Temple of the Tooth Relic famously known as Dalada Maligawa in Kandy is one of the most important Buddhist temples on the island. Many pilgrims and devotees come to visit the temple from all over the world. It houses one of the most important Buddhist sacred relics, a tooth of the Lord Buddha. And also, most importantly, Dalada Maligawa organizes the Kandy Esala Perahera. It is an internationally famous annual cultural event in Sri Lanka. Not to mention Kandy city is a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.
There are many sites to visit including the temple of the Tooth Relic in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom. Since ancient times, the sacred tooth relic played an important role in local politics. The owner of the tooth relic holds the governance of the country.
The temple performs rituals including drum performances three times daily; at dawn, at noon and also in the evenings. Nanumura Mangallaya is on Wednesdays. It is a symbolic bathing of the relic with a herbal preparation of scented water and fragrant flowers.
There is a brick wall that runs along the moat and Bogambara lake called the water wave wall. Holes in this wall are built to light coconut oil lamps. Mahawahalkada is the main entrance gate which lies over the moat. At the foot of Mahawahalkada steps, lies Kandyan architectural style “Sandakada pahana” (moonstone). There is also Makara Torana and two guardian stones beside the top of the staircase.
The temple was a part of the king’s royal palace of the Kandyan era. According to the Sri Lankan law, the owner of the sacred tooth relic inherited the crown to the throne. Therefore, there were many struggles in the past for its ownership. The temple is located in the eye of Kandy city, which is a world heritage town and major tourist attraction. The city itself has a rich history and cultural, infrastructural, and natural value. The man-made lake built in 1802 by the last king of Sri Lanka located in the middle of the city adds extra scenic value to the temple and the city.
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