Iconic Sites

Sri Dalada Maligawa

The Sri Dalada Maligawa or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It is constructed within the royal palace complex which contains the tooth relic of the Buddha, a tooth, which is honored by Buddhists.

The tooth is said to have been procured from the Buddha from his funeral pyre. Legend has it that Princess Hemamali smuggled it into the island in her hair back in 313 AD.

The relic has played a pivotal role in local politics since primeval times. Belief was that whoever possesses the relic, holds the governance of the country, which was a prime reason for ancient kings to protect it with great determination. Kandy a stately city, was the capital of the Sinhalese Kings from 1592 to 1815, garrisoned by the terrain of the mountains and winding roads in between. The city was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO partly due to the temple.

The monks of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily ritual worship in the inner chamber of the temple, in annual rotation. These services are conducted three times a day: at dawn, at noon and in the evening.

On Wednesdays it is the symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with a herbal preparation madefrom a mixture of scented water and flagrant flowers, called ‘Nanumura Mangallaya’. Believed to contain healing powers, this holy water is distributed among those present.

The Temple has sustained damage both from colonial wars that arose with the Portuguese and the Dutch, as well as from multiple bombings by terrorists in the past, but has been fully restored each time.

When visiting the Temple please bear in mind it is a religious site and therefore you need to abide by all rules and regulations set out. Remember to clothe yourself modestly and in white. Shorts and flip-flops are not allowed as well as short –sleeved, deep-neck clothing. Bear in mind to not treat any statue disrespectfully and ‘selfies’ with these statues are strictly prohibited.

You can bring along a basket of flowers to place as an offering along with some incense sticks.