Sri Dalada Maligawa

The Sri Dalada Maligawa, or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, is one of the most important temples in the Buddhist world, as it houses a part of the canine tooth of the Lord Buddha. The ancient significance of the Tooth Relic, along with the significance of the temple it is housed in, has resulted in it being recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

It was in the early 18 th Century that the young King Vira Narendra Sinha built the present temple to deposit the ancient artefact for protection. A simple complex in the beginning, many more additions were put in place by successive kings, as the relic quickly became a symbol of monarchic power and the right to rule.

To this very day, rituals and processions are organised to pay homage to the relic of the Lord Buddha. One notable procession is the Kandy Esala Perahera, which occurs in the months of July or August. The sacred relic is paraded through the streets of the city of Kandy for ten days during this festival.

Several other artefacts, along with architectural masterpieces of the Kandyan Kingdom, can be witnessed when exploring the various buildings in the temple. A visit here would give you insight into how intertwined the faith of Buddhism is with the lives of the people of Sri Lanka.