Temple of the Tooth Relic: A Guide to Kandy's Most Amazing Temple (2023)

With the Tooth of Lord Buddha safely housed within its walls, it is no surprise that the Temple of the Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa (which translates as Glorious Temple of the Tooth in the local language) is the top attraction in Kandy. TOUNESCO World Heritage, the temple is considered the holiest place in Sri Lanka for Buddhists. If you want to explore this amazing temple, we want to help you; so we've rounded up everything you need to know in this one: our Temple of the Tooth Relics Guide!

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History of the Temple of the Tooth Relic

While not as large as some of the Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia, the Temple of the Tooth Relic has its own appeal with its white walls and red and black ceilings, exuding a peaceful atmosphere despite the hundreds of worshipers who fill their halls. every day.

Considered one of the most valuable relics of Lord Buddha and aSri Lankan frame, the history of the temple is full of interesting stories and anecdotes.

The tooth probablylords buddhasleft canine, said to have been collected from the ashes of the pyre where he died in 543 BC. he was cremated in Kushinagar, India. Over the years, people began to believe that the owner of the tooth had the undisputed right to rule this country. Of course, the tooth has become an object worth owning!

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The tooth was brought from India when a rival king attacked King Guhasiva of Kalinga (now known as Odisha, India) to obtain the tooth. The tooth is said to have made its way to Sri Lanka, where Buddhism was well established, hidden in Princess Hemamali's hair when she fled India to protect it.

The tooth has changed many times, from the kingdom of Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Gampola and Kotte. In fact, at one point on its exciting journey, the tooth was even hidden in a whetstone!

Many attempts were made to steal the tooth. Early in 1603, the Portuguese tried to seize the relic. Later, between 1635 and 1687, the Dutch burned down the temple where the relic was kept.

(Video) The Sacred Tooth Relic Buddha Temple of the tooth of the Buddha Kandy Sri Lanka

It was only in 1989 and 1998 that Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a political party, and LTTE, a Sri Lankan militant organization, attempted to bomb the Royal Palace.

Sri Vira Narendra Sinha, the last Sinhalese king of the Kingdom of Kandy, built the temple you see today. The moat and the Paththirippuwa (the octagonal pavilion which is one of the three main buildings of the temple) were added later by Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. Former Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa built the golden canopy you see over the main shrine in 1987.

The temple is located in the royal palace complex of the ancient kingdom of Kandy. In fact, the tooth was always kept near the king's residences. The reason is pretty obvious, isn't it? Protecting the tooth relic was considered a duty of the ruler, and owning it became a symbol of sovereign rights.

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Do you want to see more of Sri Lanka? take a look at ourItinerary by Sri Lanka.

Esala Perahera Festival

Other powers were also attributed to the tooth. The story goes that once there was a terrible drought in the country, and the rain gods only answered the prayers of the people after the guardians removed the tooth relic in a seven-day procession. And this is how KandyEsala Perahera-Festbegan.

Also known as the Festival of the Tooth, this event takes place every year in July and August. The tooth relic coffin is kept on a male elephant and is paraded through the streets of Kandy. Decorated elephants, grand processions, lights, traditional dances, and more are all part of the ten-day event, and it's probably the best time to visit if you're looking to immerse yourself in Kandy's culture.

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The architecture of the Temple of the Tooth Relic

The Temple of the Tooth Relic is built in the traditional Kandy architectural style. One design element that caught our eye were the holes in the wall bordering the moat and pond. It is designed to light oil lamps at night - a glorious sight!

Don't be fooled by the rather plain exterior. Once inside, you can't help but notice the beautiful art and intricate carvings in wood, gold, silver, ivory, and bronze. It was nice to walk through corridors made up of colorful flags and brightly lit chandeliers.

The tooth relic is kept in a room on the top floor of the temple. A large gate, exquisitely carved in ivory and silver, stands guard. Please note that the tooth itself is not visible to the public. It is safely hidden in a golden coffin that contains six smaller coffins, each intricately decorated. These coffins, located in the inner chamber, are displayed to devotees during the puja (prayer) period. This happens three times a day: morning, afternoon and night. Musicians dressed in traditional costumes play drums during the puja ceremony in front of the inner sanctum guarded by giant elephant tusks.

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If possible, we recommend visiting (or staying) during the bidding. It was a deeply moving experience for us. Also, take time to watch the Buddhist monks and white-robed locals offering lotus and frangipani flowers to the shrine.

