Temple of Tooth Relic – Kandy
Kandy houses one of the most important relics in the history of Buddhism – an actual tooth of the Gautama Buddha, housed under a 22 karat gold roof. While the Sri Dalada Maligawa was once a royal palace – in fact the home of the last king of Sri Lanka – it is now a place where devotees of Buddhism from around the world flock for prayer, meditation and peace.
Situated just north of the Kandy Lake and central to the town’s activities, the golden roofed Temple of the Tooth is a massive complex including museums, temples of other related faiths like Hinduism and many walkways connecting them all. The Aluth Maligawa or new palace contains a two storey museum with many statues donated by Thai devotees. To the North of the palace you will come across a large audience hall with ancient wood-carved pillars – a place where the old kings would greet their audiences who would come to pay respects or discuss issues of the land. A museum of World Buddhism sits at the back of the complex housing photographs, displays, illustrations and more that tell the tale of Buddhism from a global context.
Lazy dogs sleep on your walk to the Temple on quiet days while other days will see you walk amidst a mad throng of visitors, devotees and priests’ alike making the same journey to the complex.
This will probably take up your whole morning – dress appropriately as shorts and sleeveless clothes are not permitted inside any religious space in the country. Be ready for breathtaking architecture, vibrant artistry and a combination of royal and spiritual meeting hand in hand. Your day in the Sri Dalada Maligawa will give you a glimpse of how our royals lived and an overwhelming sense of the country’s dedication to the Buddhist way of life.