For culture buffs curious about Sri Lanka’s well-documented past, a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy will be a truly delightful journey.
Believed to have been constructed by the Kandyan rulers from 1687 to 1707, the Temple of the Tooth Relic or ‘Dalada Maligawa’ is a testament to Sri Lanka’s deep-rooted ties to Buddhism that span centuries. Having witnessed the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms, the sanctuary outlines an engrossing and inspiring account of traditional practice and value.
The tooth relic
The Temple’s prized possession is the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha which is the primary reason for which devotees, monks, and foreign nationals throng its hallowed premises. Housed within a chamber on the upper floor of the main shrine room, the relic is kept in 7 golden caskets, and during times of prayer, visitors are allowed to pay homage. Before setting foot, one is advised to be attired appropriately in a manner that shows respect to the country’s most visited Buddhist relic.
Architecture and surrounding landscape
As the Temple is part of the ancient royal complex of the Kandyan Kingdom, one will be treated to many a dazzling sight. A series of shrines, museums, and smaller temples form part of the Maligawa and interestingly, the preserved remains of Raja, the tusker who shouldered the responsibility of carrying the golden casket containing the relic for more than 50 years can be caught sight of. For ease of access, consider checking into hotels in Kandy such as Amaya Hills from where this attraction can be easily reached.