Temple of The Tooth Relic / Sri Dalada Maligawa

Kandy was the capital of Sinhalese kings from 1592 to 1815, fortified on the terrain by mountains. Due to the complexity of the approach to Kandy, the kingdom managed to escape capture by the colonizers from Holland and Portugal, as well as the British until 1815. Now the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part because of the Temple of the Tooth of Buddha — Sri Dalada Maligawa.
Sri Dalada Maligawa was built in the royal palace complex, which houses one of the two surviving relics of the Buddha's Teeth, an object of Buddhist veneration. The rest of the tooth is believed to have been immured in Somawati Chetiya's stupa. Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy is revered not only by Sri Lankan believers, but also by Buddhists around the world.

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King Vimaladharmasuriya I (1592-1603) was the first to choose Kandy as the place where The Tooth was kept in a two-story temple and brought a shrine from Delgamuva, near Kuruvita in Sabaragamuwa, where the Tooth was hidden for protection. The remains of that temple no longer exist. Vimaladharmasuriyah II (1686-1706) built a three storey temple building, and his son Viraparakrama Narendrasinghe (1706 — 1738), the last Sinhalese king who ruled the country, built a new two-story temple, seeing that the old temple built by his father began to disintegrate. The last king of Sri Lanka Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe (1797-1814) built Pattiruppuwa (Octagon). Initially, Pattiruppuwa was part of the royal palace. It was used by the king to address his compatriots with speeches. Today Pattiruppuwa has become part of the temple and the home of ancient textures written on the leaves of an ol tree.

The entrance to the temple complex passes through Maha Vahalkanda. There are two walls along the sides of Vakhalkanda. The outer wall is called Walakula Bamma (Wall of the Clouds). The inner wall is called Diyareli Bamma (Water Row Wall). Both of these walls are constructed with holes for oil lamps for lighting at night. After passing the Vahalkanda and the moat, you get to Makar Toran. Next is the tunnel of Ambarava. Passing through the tunnel, you get to the first floor of the temple complex. The lower floor of the building is called Pallemaluwa. This inner chamber is reinforced with a large wooden door and is decorated with bronze and ivory. The square in front of the door is called Hewisi Mandapaya (Court of Drummers). There are daily rituals.

The Tooth Relic is stored on the top floor in a room called Wadahitina Maligawa. The door of this room is covered with gold, silver and ivory. The relic of the Tooth is enclosed in 7 gold caskets, studded with precious stones. The outer box is encrusted with precious stones, which the relics of the Tooth were given by various rulers.
To the right of the relic is Perahera Karanduwa (relict chamber, which is used in the annual procession of Esala Mangalaya Perahera). It is stored behind bulletproof glass. Karanduwa was donated to the temple from India. Behind the relic camera there is a golden lotus flower, studded with precious stones hanging from the ceiling.

One of the very few custodians who saw The Tooth relic in 1817 was the Englishman John Davey, who published in his book called the survey report in 1821. According to him, inside the five golden Karanduwa (Caskets), the relic was wrapped in a sheet of pure gold and stood in a gold case encrusted with emeralds, diamonds, large rubies. The inner gold Karanduva was also covered with precious stones. The third and fourth and caskets are also richly decorated with emeralds, diamonds, rubies. And the fourth box, approximately 1 1/2 feet in height, was placed inside a large Karanduwa. Davey describes the Tooth like a yellow tooth with brownish. The tooth was on a shorter basis.

To the left of the temple there is a new building, in which there are mummified remains of the boar named Raja. This magnificent wild boar was caught in the jungles of Eravur in the Batticaloa region in 1925, and was purchased by Tikiri Banda Manampitiya Dissawa for 3,300 rupees in 1937, and then was donated to the temple. For more than 50 years, the boar Raja wore a gold casket with a relic of teeth on his back, and in 1984 the beast was declared a national treasure by the government. This is only the second case, when the boar-shovel was declared a national treasure. Raja died in 1988, after a long illness, and then it was decided that he would be taxidermy. This is the first time that a wild boar was turned into a sacred scarecrow.

National Museum
Next to the Temple of the Tooth of Buddha is the National Museum of Kandy situated, where the concubines of Kandy's kings once settled. Currently, the room contains royal and noble attributes of government, including thrones, scepters and ceremonial swords dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, that is, the period before the Kingdom came to a final decline. Kandy finally surrendered to the British in 1815 after inviting them to dislodge the unpopular King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe
The museum is open on Saturday and Thursday from 09:00 to 17:00.

