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Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth: Photo 1

world pictures Sri Lanka: Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth

Established as a capital in 1511, Kandy had two dynasties and a total of 12 kings before the British took over in 1815.  Then, as now, the town was surrounded by hills (those to the east, in the distance here, are the Udawattakele): flat land has always been at a premium.  The Temple of the Tooth can be made out just below the dark-roofed white building to the left of the lake and nestled against what in Kandyan times was a royal forest preserve.  The British made it into a park, which it remains. The name Kandy, by the way, is a Portuguese corruption of Kanda, or "Mountain," from Kanda Uda Pasrata, or "mountain kingdom." To the Sinhalese, the town has always been Maha Nuwara, "Great City," or simply Nuwara. Many of the local buses, for example, are run by (and labelled in English as) the Maha Nuwara Bus Company.

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