Landscape of Kandy (Kandy, Sri Lanka)

Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka even if the population is 120,000 people, so the population rate between the city and the village in Sri Lanka is comparatively balanced as the third world.

The town was constructed in the middle of the 14th century, and, in 1592, it became the last capital on the Shinhara dynasty. It prospered as a capital until Great Britain made surrender it in 1815. Because the town above sea level 500m was enclosed by mountains that limited the access therefore it had kept being a natural stronghold so that it would prevent Portugal and the Netherlands from invading.

It is a special old town for Sri Lankan people, and it is loved as a town with "Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic" .

In the town, the high buildings are less and the moderate vigor is kept. The townscape is not strongly characteristic but they sometimes find the traditional temples and colonial architectures. I was surprised so that the private houses considerably hung out the plate of World Heritage though those don't compose of the continuing townscape. Probably, those would be dependent upon the registration of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The UNESCO which was rumored as indulgent for the colonial architecture due to the justification for the colonization might give a big feast.

Still, here is a greatly comfortable town in Sri Lanka. The town creates the exquisite balance of closing and opening by a rich landscape .

Mountains that encloses the town maintain the rich green landscape and the splendid residences are half-hidden among the trees. In the usual third world, the slum would be proliferate there in contrast with Sri Lanka where the concentration of population to the city is not excessive. The mountains, that draw the softedge of the town by delicate ups and downs with light and shade of green, blocked the foreign enemy's invasion in old times and the disordered expansion of the city now. Therefore, the atmosphere of one small world without severe isolation sense is brought to this town.

The existence of the lake produces the extension to the closed world in Kandy though it is often filled with calm but heavy air only if the town is enclosed by the mountain. Kandy lake is an artificial lake made in 1807 by Vikrama Rajasinha, the last king of the Shinhara dynasty. The locals and tourist's walking route circulates around the lakefront, and connects the main points such as the center district, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the royal palace, monasteries and the hotel district. It is about 200 meters wide at the maximum and 1 kilometers long. They can look the appearance in the opposite bank. There is no impression that the town is divided by the water. Whenever they go to the main points in the town,the route is always via the lake side, and they will encounter the open atmosphere brought by a bright horizontal plane that reflects light.

The combination of the original mountain landscape with the new landscape of the artificial lake have created the closed world with the open sense. And, the lake, the mountain, and the town placed between both with not too huge but moderate size have to be the reason for being comfortable.

To Japanese Version

access : 3 hours by train from Colombo

reference materials :

地球の歩き方「スリランカ」(ダイヤモンド・ビッグ社、2007)

Upload:2007.12

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Photo by Daigo Ishii