The Temple of Tooth
Dalada Maligawa, adorns the city of Kandy. It is one of the most venerated Buddhist shrines in the world which provide shelter to the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. According to tradition the tooth was rescued from the flames at the cremation of the Buddha at Kusinara in India in 543 BC and brought to the island in the fourth century.
The construction of the Temple of Tooth was started in 1687 and completed in 1782, taking almost a century. The Tooth Relic is not on view except on special occasions. It is taken on an elephant during the annual pageant called Kandy Esala Perahara which is a huge display of variety of aspects of the Sri Lankan culture. The Kandy Esala Perahera takes place annually in the month of August. It is one of the most colourful possessions of the world. Thousands of drummers and dancers accompanying a parade of ornamented elephants perform in the streets of Kandy during the festival days. The procession moves along the streets for seven consecutive nights and concludes on the full moon day of August. The Sinhalaes and Nayakkar rulers in Kandy continued, prompted and protected the local culture by getting the craftsman’s and artists’ guilds involved in this spectacular event.