Exploring Tourism in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
icon Worldwideicon
Places to Visit Details

Sri Dalada Maligawa

Kandy, Sri Lanka

The temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy is a vital place of worship for Buddhists across the world and by today has become an important tourist attraction. This palace is visited by Buddhist devotees from all parts of the world. Many foreign tourists used to visit Kandy during the "Esala Perahara" time which usually schedules in July/ August Time. This is a colorful Buddhist cultural parade to tribute the Tooth Relic of Load Buddha and this event held for 10 days of time. Due to its cultural importance, this city was named as a "World Heritage Site" by UNESCO.

Since ancient times the tooth relic, which was brought to Sri Lanka from India played a major role in the political scene of the country. It is documented that it was the prime duty of the then King to safeguard the tooth relic. Therefore it was protected by the many Sri Lankan Kings for centuries and centuries.

Since the arrival of the tooth relic in Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD, it was taken to various temples under the various Kingdoms. However, the tooth relic is now safely placed in its final resting place at the sacred temple of the Tooth which was brought to Kandy by King, Vimaladharmasuriya I. The king also created a golden casket to place the sacred Tooth Relic which can be seen even today at the temple.

An important feature is that the temple is built within the royal palace itself. This fact reveals the significance of the relic to the ancient Kings and their need to protect the sacred tooth.

Today the three main custodians of the sacred Tooth Relic that lie at the Sri Dalada Maligawa are The Malwatta, Asgiriya monasteries and the Diyawadana Nilame. Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays, there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.

The temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most significant sites in Sri Lanka amongst Buddhists, and this reverence is not limited only to Sri Lanka itself, but amongst Buddhists around the world.

Check out more Places to Visit