Temple Of The Sacred Tooth Relic

Located in Kandy, the picturesque hill capital of Sri Lanka and its last Royal capital, the Temple of the Tooth or Dalada Maligawa is one of the most sacred sites of Buddhist pilgrimage in the country. The temple, which lies within the royal complex of the last king of Sri Lanka, houses the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, which was smuggled to the country from India by a Princess fleeing marauding armies.

Lying on the shores of the Kandy Lake, the Temple of the Tooth is a complex of buildings which formed part of royal palace of the Kandyan Kingdom. Within a compound of elegantly sculpted double walls, the two storied building that houses the sacred relic although plain looking on the outside, contains a richly decorated interior. The sacred relic lies on the upper floor of this building within jewelled caskets, sitting upon a gold lotus flower.

Every year, in July or August the temple hosts an elaborate pageant in which the casket holding the tooth relic is taken on public display around the Kandy Lake. Known as the Esala Perehera, the ten night spectacle of light and sound, sees close to a hundred elephants in colourful regalia take part, with a specially picked tusker bearing the casket of the tooth relic being the highlight of the event. The parade of elephants is accompanied by performing troupes of traditional drummers and fire dancers, which are believed to ward off evil spirits.

Written by Jonathan Roelofsz for TLC.lk

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Review by : Kishok Kumar Roy 2015-02-20 12:14:50

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