The last Sinhalese kingdom, Kandy is central to the history of Sri Lanka and is home to many of the island’s cultural gems. Meaning ‘hill’, Kandy once stood as an impenetrable fortress against invading colonial powers, withstanding all attempts of invasion until the British finally deposed the king in 1815. Kandy houses the world-famous Temple of the Tooth, one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world, which was built to protect the sacred tooth relic thought to belong to Lord Buddha, which has been enshrined in Sri Lanka for hundreds of years. As well as a host of other temples, visitors to the city can wander along Kandy Lake, stroll through the stunning Botanical Gardens – created by the British in the 19th century and still one of the most beautiful gardens in Asia – and visit Kadungannawa Tea Factory. Kandy is one of the best places to explore the art history of Sri Lanka and travelers should take the time to see a Kandyan cultural show.