The terrorist attack of the LTTE on the Temple in 1998
This temple, the most sacred for all Buddhists in the world, was attacked by terrorists of the Tamil separatist organization of LTTE using massive trucks with a bomb on January 25, 1998. Then 8 people died, including a baby, 15 people were injured. This is probably the first time in the modern world, when a shrine of such international religious significance and a place of world heritage was deliberately attacked by a terrorist group in an attempt to achieve its destruction.
The explosion caused great damage in most areas around Sri Dalada Maligawa. However, the Holy Tooth of Buddha, which is located in the inner chamber, miraculously avoided any damage. Also severely affected by the explosion of the shrine of Vishnu, Natha and Pattini Dewale, as well as the church of St. Paul. All these objects are located on the Holy Royal Square next to the Sri Dalada Maligawa complex.

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Information for visitors
As a visitor or devotee of Buddha, please show respect while visiting a great shrine. Because of its importance and status, the temple has some dress codes that you have to follow.

1. All men and women should wear long pants or skirts that cover your legs. If you come in a short skirt or pants, the sarong will be rented to you to wear it while visiting the temple.
2. As in all Buddhist shrines, shoes and hats must be removed before entering. At the entrance to the temple there is a shoe storage room where you can leave it safely and at no cost, but a small donation is advisable.
3. The color of clothing is preferable to white or cream.
4. Wear fabrics that do not open the body excessively (for example, too short shirts or sweaters / open shoulders / cuts on the skirt)
5. Respect the worshipers and do not speak loudly.

The temple is open from 05.30 am to 8.00 pm all 7 days a week.

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Some historical sites associated with Dalada Maligawa
According to Mandarampura Puwatha, the Kingdom of Kandy was created after the king Vimaladharmasuriy was crowned, who defeated Yamasinha Bandara in 1592 AD. The king immediately accepted Buddhism and brought the sacred relic of the Tooth in Kandy. The city became known as Senkadagalapura, and later it was renamed Sri Wardhanapura (that is, a city that increases its beauty). Exactly here Dalada Maligawa was built.

Wickramabahu III built near the Temple of the Tooth a shrine in honor of God Natha. The temple shows the influence of the Dravidian school of architecture of the 14th century.
Natha Devale was built on a special place in the times of the kings. She won first place among the four holy devils. The king was obliged to convene a council within this devil and spoke in front of the image of Natha. Also in this devil for the blessing brought the medicinal herbs that the king used in the bath and at bathing on the eve of the Sinhalese New Year. Natha Devale possessed the flag with the image of God Natha Deya. The image of Natha with broken left hand is still today in Raja Lila and is located in the holy of holies of this devale.

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Vishnu Devalaya
Vishnu Devalaya, known as Maha Devalaya, is located in front of the main entrance to Natha Devale across the street and near the Royal Palace of Deva Sinhinde. The history of this place is not known. Historian Robert Knox identified the deity in him as Aluth Nuwara Deyo or God Aluth Nuwara in honor of the fact that this god was originally revered in the Kegalle area, in the town of Aluth Nuwara. In accordance with another folk legend, the statue of the deity was in Dewundara at deep south, and then she was taken to Aluth Nuwara. In another way, this god is called Upulwan or «Blue Colors» (maybe God Rama?). But later it became clear that this, however, is Vishnu.
According to mythology, Buddha is entrusted with the task of preserving the Buddhist dispensation (Sasana) in Sri Lanka and Sakra, in turn, delegated these powers to Vishnu. He is believed to be the future Buddha after Natha.
In the 15th century, in the God Dewundara, as described in Paravi Sandeshaya, in the Sinhala sandesa — the poem-message, is regarded as a powerful god and conqueror of the asuras, full of strength, glory and might. Thus, we can say that this god is described as Upulwan, and, perhaps, is Rama. This hypothesis is confirmed by the above poem, where the devil in Kandy is referred to as Rama Devale. It is also interesting to note that the deval had at its disposal a hanging cloth depicting the battle of Rama and Ravana.
In the time of the king, Abhisheku Mangalle or anointing ceremony, the newly appointed king was held in Maha Devale.
Architecturally Vishnu Devale has a long building with a one-story shrine at the end. In the devil Kandy, as a rule, architecture is simpler than in Hindu Kovils (temples). A roof over a two-story building replaces the dome.
The upper platform contains a small balcony or veranda, supported by thin wooden columns. In front of the sanctuary is located Digge or a long hall, which is intended today for devotees and prayers, but in the old days it was a dance hall in honor of the deities. The dance was then called Digge Nethuma. Today in this room there is also a palanquin, used in Perahera. In recent years, many changes and additions have been made to the buildings from Basnayake Nilame or custodians to satisfy their own taste, thus crippling the beauty of Kandy's traditional architecture.

