christmas I.e on 2018, 25th December. I visited Sri Lanka…. it's a WoW place. I stayed in Colombo and visited Loving Kandy on day 1 and visited Negambo on day 2. I visited all places what you shown in the video. The spice garden and next to that there will be elephant ride and tea factory etc during on the way to kandy from Colombo. I'm from Tamil Nadu, India. Sri Lanka is looking like my home. Everyone speaks in my mother tongue Tamil. This brought very close my heart. I visited Kandy Kathirgama Kandhan. On day two, I visited Colombo. Colombo doesn't have much hang over places, only Buddha Temple is there. Then we visited Negambo. Wow. What a scenic place Negambo. Love you Lanka. Love from India

  6. Informative History info With some spectacular shots in between.
    I think u guyz have a skill of capturing the integral essence of the place.
    Enjoyed the video so much. Thanx.

  7. It's really impressive that you guys have covered a lot of tiny detail about the Sri Lankan culture and rituals! Kudos!

  8. I have non words to explain the vibes we get when i watch these incredible videos about my country. Kandy is my favourite place in the whole world. Thanks for the very informatic and responsible detailed about its histoy and culture. Perfectly done.

  9. you have studied well about sri lanka. I was amazed by your knowledge of sri lankan history. you know what kind of clothes to wear when you go to a temple. I really appreciate it. WoW what a great person you are. it is nice to see your enthusiasm to learn new things.🇱🇰🇱🇰

  10. I have seen so much videos of my country .. but this video is awesome.. who ever the cameramen is did a very good job and nicely described everything. Thank you 🙏🏼

  11. Teruwansaranai budusarani ..🌷👍👑 tanks you nice werry god 👦 my contry srilanka yes ♥️ i love is 🇱🇰

  12. We provide travel directory services for travellers who love to visit #srilanka. Let's connect via IG, fb, twitter
    @jolly.lk We opened some great opportunities to Advertise your business or brand in our site and a great opportunity for travel bloggers as well

  13. Kandy is a city of serenity,it cured my nose allergy without taking any medicine after a year of stay in KANDY.

  14. I'm a srilankan and I'm working in UAE. I love my country but not the people who living there. Thanks a lot for uploading the video❤❤❤❤❤❤❤💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋👌

  15. Guys your video is awesome. I would like to request you to visit Sri Lanka in the month of August and go to Kandy, In August we have the biggest cultural & religious even called Kandy perahera (Esala Perahera.) It is beautiful to see….. pls come again. love from SL.

  16. this is awesome to see how you guys enjoy. what happened to LANKA?so happy to see you are helping that pup.

  17. The entire point of this channel is going down, now it feels like some sort of luxury travel vlog. We wanted things to be raw like the way you guys started, not the people you guys have become now. You take pre booked tours, eat in high end restaurants, what is happening to the vagabond of this channel?

  18. You would get more spices in kerala, India… And ayurvedic medicines like ashwagandha, ksheerabala, brahmi etc

  19. Spice trade (3000 BC – 1000 AD)

    Kerala was a major spice exporter as early as 3000 BCE, according to Sumerian records.[19] Its fame as the land of spices attracted ancient Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians to Muziris [3] in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. Arabs and Phoenicians were also successful in establishing their prominence in the Kerala trade during this early period.[20][21]

    Muziris in the Tabula Peutingeriana, an itinerarium showing the road network in the Roman Empire.

    According to Sumerian records Kerala still referred to as the "Garden of Spices" or as the "Spice Garden of India". Kerala's spices attracted ancient Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians to the Malabar Coast in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE.[citation needed] Arabs and Phoenicians established trade with Kerala during this period.[citation needed] The Land of Keralaputra was one of the four independent kingdoms in southern India during Ashoka's time, the others being Chola, Pandya, and Satiyaputra.[citation needed] Scholars[who?] hold that Keralaputra is an alternate name of the Cheras, the first dominant dynasty based in Kerala.

    In the last centuries BCE the coast became important to the Greeks and Romans for its spices, especially black pepper. The Cheras had trading links with China, West Asia, Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire. In foreign-trade circles the region was known as Male or Malabar.[22] Muziris, Berkarai, and Nelcynda were among the principal ports at that time.[23] The value of Rome's annual trade with the region was estimated at around 50,000,000 sesterces;[24] contemporary Sangam literature describes Roman ships coming to Muziris in Kerala, laden with gold to exchange for pepper. One of the earliest western traders to use the monsoon winds to reach Kerala was Eudoxus of Cyzicus, around 118 or 166 BCE, under the patronage of Ptolemy VIII, king of the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Roman establishments in the port cities of the region, such as a temple of Augustus and barracks for garrisoned Roman soldiers, are marked in the Tabula Peutingeriana; the only surviving map of the Roman cursus publicus

    In the last centuries BCE the coast became important to the Greeks and Romans for its spices, especially black pepper. The Cheras had trading links with China, West Asia, Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire. In foreign-trade circles the region was known as Male or Malabar.[22] Muziris, Berkarai, and Nelcynda were among the principal ports at that time.[23] The value of Rome's annual trade with the region was estimated at around 50,000,000 sesterces;[24] contemporary Sangam literature describes Roman ships coming to Muziris in Kerala, laden with gold to exchange for pepper. One of the earliest western traders to use the monsoon winds to reach Kerala was Eudoxus of Cyzicus, around 118 or 166 BCE, under the patronage of Ptolemy VIII, king of the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Roman establishments in the port cities of the region, such as a temple of Augustus and barracks for garrisoned Roman soldiers, are marked in the Tabula Peutingeriana; the only surviving map of the Roman cursus publicus.Merchants from West Asia and Southern Europe established coastal posts and settlements in Kerala https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Kerala?fbclid=IwAR2F8oONYXECcQpNH2Xt_wiE_UyMyj897NbvQfgpXUI5F40ob8jBc30C_E0