(Video) TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH RELIC - Kandy - Sri Lanka (4K)

The palace complex at the Temple of the Tooth Relic

The Royal Palace is north of the temple. Part of the palace has been turned into a Buddhist archaeological museum. If you have some time, we recommend visiting the Aluth Maligawa area, which is home to many interesting Buddha statues and artifacts related to the history of the Tooth Relic.

Kandy-SeeIt is south of the temple. A walk around the lake was one of our favorite activities - peaceful and relaxing!

There are several other museums, temples, and shrines to explore during your visit.

We love the Rajah Elephant Museum, which features Rajah, the elephant who carried the sacred coffin during the Festival of the Tooth for a record 37 years and participated in the celebrations for nearly 50 years. Rajah was so popular that the government even commissioned a stamp and 1000 rupee note with his photo in his memory.

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If you are interested in the history of the Tooth Relic, we recommend a visit to the Sri Dalada Museum which will guide you throughout your journey.

How to get to the Temple of the Tooth Relic?

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic complex is located in the heart of Kandy, about 2 km from the Kandy railway station.

You can visit the temple in aDay trip from Colombo, and it takes about 3 hours to cover the distance. You can travel by bus (the cheapest option), train (slightly more expensive but faster), or rent a two-wheeler or taxi.

All transportation options can be found here on Bookaway.

Clothes in the Temple of the Tooth Relic

Sri Lanka is a conservative country and modest dress is recommended, especially when visiting a place of worship. Clothing that covers the legs and shoulders is recommended. Normally, you will be asked to leave your shoes at the entrance of the temple.

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Temple of the Tooth Relic Hours and prices

The temple is open all year from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm. Bidding times are 5:30 am, 9:30 am and 6:30 pm.

(Video) Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) | Detailed Video Profile - English

The entrance to the temple costs 1500 LKR / 5.50 GBP / 7.50 USD.

Free audio tours are available at the ticket office, or you can opt for a guide to take a comprehensive tour of the actual complex.

Other activities in Kandy

Hop in a tuk-tuk and take the Three Temples Circuit, which takes you to 3 of the most popular temples (after the Temple of the Tooth Relic of course) in Kandy: the Gadaladeniya Viharaya, the Embekke and the Lankathilaka .

With a height of 88 feet, theBahiravokanda-Vihara-Buda-Estatuait is the highest in Sri Lanka. A trip up this hill from Bahirawa Kanda also allows for a panoramic view of the city.

OKandy Botanical Gardenit is only a 15 minute drive from the city and is a breath of fresh air. It is a good place to walk and have a picnic. And the perfect place for unforgettable photos!

Sri Lanka is known for its scenic train journeys and the Kandy to Ella train tops the list. She finds a seat by the window or near the door and gazes out at the lush green tea plantations, lapping streams, waterfalls and lush forests. Pure ecstasy!

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Where to stay in Kandy

lux: If you are going to spend it, think twiceTheva Residence. This beautiful resort has stunning views (it's very, very Instagrammable!) and is known for its restaurant if you're a foodie.

middle class:To be honest, we personally haven't stayed in a good mid-range hotel that we can recommend. That means they told usfancy hotel, a small boutique outfit, is a great option. It is a bit out of Kandy but apparently worth the distance.

Budget:If you are looking for a cool and social hostel thenUhr Gasthofis for you. It has bedrooms, private rooms and up to 5 beautiful capsules on the balcony. Brilliant concept hostel with all you can eat for breakfast!

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Temple of the Tooth Relic

What is the Temple of the Tooth Relic?

(Video) Temple Of The Tooth Relic |History Of Tooth Relic Temple Of Kandy Srilanka | ශ්‍රී දළදා මාලිගාව

The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is a traditional temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Completed in 1595, it houses a dental relic believed to be the left canine tooth of the Buddha at his cremation in 543 BC. in India it was. The temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the Royal Palace Complex.

When is the Temple of the Tooth Relic open?

The year-round temple opens at 5:30 a.m. m. and closes at 8:30 p.m. m. every morning. Puja can be observed at 5:30 am, 9:30 am and 6:30 pm.

What should I wear to go to the Temple of the Tooth Relic?

When visiting religious temples, modest clothing is always recommended. The Temple of the Tooth Relic is no different: visitors are required to cover their legs and shoulders when entering this place of worship.

About the author: Gayathri Ranganathan

Gayathri is an accomplished travel writer who loves to travel with her family, her teenage daughters and her husband. She believes that “traveling is the best way to open your mind and heart to other cultures, foods and lifestyles”. When she is not traveling, she dreams of traveling or is busy exploring a new destination. "Over the years, I've found that life and travel is always about the journey, never the destination."

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(Video) A rare Video recording of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sri Lanka


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