If you are a traveler who has plans to visit Kandy, the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic is definitely on the top of your bucket list. It is one of the most ancient destinations of Sri Lanka, with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful architecture, carvings, sculptures, and many more things to see.
Kandy is a beautiful city and is also known as the cultural center of Sri Lanka. It is surrounded by spectacular mountains, mesmerizing jungles, and the beautiful Kandy Lake. It is one of the most popular travel destinations as it has many sites with rich cultural and religious value to Sri Lanka. The Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic, also known as ‘Dalada Maligawa,’ is the most important pilgrimage site in Kandy. It is one of UNESCO‘s listed world heritage sites as well. If you are planning to visit the sacred monastery, make sure you go in between 5.30 am, and 8.00 pm as the tour around the whole place will take more than 3 hours. You can take assistance from a tour guide if you are interested in getting to know about the history of the pilgrimage site and details about each place inside the temple.
If you are planning to visit the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic, you need to dress appropriately even though there is no hard and fast rule about how to wear it. The shoulders need to be properly covered for ladies and should be long enough to cover your knees. For men, long trousers or sarongs are preferred, and shorts are considered inappropriate. Hats and caps also need to be taken off before entering the temple. If you visit inappropriate attire, a sarong will be provided at the entrance to be worn inside. It needs to be returned before departure.
Outside the temple, some sellers sell different types of flowers. You can buy flowers, oil, incense sticks, and all the necessary goods to worship from right outside the temple.
There is a security checkpoint that everyone needs to pass before entering the temple. Once you enter the temple, the first thing you have to do is to remove your shoes and keep them in the shoe booth so that they will be safe until you arrive. It is not recommended to remove your shoes on the ground outside the temple as they can go missing just like that!
Visitors have to first pass through a corridor called ‘Ambarawa’ to enter the temple. The corridor walls are filled with beautiful and ancient paintings.
When you enter the temple, the first sighting you would witness is the “Aramudala.” This is the place where monks used to worship and hold the Pirith chanting.
Once you arrive at the Aramudala, you will notice most of the crowd climbing the stairs to go to the first floor. The first floor is where the sacred tooth relic of Buddha is placed. It is worshipped by millions of Buddhists living around the world. It is set in seven beautiful cases made of gold, silver, and many other precious stones and gems. You can worship by offering the flowers you bought on the table in front of the shrine.
The majority of the people will either stand or sit and worship, and this place will always be pretty crowded. This place has beautiful wooden artifacts and carvings and sophisticated and eye-catching details in every single corner. Daily service, also known as’ Theva,’ is the most critical ritual done at the temple, and it is worth seeing. There are three daily services every day; morning, midday, and evening. Morning Theva starts at 5.30 am and ends at 7.00 am. You need to be an early bird if you want to witness the morning service. The following service begins at 9.30 am and ends at 11.00 am, and the evening one commences at 6.30 pm and ends at 8.00 pm. This ritual portrays the rich Sri Lankan culture with drums and rhythmic beats. Visitors who attend any of these services will witness inside when the keepers open the silver and the golden doors, respectively. If you attend one of these services, you will also be lucky enough to stand in the queue and offer the flowers you bought to be kept inside where the sacred tooth relic is placed.
Outside the temple, you will see a place dedicated to lighting lamps and incense sticks. This place will calm your mind as it has a great smell coming from the thousands of incense sticks lit.
Slightly away from that, the archaeological museum has crowns, swords, and other remains of kings who ruled the Kandian kingdom during different reigns. The Raja Elephant Museum, which is a must-visit when you are in the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic. The Raja Elephant Museum has an actual size living statue of the Raja Elephant, who used to carry the sacred tooth relic for more than 50 years. The natural skin and the tusks are made to look like the elephant is real.
Four other temples dedicated to Natha, Paththini, Vishnu, and Kataragama gods believed by Buddhists can be seen with three in the temple’s premises and one a little far away from the temple.
This article may help you make your visit to the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic a memorable and exciting one just the way you expect. Share your thoughts and experiences during the visit by leaving a comment below.
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