Kandy is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka, famous for its scenic beauty, temples and attractions. It is the second largest city in Sri Lanka after Colombo. The city contains a number of famous tourist attractions, including: Kandy Lake, the National Museum, the Royal Botanic Garden, the Handicraft Center, and the Temple of the Tooth, which is the most important Buddhist monument in Sri Lanka, where the temple contains one of Buddha’s teeth, in this topic we will learn about this wonderful temple .
Temple of the Tooth in Kandy:
Dalada Maligawa in the Sri Lankan language, which means the Temple of the Tooth, the temple is located in the city of Kandy, and can be visited when you are in Kandy Lake, where it is located just north of the lake, the temple is characterized by its beautiful golden color, and contains a sacred room for Buddhists, where there is one of the teeth in this room Buddha. The heavily guarded room in which the tooth is located is opened to devotees and tourists during the puja ceremonies which are offerings or prayers, although it is very difficult to see the tooth as the number is large, and the tooth is located in a gold box in the form of a dome, which contains inside it A series of six dome-shaped boxes decreasing in size.
Other landmarks around the Temple of Tooth:
The temple in the vicinity includes many monuments and monuments, as there are many other temples and museums adjacent to the main shrine, such as: Alut Maligawa It is a 3-storey building behind the shrine and includes the newest and largest shrine hall where dozens of seated Buddhas donated by Thai worshipers are displayed. The upper two floors contain the Sri Dalada Museum, which displays an astonishing collection of gilded gifts given to the temple, letters and notes from the British colonial era revealing their astonishing respect for dental remains, and recent photographs revealing the damage caused by a truck bomb sent by the Tamil Tigers in 1998 which led to the destruction of large parts of the temple.
Isala Perahera Festival:
This festival is held in the Temple of the Tooth in honor of the Buddha’s teeth. This festival lasts for ten days, and the most important demonstration is the elephants that walk in the procession in traditional clothes, and the revelers dance to the sound of continuous drums, and the smell of incense fills the place. Legend has it that 1700 years ago, one of Buddha’s teeth was stolen from the pyre at his funeral, then smuggled to Sri Lanka by thieves. There, the remains of those teeth became a sacred symbol of Sri Lanka. The history of the festival dates back to the era of the King of Kandy, “Krishi Sri Rajasingh” (1781-1747). The king issued an order that the relics be taken in procession to be seen and venerated by the masses. The festival activities include four parades starting from Hindu temples. There is also a procession that goes out every night of the ten nights, and as the days pass, the processions increase in intensity, length, singing and colors.
The brick wall which runs along the moat and the Bogambara, lake is known as water waves wall. Holes in this wall are built to light coconut oil lamps. The main entrance gate which lies over the moat is called Mahawahalkada. At the foot of Mahawahalkada steps, there is a Sandakada pahana (moonstone) which is carved in Kandyan architectural style. Mahawahalkada was totally destroyed in a 1998 bomb blast and rebuilt afterward along with Sandakada pahana other stone carvings. Elephants are depicted in stone on either side of the entrance. A Makara Torana and two guardian stones are placed on top of the staircase. TheHewisi drummers’ chamber is situated in front of the main shrine. The two storeys of the main shrine are known as “Palle malaya” (lower floor) and “Udu malaya” (upper floor) or “Weda hitina maligawa”.The doors of the Weda Hitana Maligawa are Ivory carvings. The actual chamber in which the tooth relic is kept is known as the “Handun kunama”.
The golden canopy over the main shrine and the golden fence which encircles the temple complex, was built in 1987 by then Prime Minister, Ranasinghe Premadasa. The tooth relic is encased in seven golden caskets which are engraved with precious gemstones. The casket represents a stupa; the procession casket which is used during the Kandy Esala Perahera is also displayed in the same chamber.