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Temple Of Tooth Relic


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TEMPLE OF TOOTH RELIC


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The most famous attraction in Kandy is the Temple of the Tooth, or Sri Dalada Maligawa, The Buddha's Tooth was first brought to Kandy during the reign of Vimaladharmasuriya 1 at the turn of the 17th century. He built a temple to house the relic but this was later destroyed. It was taken away for safety during a Portuguese invasion of Kandy and eventually recovered during a the rule of King Rajashingha 11.

The present Temple of the Tooth was built in the early 18th century by King Vira Narendra Sinha, and later extended and modified by subsequent kings. Externally, it is surrounded by a Moat and low white walls with simple carvings. Its distinctive Octagonal Tower, or "Paththirippuwe", was built in 1803 and house a collection of palm-leaf manuscripts.

The Tooth is kept in a two-storey shrine which is covered with a golden canopy and fronted by a set of huge elephant tusks. There is also a museum where many Buddha image are kept, most of them gifts for different countries.

Thousand of devotees and visitors throng the shrine everyday to pay respect to the Tooth, which is encased within a set of seven caskets made of gold and precious gems. There is an air of great excitement and anticipation among the crowd as the people wait their turn to file past the Tooth. There is usually not much more time than for a quick look as the attendants keep the crowd moving at a fast pace.

A replica of the Tooth, together with is ornate and beautiful caskets, is displayed once a year the "Esala Perahera" (Kandy Procession) . This is the island largest annual celebration, lasting for ten days, with colorful and elaborate parades of dancers, drummers and elephants. Around a million people attend this festival each year. Due to security concerns, the actual tooth is never brought out for the Festival.

More Information (See the Location Map)

The Temple of the Tooth - Sacred Places

Studying Buddhism - Buddhanet


 

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