Sri Dalada Maligawa – A paradise for worshipers, history lovers and art lovers
The Temple of the Tooth Relic known as Sri Dalada Maligawa where the left canine tooth of the Lord Buddha is placed is located in the centre of the island of Sri Lanka in the city of Kandy. The tooth of the Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka by Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala from the kingdom of Kalinga, India. The Temple of the Tooth Relic was a part of the Royal Palace complex due to the tradition that the Monarch was the protector of the relic and continues to be one of the holiest places of worship for Buddhists. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
The Temple of the Tooth Relic was built by King Sri Vira Parakrama Narendra Sinha in the early 1700s. The moat and octagonal structure were later added. The “Mahawahalkada” (main entrance) has a Sandakadapahana carved and stone elephants on both sides. Above the staircase is a Makara Torana and two guardian stones. Hewisi drummers’ chamber is situated opposite the main shrine which is known as “Weda hitina maligawa” which consists of two stories. The court room is now called as “Magul Maduwa. The tooth relic is encased in seven golden caskets engraved with gems and is placed in a chamber called “Handun kunama”.
Religious services are conducted under the strict surveillance of the most venerable mahanayakes of Asgiriya and Malwatte and Diyawadana Nilame. Rituals are performed three times daily and Nanumura Mangallaya is performed every Wednesday.
The Esala Perahera is a festival held in July. This celebration has colorful processions with elephants and traditional local and other cultural dances. The Temple of the Tooth Relic is nothing but a Paradise for worshippers, history lovers and art lovers.