Gone are the days when the colors of dusk muted the sounds of Kandy and lulled it to silence. The Kandy City Center (KCC) is the colossus that has awakened the inner child in everyone to be completely lost in its universe with friends and family. It’s the place to muse and meander. To wander carefree. At KCC, everyone enjoys an activity they wouldn’t normally do.
Words Jennifer Paldano Goonewardane.
Photography Sujith Heenatigala and Dinesh Fernando.
It was a Friday. The weekend fun had already kicked in. As the doors opened at KCC, the crowds came marching in. Slowly at first, then in their numbers, walking in and out of its multiple entrances. There were happy faces everywhere. The young looked the most excited, with no preplanned agenda but looking to have a good time in the beating heart of Kandy’s business and entertainment precinct. Inside, there was music from a live band as people traipsed through the many floors of retail, banking, and food. Some hurried, and others simply strolled and took in the experience. Some others glossed through the hottest trends and irresistible retail choices on display. What meets the eye at KCC is the inventive ceiling design and architecture that incorporates the region’s heritage. The upbeat ambiance was buttressed by the design and layout, and the yellow background sashayed by a mustard border multiplied the positive vibes inside. The illuminated corridors were supported by the octagon seen-through roof, offering the right setting to highlight the shops through their glassed facades. KCC was so full of life.
KCC is the go-to place for young people for that perfect picture opportunity and selfie sessions. It’s the place for every age to mix and mingle. KCC has transformed Kandy into a significant shopping capital…
The mall lanes were lined up in glorious colors of retail experiences. It’s unbelievable that so much excitement was staring at your face in a once laid-back place. KCC and its vast line-up of stores were arranged with full shelves and racks. They were mindboggling in curves, angles, straight lines, and fixtures. They were gleaming through elegant interiors, giving off a sophisticated vibe. Every retail store used innovative design tips to garner the right amount of consumer appeal and devotion. The long pathways offer seamless freedom to walk and examine each store. It was easy to get lost among the lights and the looks at Kandy City Center, a cavalcade of shopping fare under one roof. KCC is the go-to place for young people for that perfect picture opportunity and selfie sessions. It’s the place for every age to mix and mingle.
KCC is Kandy’s largest shopping mall, with over 100 shops selling everything under the sun.
Friday was also the day for the weekly Farmer’s Market. A constant outside the mall, courtesy of the KCC management, the endeavor has supported small-scale entrepreneurs. It provides a space to showcase and sell their wares. Pots, plants, vegetables, homemade sweetmeats, flours, and household items were sold. The men and women were the faces of Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurial spirit and hard work, with quality and attention to detail guaranteeing them business and a reason to return to the spot every week.
KCC has transformed Kandy into a significant shopping capital, making it a must-visit place on people’s travel bucket lists. Whether it’s for clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, wellness, flowers, souvenirs, handicrafts, or phones, KCC is the place to make a beeline to thrash out that weakness. KCC is Kandy’s largest shopping mall, with over 100 shops selling everything under the sun. From eateries and goody booths, a supermarket, a vast offering of entertainment attractions, and virtual reality experiences, including the three-cinema KCC Multiplex and an exclusive financial hub housing the country’s top financial institutions. From the high-end brands to the affordable ones, if anyone’s looking to shop, dine, relax or do business, this is the place to be. KCC has successfully fused the variety of patron needs, offering an unsurpassed mall experience that incorporates shopping, cinemas, play, and gaming.
KCC also has an exclusive space for 150 at its stylish banquet hall, an ideal and idyllic venue for cocktail functions, corporate events, seminars, and outdoor events on the terrace. It’s lavishly decorated and boasts state-of-the-art accessories to cater to a diverse repertoire of clients.
At the Movies
Enter the movie junkie into KCC’s independent three-screen cinema.
KCC Multiplex is a movie souk that offers a transformational experience of unparalleled proportions. Dolby Atmos, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, Sri Lanka’s first 2K laser projectors, and Kandy’s first 4K cinema says a lot about what to expect once inside. Spread across three levels, the cinemas stand out in terms of comfort and experience. It’s an opportunity to burrow into roomy restful seats with popcorn in hand and lap up a sound system that’ll pierce the ears and speak directly into the temporal lobe. Minimalism at its core, KCC Multiplex is for the netizen and Gen Z junkie waiting for the blockbuster to premiere. KCC doesn’t disappoint, giving that consummate pleasure of the movie- watching experience. Attention to detail and elegance in a spaciously designed lobby is a defining feature, with a standout display of a limited- edition collector’s treasure of caricature images of marvel characters and celebrated men and women of movie fame. The KCC had just welcomed a massive crowd to its Black Panther Wakanda Forever premiering, the façade decoration still on display. There is room for camaraderie in the large lobby with spread-out seats for the waiting patrons as a large moving screen continuously displays movies and their schedules. It is a unique value proposition of the Multiplex. There is scrupulous attention to interior design details matching global standards. Minimalist layout and cleanliness are their hallmarks. A combination of good movies and atmosphere makes every moviegoer feel they had a good time. The festive season is more gleeful, naturally. There’ll be new films, blockbusters, and yuletide specials beckoning movie buffs to stream into the theatres in record numbers to feel the cheer of the best holiday season of the year.
