Kandy Cottage – the location

The cottage is secluded, and located beside the forest, yet it is 10 minutes drive from the Kandy train and bus station, 10 minutes walk to the town centre, and just 2½ hours' drive from Colombo International Airport. To make your time in Kandy as stress-free as possible, we can even arrange your transfer to and from the airport.

Kandy - the World Heritage City

Complexities of past and present soak the city of Kandy (see UNESCO World Heritage Site page and Wikipedia article). The name itself is a mixture of anglicised and traditional roots – "Kande-uda-rata" literally meaning the "city on the hill" was for convenience abbreviated by the English (Sri Lankan names can be a nightmare for Westerners, an Achilles heel of speech). The city has been the home of kings and queens, and the lake that is at the heart of Kandy even has a secret passage way underground that was used by an ancient queen. There is a stone in the heart of Udawatakelle (the forest near the cottage) that is supposed to be the legendary spot where the Brahmin – Senkada - who inspired the building of the city, lived (link). Hence its Brahmin root name of “Senkadagala”.

Kandy is a baffling city - and its varied names: Nuwara, Maha Nuwara, Senkadagala, Kandy are perhaps a reflection of this. The present and past are intermeshed with a strange pragmatism. Its inhabitants treat it with a curious mixture of veneration and practicality. An ancient building might be promoted as a tourist attraction, but it might equally be used with complete indifference as a police post. It is a hotchpotch of old stores – untidy, unplanned, noisy, and you are still given handwritten illegible receipts on scraps of paper. Lorries, buses and cars are one horrendous chaotic mess on the streets. The streets are crowded with milling crowds. It can have dust, debris, smoke and city congestion that can drive you insane.

View near cottage

Yet it has spaces of greenness: the lake, the temple. It is surrounded by mountain ranges – Hantana, Bahirava Kanda and Hunnasgiriya being a few of them. It has pockets of forest, stretches of rivers and unexpected streams. Weirdly, the temple sits side by side with St Paul’s cathedral on the same physical space – with a strange truce between them. Flowers – lotus and nelum – are sold on the streets. Elephants trundle past for their baths, swaying leisurely. In the flower season, the trees around the lake turn pink and the lake becomes a large float for flowers that fall in a constant soft drift down on to it.

If there is one city in Sri Lanka worth encountering on a trip, it is Kandy.

Special interests

Location in terms of accessibility to other places of interest


The directions from Kandy Clock Tower to Kandy Cottage are as follows. Total driving distance: 2.1 km. (“veediya” is the Sinhalese term for “street”)

START “Central Clock Tower” in the city of Kandy. Drive 200m on DALADA VEEDIYA in the direction of “Cargills Supermarket”.

TURN LEFT on to KOTUGODELLA VEEDIYA (a one way street). It will be the second road to your left on DALADA VEEDIYA, and opposite the “Cargills Supermarket”. Drive 0.6 km to the end of KOTUGODELLA VEEDIYA.

TURN RIGHT on to KANDE VEEDIYA at the T junction which ends KOTUGODELLA VEEDIYA. Drive less than 100m.

TURN LEFT on to D.S. SENANAYAKE VEEDIYA at the first junction on KANDE VEEDIYA. You will soon see “Trinity College” on your right. Drive 0.5 km. At the point the main road curves to the left is the end of D.S. SENANAYAKA VEEDIYA (and beginning of KATUGASTOTA ROAD).

TURN RIGHT on to OLD MATALE ROAD (inclined upwards), at the end of D.S. SENANAYAKA VEEDIYA. Do not bear left on to KATUGASTOTA ROAD. Drive less than 100m.

TURN RIGHT on to DHAMMADASSI MAWATHA. It is the first sharp elbow turn from OLD MATALE ROAD, and is fairly narrow. Drive 0.4 km till you reach a junction with a large tree in the center.

PROCEED STRAIGHT at the junction for 100m, passing the Temple entrance, and passing “Ananda Caterers” on your right. The road may seem to fork: the rightward path inclined upwards and the leftward inclined very slightly downwards.

PROCEED STRAIGHT on the leftward path, which is the main road, for less than 100m. We are the first house on your right. You will only see the black gate and garage door from the road.

HURRAY! You have now arrived at Kandy Cottage: 160 Lady Gordon Drive, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

You can also download a printable map and directions (PDF 170K).