A city replete with scenic beauty and salubrious climate, Kandy is the last capital of the long line of Sinhalese kings. Situated amidst lush green hills overlooking an artificial lake, it possesses a unique character holding in its bosom the Temple of Tooth. Its historic procession of the Tooth Relic, the Dalada Perahera, which attracts thousands of enthusiasts from here and abroad, add a charm and quiet dignity to its historically important character. Kandy has been a human settlement from very ancient times as evidenced by pre-Christian inscriptions found at various sites and many references to it in the Chronicles of the Sinhalese. But its significance as a city begins with the fall of the two great kingdoms of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and the consequent shift of the royal capital to the south west in Dambadeniya. King Vikramabahu III, who established his capital in Gampola in the 14th century built the Nathadevale, a shrine dedicated to God Lokeshvara Natha in Kandy. This remains the oldest extant religious edifice in Kandy.
Thus, from the beginning of the 14th century Kandy became a city of royal residence but it had to wait another century for it to become the capital of the Kandyan kingdom. It happened in the 15th century in the reign of king sena Sammatha Vikramabahu.
Kandy boasts of two dynasties; the first of three kings lasted for 130 years while the second which had nine kings ended with Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe. In 1815 in the reign of the last named king of Kandy came under the British which annexation lasted for 133 years until the country regained it independence in 1948. The city known as Senkadagalapura to the Sinhalese and Kandy to the Europeans played a vital role in the pre - independence socio political history of Sri Lanka.
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