Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage & Kandyan Dance Appreciation at Kandy Sri Lanka Cultural Centre


To continue our Sri Lanka tour, we are now on the 15th day of our Family refreshment last December 2019.

The hotel rooms we booked have a beautiful room, but the hotel staff is minimal, like the receptionist is also in charge of the kitchen. We woke up on that day early, so there are no guests at that time. They prepared our breakfast, which is included in our bookings.

Our breakfast at Sri Lanka.
Our breakfast consisted of slices of bread, mixed fruits, and donuts.

They serve a lot for us, but we told them that we could not eat it all. Children were more hooked on the sweets food while we ate the sausages and eggs.

Sausage, yogurt, and eggs are included in our breakfast.
Yogurt and sausage with a sunny side up eggs.

Since we can’t eat all the food on that day, the receptionist was generous to give it to us and wrap it properly to take it with us while we are on the way to our next destination. We left the hotel as early as 7 AM to see the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Just by the name itself, it is the Orphanage for the elephant, nursery, and the breeding ground for Asian elephants. By the record, Pinnawala has the largest collection of captive elephants in the world.

Admittedly, the hotel from Kandy is quite far from Pinnawala Orphanage via Colombo. We traveled for 3 hours to reach the Elephant Orphanage. Just like any other attraction, a ticket fee is a must before entering the orphanage.

The range of tickets at Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka.

So as you can see, foreigners have a fair amount of entrance fee, which is 3000 rupees for adults, and 1500 rupees for children ages 6 years old and up. Children ages 5 years old and below are still free of charge.

Our tickets at Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ticket.

The Orphanage is divided into a river bathing and a park. The staff instructed us to see the river bathing first as, by that time, the bathing for the elephant is still ongoing. We passed the souvenir area to reach the riverside.

The Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka river.
The elephants were getting a bath at Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka.

It was a great experience seeing a group of elephants like this. There was a metal chain fence in the river, but we can clearly see all the elephants’ activities. Since it is an orphanage, we search for a baby elephant from the river, but we could not see any.

Eating ice cream at  Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka.

Children ate ice cream at the nearby restaurant/store to beat the heat while we sat and appreciate the river’s beauty and the elephants. It was a luxurious feeling, a rare time we spent on that day. After the elephant got a bath, they returned to the park passing through the souvenir area guided by the staff. We followed the elephant at the park and saw a few elephants inside the cage. We bought a basket of foods to feed the elephants. We chose the smallest elephant from the group and fed him.

Elephant feeding time at  Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka.
Elephant feeding Pinnawala Orphanage.

The elephants were too cute while we feed them. You be very careful if your child feeds the elephants coz sometimes, elephants are reaching for your child’s hands, being mistaken as the food.

Elephants having their lunch at  Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka.
I watched them eat their usual meal, which is the thick grass of different kinds, after getting a bath from the river. The Orphanage has a spacious place for the people while we watch the elephants eat their meal.

This is not our first time to see or visit an elephant breeding ground, but every time we visit elephants, they gave us unique happiness and experiences.

The Hotel Elephant Bay

After our tour at the elephant park, our driver brought us to the hotel elephant bay—the hotel nearest the river where the elephant got a bath in the morning.

The Hotel Elephant bay entrance.

Our lunch is a little bit late, but we enjoyed it with fewer people in the hotel, and the food arranged as a buffet. Especially the delicious ice cream we ate plentifully on that day while watching the elephant’s remaining number getting a bath from the river.

The hotel elephants bay dining table.
The buffet table.

The bathing area for the elephant in the morning.

The river for bathing the elephants at  Pinnawala Elephant orphanage Sri Lanka
The view from the hotel elephant bay restaurant.

After our lunch, we left the orphanage and went back to Kandy.

Sidetrip to Railway Museum at Kadugannawa

While on the way back to Kandy, we noticed a railway museum, and for us to have a little refreshment from a long back pain caused by the travel, we stop by the museum and feed our curiosity. Our children too love to see railway apparatuses, so we got off and got a look. It is a place near the station Kadugannawa just beside the railway station.

