Kandy, is the last capitol of the Sri Lankan monarchy and is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It is famously known for the golden roofed temple or ‘Sri Dalada Maligawa’ that safe keeps Lord Buddha’s Tooth Relic venerated by Buddhists all over the world.
The temple stands in all its grace and purity at the heart of the city, overlooking a serene lake. It’s easily reachable from a Hotel in Kandy Sri Lanka, such as the Thilanka Hotels and Resorts located just a few minutes away.
The entire temple complex occupies a large area and holds in itself signs of a rich history that dates back to at least five centuries. In addition to the main shrine, there are numerous temples and museums that provide glimpses of the majesty and grandeur of a bygone era.
Commonly used entrance to the temple is the ‘Nawa Wahalkada’ located on the side of the Queens Hotel. Before you enter, you would be requested to remove shoes/slippers/hats and place them at the dedicated counter outside. It is best to wear clothes that cover your legs and shoulders when visiting the temple.
You’d first enter an Octagonal shrine known as the ‘Paththirippuwa’ that houses the temple of the tooth relic,built in 1802 A.D on the instructions of Sri WickramaRajasinghe- the last king of the Nayakkar lineage. During pooja hours (offerings/prayers), the heavily guarded room housing the tooth is open to devotees and tourists.
Behind this shrine stands the three-storey ‘Alut Maligawa’, a larger shrine hall displaying dozens of sitting Buddhas. The upper two floors of the Alut Maligawa contain the Sri Dalada Museum, displaying a stunning array of gilded gifts to the temple. To the north of the compound, is the 19th-century Audience Hall, an open-air pavilion with stone columns; adjacent to which you find the stuffed remains of Rajah, the famed Maligawa tusker that died in 1988.
The shrine receives many worshippers and tourists,with fewer crowds in the morning. Free audio guides are available at the ticket office for a self-guided tour.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.