    Arabs have been trading with South India in Pre Islamic times as well as Islamic times

    For Arabs, Malabar was the most familiar place in the whole Indian subcontinent. The relationship between Arabs and Malabar has a history that dates back centuries. Arab merchants were trading spices such as ginger, pepper and cardamom as well as things like sword, ivory and silk from Malabar, and these were precious as well as prestigious commodities in Arab souks. A sword from Malabar, an icon of the best blacksmith craftsmanship was a prestige symbol for Arabs. Cultural exchange was also taking place through Arab merchants. Hence, names of places in Malabar and their customs were quite familiar among the salesmen of Okaz souk in Taif. Similarly, residents of Malabar were well aware of the changes happening in the Arabian peninsula. Many Arabs selected Hind as name for their daughters. 

    Trade and cultural links between ancient India and Arabia date back to third millennium BC.[1] By 1000 AD, the trade relations between southern India and Arabia flourished and became the backbone of the Arabian economy.[2] Arab traders held a monopoly over the spice trade between India and Europe until the rise of European imperialist empires.[3] India was one of the first nations to establish ties with the Third Saudi State. During the 1930s, India heavily funded Nejd through financial subsidies


    Early history

    In 1613, the town of Kuwait was founded in modern-day Kuwait City. In 1716, the Bani Utubs settled in Kuwait. At the time of the arrival of the Utubs, Kuwait was inhabited by a few fishermen and primarily functioned as a fishing village.[16] In the eighteenth century, Kuwait prospered and rapidly became the principal commercial center for the transit of goods between India, Muscat,Baghdad and Arabia.[17][18] By the mid 1700s, Kuwait had already established itself as the major trading route from the Persian Gulf to Aleppo.[19] wikipedia

    "Kuwait," the word for "small human settlement," was so named by Iraqirulers of that era. Throughout the nineteenth century and up to World War , Kuwait was a "Qadha," a district within the Basra Province, and it was an integral part of Iraq under the administrative rule of the Ottoman Empire.  


  20. the dravidians are the original Mediterranean and Sumerian people who are Canaanites, the pre Islamic deities of the Sabaeans, Phoenicians and Nabateans are derived from them

    The Mediterranean Peoples (Dravidians)

    (Extracts from ‘The Original Indians â€" An Enquiry’ by Dr. A. Desai)

    How the Mediterranean people came to be called Dravidians makes interesting story. The Pre-Hellenistic Lycians of Asi Minor, who where probably the Mediterranean stock called themselves Trimmili. Another tribe of this branch in the island of Crete was known by the name Dr(a)mil or Dr(a)miz. In ancient Sanskrit writings we find the terms Dramili and Dravidi, and then Dravida which referred to the southern portion of India.

    South India was known to the ancient Greek and Roman geographers as Damirica or Limurike. Periplus Maris Erithroei (Periplus of the Eritrean Sea) in the second or third century AD described the maritime route followed by Greek ships sailing to the South Indian ports: “Then follow Naoura and Tundis, the first marts of Limurike and after these Mouziris and Nelkunda, the seats of government.â€

    Dramila, Dravida and Damirica indicated the territory. Then it was applied to the people living in the territory and the language they spoke, in the local parlance Tamil and Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam.


    The Mediterraneans or Dravidians were associated with the ancient Sumerian civilizations of Mesopotamia and of Elam (southern Iran). Authors have pointed out ethnic, linguistic and cultural affinities between the Sumerians (Mesopotamians) and the Dravidians of South India, and concluded that both probably belonged to the same ethnic stock. HR Hall writes: “The ethnic type of the Sumerians, so strongly marked in their statues and relofs was as different from those of the races which surrounded them as was their language from those of the Semites, Aryans and others; they were decidedly Indian in type. The face-type of the average Indian today is no doubt much the same as that of the Dravidian race ancestors thousands of years ago…And it is to this Dravidian ethnic type of India that the ancient Sumerian bears most resemblance, so far as we can judge from his monuments. He was very like a Southern Hindu of the Deccan (who still speaks Dravidian languages). And it is by no means improbable that the Sumerians were an Indian tribe which passed, certainly by land, perhaps also by sea, through Persia to the valley of the Two Rivers.â€

    Hall is of the opinion that Dravidian people must have migrated to Mesopotamia from India, whereas others think Dravidians came from Mediterranean regions, which was their earlier home. KP Padmanabha Menon writes about their close relationship: “Orientalists, many of them, are prepared to concede that the Sumerians, the Mediterranean race, are branches of the early Dravidians.â€





  21. Thank you for visited us. Sri Lanka. Really appreciate you mentioned about the temple of the toothrelic. You described how to behave if somebody is visiting the Buddhist temple. I liked it so much. Every nation has their own culture. Everybody should respect it. You gave that massage nicely. Thank you and warmly welcome you again. Wish you all the happiness!

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