Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy – a truly Sri Lankan experience

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa

Koshy Koshy from Faridabad, Haryana, India, Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, CC BY 2.0

Located in the central province of Sri Lanka is the beautiful city of Kandy the last kingdom of the beautiful island nation. Also renown as the Hill Capital of Sri Lanka, this city is loved by both locals and foreigners alike. The lush green mountains, the soothing climate and the beautiful centrepiece of the city; the Kandy lake are some of the reasons that people tend to fall in love with this city. The rich culture in the area which is still preserved and the many sacred Buddhist sites located within the city is another reason for the endless crowd to visit Kandy. Tours to Sri Lanka can be organised easily by the many travel partners available in the country. Connaissance de Ceylan is one such organiser that is reputed as a company that provides personalised travel plans.

Image Credit - connaissance

Image Credit – connaissance

Apart from this, there are many cultural museums and religious shrines in the premises where you could learn a lot. Even the carvings of the frames and pillars here would shout out a story that would explain the culture, beliefs and life of the Sri Lankans hundreds of years ago.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Attractions in Kandy – the idyll that touches your soul

Also dubbed as Sri Lanka’s cultural capital, Kandy continues to attract a large number of tourists both local and foreign. Perched on the hills at an altitude of 488 m, it will take about 115 kilometers to reach here from Colombo, the country’s main capital. Drive along that 115-kilometre journey to taste the cultural richness of Sri Lanka.

1. Royal Palace

This was the royal residence of the Sinhalese monarchy of the Kingdom of Kandy in Sri Lanka. The last king to have occupied here was King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha until the British conquered the kingdom in 1815 with the strategic assistance of Kandyan chieftains. Here you can see many alcoves such as Royal Audience Hall (Magul Maduwa), Queen’s Palace (Meda Wasala), King’s Harem Quarters (Palle Vahale) and Queen’s Bathing Pavilion (Ulpange). Close to the palace you can see the Victorian era building that was used as Kandy High Court.

Kandy is home to many attractions starting from Royal Palace. The best way to enjoy all of them to first lodge in a hotel Kandy can offer. Earls Regent Kandy is one of the hotels with easy access to most attractions.

2. Kandy Lake

The lake was built by King Rajasinha to beautify the surrounding of the Temple of Tooth. So to say, this is a man-made construction marking a remnant of the last ever Sri Lankan kingdom. Earlier it was known as Kiri Muhuda or the Milky Ocean, and you can see an unfinished wall called the Valakulu Bamma or clouds wall. It remains unfinished because the king was arrested in 1815 as the British conquered the land. At 2060 feet, the cloud wall remains standing today in its unfinished state; the triangular holes in it are used to light oil lamps.

The lake has an island at the centre, another creation of the king. It was originally a part of a dam, which King Rajasinghe had built across the lake. However, it was destroyed from both ends, leaving just the island in the middle.

The locals would tell you that this island was actually used by the King’s helm for bathing, and was connected to the palace through a secret tunnel.

You can see many protections put in place for Kandy Lake. At one place it is not allowed to fish. The lake has reduced considerably over the years, to having a perimeter of just less than 3.5 kilometers, though it used to be much bigger.

3. Temple of the Tooth

As you approach north of the lake, you will come across a golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth that shelters a tooth of the Buddha. If you visit here during the pooja time, you can access the otherwise guarded room housing the Holy Tooth. But that does not mean you can actually see the relic, for it is kept in a gold casket shaped like a dagoba (stupa), which contains a series of six dagoba caskets of diminishing size.
The whole site of the temple covers a numerous other temples and museums.

4. Hanthana Mountain Range

It is another stunning attraction perched in Kandy. Also known as Hanthana Conservation Forest, this mountain range introduces you to Sri Lanka’s bio diversity in essence. The forest is governed by Department of Forest Conservation. Under the National Environmental Act, the Hanthana mountain Range is declared as an environmental protection area. You can see seven other mountains in the range with the maximum height as 3800 ft. The highest mountain is Uura Kanda.

If you have a passion for mountain hiking, choose this and you won’t regret. It is quite popular among the mountain hikers. Even if you are not a hiker, the mountain will add a lovely memory to your life journey. Hiking or not, do not forget to bring your camera. You will get to set sights upon birds, butterflies, many types of wild flowers, insects, wild trees and many others.

Located close by is the University of Peradeniya which is dubbed as the most beautiful university of Sri Lanka. The university is blessed with the touch of Hanthana Mountains and its attractive environment. This environment manifests the ideal environment for the students to focus on their academic activities. If you are interested on touring the university, do not forget to visit its faculties: Medical, Engineering, Bio, Physical, Art, Management and IT. The university also has a natural theater where you can watch the dramas in the open air.

Visit Dalada Maligawa- a prestigious religious site in Sri Lanka

Housing the sacred Tooth relic of Lord Buddha, the temple of the tooth is located in the former kingdom of Sri Lanka. The temple is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The relics are kept in a gold dagoba shaped casket at all times and during poojas the devotees and the tourists are given a chance to witness this sacred relics. Every day rituals are performed three times by the monks of Malwatte and Asgiriya . tourists planning to visit the city of Kandy can find accommodation at holiday bungalows in Kandy such as Mountbatten Bungalow that lies in the vicinity of Dalada Maligawa.

The temple complex consists of many buildings such as the museums, main shrine and various other temples. The interior of the temple complex a carved with intricate wood carvings and the entire complex is covered with a white stone wall from outside. The sacred site is visited by many locals and foriegners throughout the year as it has a great religious value. Once a year the Esala Perehara, a well renowned buddhist festival in Asia is paraded on the streets near the temple. About a million people of all walks of life attend the celebrations that lasts through a period of 10 days. The procession is lead by the whip crackers who according to ancient times herald the beginneing of the perehera.

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.

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