The Food Loft – The New Fashion
Experience a moving feast of culi- nary experiences with conversations over food, drinks, and dessert across a versatile repertoire of cuisines at World Spice. Walking out of Cinema 3 on level 4, one can enter KCC’s food loft – an odyssey into the world of food through World Spice. KCC’s food court is an arena of food theatrics where a fine blend of cuisines – international, Indian, Thai, Chinese, and Italian food, juices, and desserts spread across six islands is a veritable place of drama and action. Food is prepared to order under the skillful hands of specialty chefs and the watchful eye of head chef Nihal Nanayakkara.
With convenience in mind, diners are given a card with a face value of 7,500 rupees to purchase their food at any island. That eliminates the hassle of taking wallets out every so often with the freedom to indulge at any food station. They can pay when exiting. This self-service nook allows patrons to interact with the open kitchen, watching their orders being churned out from fries to grill feasts.
There’s a lot for dessert, from bakes to cakes, but the cream of the crop is decadent scoops of ice cream. There are good old classic flavors and unique creations. The “kochchi” chili-inspired bright green ice cream, an ode to Sri Lanka’s inimitable penchant for spiciness, is a must-taste flavor. A pairing of jaggery and coconut are just a few of the extraordinary creative concocts in KCC’s premium and exclusive Gelateria range of ice creams.
Courtesy of World Spice, KCC is brimming with festive cheer. There’s a Goody Hut of individual and hamper choices of festive delights besides the food islands serving festive and sea- sonal foods to mark the jolly yuletide season. Turkey and duck will be on the menu on the 24 and 25 December.
The monthly street food festival in the mall’s downtown area is an innovative culinary fair snatched up by enthusiastic patrons over a happy weekend of savoring some spicey foods delivering big on variety and flavor. Restaurants serving Sri Lankan and Mongolian specialties are expected to be opened in the future.
KCC Multiplex is a movie souk that offers a transformational experience of unparalleled proportions.
The Thrills at World Play
Adding variety to a day out at the mall is KCC’s gaming arcade and entertainment center, an action station of many attractions, a definitive crowd puller, and a favorite family hangout, augmenting KCC’s image as a one-stop family entertainment and recreation destination.
The well-curated entertainment area, the largest indoor play zone in the country, has choices from toddlers to youngsters, with Kids Day Out packages and customized options. There’s a lot of fun for children with age-appropriate fun, from a chugging mini-train to an exclusive Italian-designed and manufactured merry-go-round, slides, dodgem cars, and ball pits.
There’s non-toxic super-dry sand for molding and shaping for craft-crazy kids. The trained World Play staff guide, assist and supervise every action station.
The activities get more complex for teenagers and adults with video games, including motion simulator rides, arcade games and sports, and a bowling alley. From Star Wars to Juras- sic Park to racing experiences to adrenaline-pumping online races, the adventures provide a great gaming experience and a place to blast with friends.
Taking video gaming to new heights, the virtual reality gaming arena is an unlimited and immersive playing area. It’s a virtual realm gleefully embraced by netizens. There’s variety, excitement, and the thrill of the shakes. It’s exciting to watch the moves, the rides, and the jumps without moving much by people lost in the virtual universe. Virtual gaming is the new normal of today’s gaming experiences, and virtual reality provides extraordinary experiences and nurturing relationships.
KCC can’t wait to welcome patrons from all over Sri Lanka to experience their world of entertainment.
The Festive Fair
The excitement at KCC this festive season comes with entertainment, competitions, prizes and surprises, and Santa Clause too. It’s certainly an entire month of action at KCC and the Splash Shopping Festival from 22 to 26 December at the mall, now in its fifteenth year, is one of the most participated gala events in its calendar. So, brace for the fun and excitement at KCC this December.
It’s certainly worth the wait. Kandy City Center can’t wait to welcome patrons from all over Sri Lanka to experience their world of entertainment.
Kandy in the Central Province has always been the veritable melting pot of variety and diversity, religions, ethnicities, cultures, elegance, and refinement, beautifully intermingling to create a charming locality with a strong historical narrative. Into this mishmash, add the KCC, and you’ll find that it brings more life to the setting, giving cherished moments to its visitors. At KCC, it’s easy to be fascinated as much as get lost in the moment.
Thusitha Wijayasena, Chairman of KCC, tried his fortunes in a place of contrasts. Kandy. Somber, but also a bustling industrial city. He set up his grand ambition in the hills to tickle a somewhat laidback locale happy with its existing landscape into a combo of Disney-Harrods-like spree. KCC is the antithesis of the extensive line of small shops that have been a staple of the busy locality for decades. The man from Colombo entered Kandy in 1992 with a grand vision of transforming a “dead city,” as he describes Kandy in his words. Dedicated to serving the Central Province and the Kandy people, Thusitha Wijayasena claims to have a passion for Kandy. Hence his mission is to safeguard a historic city through the KCC, where he would add jobs and opportunities to many and awaken a locality to unimaginable entertainment. When he embarked on his grand plan, no one understood him. The majority was against him. Including the establishment and institutions, save for the Maha Nayakas and the Bishop of Kandy. For 16 years, he fought the good fight to build his project from scratch, and today the edifice that is the KCC is a testament to his grit and unwavering faith. He maintains high standards in every undertaking. From building a modern mall with a one-stop-shop experience of a multitude of services and state-of-the-art amenities to one of the cleanest and safest places in the country, where he wants people to be happy, be it at the mall or working for him. KCC, he said, was for every citizen of Sri Lanka. One’s class, race, or religion is immaterial, where universal unity prevails for everyone entering it to enjoy to their fullest.