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Sri Dalada Maligawa

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of Tooth Relic is a Buddhist Temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka.  Located in the Royal Palace complex of Kandy, this World Heritage Site contains the tooth relic of Lord Buddha and is one of the holiest places of Buddhism in the island nation.

    After Buddha Shakyamuni left for the heavenly abode in 543 BC, a tooth of his was preserved in Kalinga. This relic was brought to Sri Lanka during the reign of Kirthi Sri Meghavarna and was enshrined in a palace temple in Anuradhapura, the then capital of Sri Lanka. Over the centuries, the custodianship of the relic became a symbol of the monarch’s right to rule.  As the capital of Sri Lanka was moved to different places, first to Polonnaruwa, then to Dambadeniya, a shrine was made in each city to preserve the relic. Finally the relic came to Kandy where it is now enshrined in Sri Dalada Maligawa.

    The present shrine was built during the reign of Vira Narendra Sinha and further additions were made during the time of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. It survived attacks by the Portuguese in the 17 th century and terrorists attacks during the civil war and happens to be one of the most revered monuments in Buddhism.

    Sri Dalada Maligawa is a two storied building. The two stories of main shrine are known as Palle Malaya (lower floor) and Udu Malaya (upper floor) or Weda Hitina Maligawa. An octagonal Pattirippuwa which was earlier a part of Royal palace has been incorporated into the shrine and is now used to store ancient texts and manuscripts. The outer brick wall running along the moat is called Diyareli Bamma (wall of water waves). The inner wall is called Walakulu Bamma (wall of clouds). Both these walls are built with holes to place coconut oil lamps during the night.

    The main gate is called Vahalkada and one has to pass it and the moat to reach Makara Thorana (Crocodile Gate). Next comes a tunnel ambarawa with beautiful golden paintings on its walls, passing which one comes to the ground floor of the temple complex. The lower floor of the building called Pallemaluwa. The inner chamber is fortified with a large wooden door and decorated with bronze and ivory. The area in front of the door is called the Hevisi Mandapaya (Drummers’ Courtyard) where the daily services are performed.

    The tooth relic is kept at the upper floor in a chamber called Vadahitina Maligawa. The door to this chamber is decorated with gold silver and ivory. The tooth relic is encased in seven gold caskets studded with precious stones.

    On the right side is the Perahara Karanduwa, the relic chamber used in the annual Asala Mangalaya Perahara procession. Over the relic chamber there is a golden lotus flower studded with precious stones hanging from the ceiling.

    Days and Timing

    6:30 AM – 7:00 PM

    Ticket Charges




    1000 LKR

    Camera Fee





    Reference: Official WebsiteWikipedia

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