Temple of Tooth
The Temple of Tooth is the destination of highest pedestal among the
adherents of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is the most sacred temple in the
whole of Sri Lanka visited by hundreds of people everyday. The temple took
nearly 100 years to build. The construction commenced in 1687 and finished
in 1782. It is the grandest temple in Sri Lanka with an imposing
pink-painted structure, encircled by a deep moat.
'Vadahitina Maligawa' or the Tooth Relic shrine, located in the center of
the courtyard, holds the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. The staircase leading
to it is decked with moonstones, and carved floral designs. The shrine was
refurbished by King Narendrasinghe in the 18th century. King Keerthi Sri is
credited for the beautiful ivory carvings on the shrine.
Last monarch of Kandy built the 'Pattirippuwa' or the octagon. He used
it to watch the Esala Perahera. These days the octagon is used as a libray.
Palm leaves manuscripts and other exhibits are kept there.
The tooth relic arrived in Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. A war in India
led to its bringing in Sri Lanka. King Guhasiva was fearful that he might
lose the battle as well as the tooth relic. For stopping the tooth falling
into the hands of the enemy, he decided to send the tooth relic to Sri
Lanka, a country of strong Buddhist traditions. Prince Dhantha and Princess
Hemamala carried the tooth relic to Sri Lanka. As expected by King Guhasiva,
the people of Sri Lanka held the Tooth with high regard.
Daily rituals are performed 3 times a day-at 4.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m and 6.30
- Shoes must be put off before entering.
- You should be properly dressed.
- You should be well-behaved inside the temple.