Kandy Perahera

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I had a taste of what the Perahera would be like from the Poson festival in Beliatta, Trinco Perahera and from seeing the Kandy dancers however, I definitely wasn't expecting there to be around 200 elephants, and thousands of dancers it truly was a memorable night.

I arrived in the afternoon by (four) buses from Tangalle and made my way to the YMCA, I had arranged my accommodation beforehand as everything gets booked up for this ten day event really early.  I can't believe leaving the bus station and the streets are all full, on the perahera route you can't even see the pavements anymore as they are filled with people sitting waiting on the event to start in the evening, there are few spaces to be had.  So it was a quick check in, bite to eat and away to find a spot.

As I stand out as a tourist, I get many offers of balcony seats at a cost and eventually find one that suits which is one floor up so I should get a good view, plus I it means I have a seat.  I bargained with them and ended up paying 3000Rs but considering I would be there until midnight I figured it was worth it, although it's a four hour wait on the perahera starting to pass us.

The actual route is 10km and I can't believe the amount of elephants involved, they just keep coming and are magnificent in their costumes and lights.  The outfits of the dancers and drummers are what I have seen before but there are so many of them that the whole event is quite unbelievable.  The fire dancers and whip crackers make up the opening and it takes me a few minutes to work out how they are controlling some of the flames, a string appears to be tied to their hair with the flame at the end!!

It's four hour of cultural music and dance, they even have the elephants dancing, swaying to the music... the whole event is magical and I am so glad that I came... a wonderful experience that I can highly recommend.  I think everyone should come to Sri Lanka it's quite a place.
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