At the Kadugannawa train station.
The welcome banner of the train station.
The communication equipment.
Antique communication equipment made from England is on display inside the railway museum.
Tried to be a driver of a train.
Pretending to be the one driving the train.

If you are fun with the railway collection, then maybe you could enjoy this. There is an extension restaurant inside, an old train being the capsule for a restaurant.

The capsule of an old train became a restaurant.
A mini restaurant made of an old train.

Kandyan Dance at Kandyan Cultural Center

So we returned to Kandy and watched their cultural show, also famous in Sri Lanka. The Cultural Center is just near the Buddha Tooth Temple and our hotel. Ticket for adults is priced at 2000 rupees while still free for children 6 years old and below.

The theater inside is not that huge, but the chairs were all taken. I did not see any vacant chair at that time. We arrived early and waited for the people to come in. Some reserved their seat by sitting arrangement, so we did not get a chance to chose the best sitting position inside the theater. Foods are selling inside for snacks but were too expensive than the store outside.

THe candyan ticket.
Ticket for Cultural show in Sri Lanka, Kandy.
The start of the show.
The theater stage Kandyan Cultural Centre.

The dancer was all in their national costumes. Well prepared and really showing a magnificent act during their number. The dance number was explained as the prayer and thanksgiving of the country’s harvested plants and vegetables.

Dance act at Kandy Sri Lanka cultural center.
All of the dancers have a chance to shine as they dance one by one, and were really showing amazing moves.

The last part of the Kandyan Dance was when all of them dance with gracious moves exactly to the drum’s beat. I also commend the drummer for making it sound beautiful even though it was too hard to hit the drum from a mellow to a faster beat. Also, the presentation’s running time is quite long, but drummers could maintain the energy in playing the drums. They changed costume a few times, which also gave excitement every after a number with a colorful dress combination during the presentation.

The last one is the fire exhibition with the audience. A dancer is walking on a floor with so many charcoals with a fire on it while dancing and holding fire sticks. The crowds by that time were crazy amazed by the amazing act of the dancer.

The fire dance.

Afterward, before they let the audience go out, the dancer carried a tip box at the door, asking for a tip from each of the people who watch like it was compulsory. We gave 200rupees and said goodbye to them. We enjoyed the show, even our youngest child, who remains awake for the rest of the presentation despite our already long trip on that day.

The Buddha Tooth Temple

After watching the Kandyan Dance, go straight to Buddha Temple, just a few walks from the cultural center.

The Tooth relic temple.
The Buddha Tooth Temple

Before entering a ticket is a must to buy from their vending, the machine is a little bit complicated and hard to operate. After all, Japanese Vending Machines are the best compared to this one. The staff helps us operate it so we could get our tickets. By the way, getting inside requires the bags to pass the x-ray machine as security. This is also another famous Buddha temple in Sri Lanka.

The ticket machine at tooth relic temple.

Inside the temple is a crowded place mixed with tourists and local people showing their respect. It is also surrounded by different kinds of colorful flowers from the follower of the Buddha. The line was too long and heavy that sometimes it was too long or too late to move forward. People exiting in one direction or one way only, so if your inside and you decided to go out, you couldn’t because it was not allowed. Thankfully we finished the line and were able too to see the buddha tooth relic at the temple. Taking pictures of the relic is prohibited.

The followers of tooth relic templa, Buddha.
The line at the tooth relic temple Sri Lanka.

We went out of the Temple a little bit late, and it was hard to find a restaurant at that time. We Found one which is far from our hotel, recommended by our hotel receptionist.

Our simple dinner at Kandy Sri Lanka.
Fried rice
A mild drink at Kandy Sri lanka.
A bottle of beer to end the day.

I noticed that the restaurant is hidden on the third floor, maybe because they have alcohol on their menu. The rest of the customers are also enjoying their food with their own families. We went home after eating, clean ourselves, and went directly to sleep to prepare for another adventure the following day because every day is a whole new story. I hope you still read about our next trip, only here in my blog. Thank you.