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Pattini Devale
Pattini Devale is dedicated to the goddess Pattini. Devale is located in the western part from the Natha Devale. In the past, both devas were separated by a crossroads called Eth Vidiya. Now the intersection no longer exists. The history of the devil is also not known. That this structure, which, at least 400 ago, there is no doubt. Robert Knox refers to Perahera in Pattini Devale.
Pattini, the goddess of chastity was and still is the most popular goddess among the peasantry of Sri Lanka. Although the goddess comes from South India, she has become more popular in Sri Lanka. Her virtues are praised in the Tamil epic Chilappadikaram, written in the 2nd century. The goddess is also praised in a number of poetic works in the Sinhalese language of the 18th and 19th centuries. According to the Tamil epic, one of the earliest known shrines in Sri Lanka was built by King Gajabahu in the 2nd century AD. The goddess is described as wearing a golden anklet. There are a large number of shrines dedicated to Pattini scattered all over the country, but the most popular is the shrine in Kandy next to Nawagamuwa Devale. The image of the goddess is associated with the treatment of infectious and childhood diseases, and she is prayed during a drought and, as a result, hunger.
Pattini Devale in Kandy is a simple, small rectangular building on an ordinary stone platform. The temple is at the southern end, like the shrine of Natha. The building consists of four compartments. The Kandiyan roof adorns this simple but beautiful devale.

Kataragama Devale
Kataragama Devale is located on Kotugodelle Vidiya, in that part of the street, which is known in the past as Kavikara Vidiya. Kataragama Devale was from the 16th century at Kavikara Vidiya. Kataragama Devala is dedicated to God Kataragama, who is identified as God Skanda, or by the God of War. There are unequivocal references to God Kataragama in the great annals, but it seems to have become popular only in the 14th century, and since the 16th century its popularity has increased. He is considered one of the four guardian gods of Sri Lanka. By the 16th century, this God was known by the name of his central sanctuary in Kataragama, but was known earlier as Skanda, Kumara or Mahasena. This is the God who protects the Sinhalese population from enemies.
The entrance to Kataragama Devale in Kandy stands on the main street. The building of the devalu is more or less the same as the others, and has upper floors in the shape of a square and a tower above the shrine with a balcony. The devale consists of four compartments, the hidden or the western, keeping inside the images of the saints. In the next room there is also an image. Here, the officiating priests perform their rites. The third hall has a palanquin used during Perahara, and the fourth room is intended for drummers. To the north an additional building is attached to the main shrine and is dedicated to planetary gods. The peculiarity of this devil is that, unlike the other devalues, there are judicial priests — Hindu brahmanas.

Malavtu Maha Vihara
Through the lake from the Temple of the Tooth is located one of the largest centers of the Sangha, belonging to Siam Nikai — Malvatu Maha Viharaya. This great monastery consists of two sections. Uposathu Viharaya on the right is known as Poyamalu Viharaya, and the other — Pushparama Viharaya — is known as Malvatu Viharaya. Of these two complexes, the senior Poemalu Viharaya is supposed to have been built by Senasammati Wickramabahu. This is a two-story Uposathagaraya or Hall of Initiation, as well as Chaitya or Dagabah nearby.
A group of monks of Maha Nayake is Viharadhipathi, or monks of the main operating monastery. They are one of the 3 joint keepers of the Tooth of the Buddha. Poya Ge in Malvatu Viharaya is part of the Malvatta Complex and here all important meetings of the Sangha Sabha take place, as well as the annual high ceremony of ordination. Poya Ge is supposed to have been built during the reign of Kirti Sri Rajasinhe, and contains a beautiful Buddha image installed inside.

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Temple of the Tooth Relic, as well as surrounding it and related shrines, is highly recommended for visiting during your trip through the upland part of Sri Lanka, as well as during your visit to Kandy and Peradeniya.
Visiting the temple is also part of some travel packages by Lankarus.
Please contact your Lankarus manager to plan your route with visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic included.


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