Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Kandy
If you have already read, the last week’s blog you surely will know that I reached Kandy by afternoon. And the quick nap for 2 hours which turned out to be 5 as I was tired due to the long journey to reach Kandy.
The last capital of the Sri Lankan Kings, Kandy is now a World Heritage Site. You won’t find a person who visited Sri Lanka, not talking about this sacred city. Located in the central province of the Island it is easily accessible to everyone, located around 110 km from Colombo.
After Waking Up
Not wasting much time I immediately, got freshened up and headed towards the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. It was a beautiful evening not that chilly, but I wore my hoodie as, I thought to return after my dinner in Kandy, Sri Lanka. To walk around the town, get a feel of the localities. Can tell you guys that even the walk towards the temple was awesome as you need to take a full round of the Kandy Lake.
Also, I saw some Komodo Dragons in the lake which later I confirmed that there were many in it.
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha
If you are in Kandy, you just can’t miss this place with so many people coming here on a regular basis. One advice you need to be fully dressed no shorts or skirts is allowed to enter the complex.
The interesting legend behind the tooth relic is that King Guhasiva instructed Princess Hemamali and her husband to smuggle the tooth from Buddha during his Parinirvana. Which is showcased for everyone after the prayers in evening. You don’t get to see the relic, except the golden casket covering it in the shape of the flower.
The relic has also played an active role in the governance of the country. As it was believed that whoever held it, also had the control of Sri Lanka. The temple was built in the honour of the sacred tooth relic by the Kandyan Kings between 1687 to 1707.
My Visit to The Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic
After taking my entrance ticket using an EVM(Electronic Vending Machine). The first time, I realized the cost you need to pay for being a tourist in a foreign country. The tickets were priced at 1500 Sri Lankan Rupee for foreigners, but if you belong to a SAARC Nation you can get the ticket for 1000 LKR. And India is also a SAARC Nation so I had to pay for the other ticket.
I immediately headed over to the entrance as it was already getting dark. And the prayers were about to start and everyone would be given a chance to have a look at the legendary tooth relic. But as I entered the complex, I was amazed by the beautiful architecture. The entire complex is designed in the classical Kandyan architecture, with the peaked tiled roofs and white walls with large windows.
Entering the Temple
The first corridor you enter has paintings of worshippers entering the place. After which you will see a gate guarded with tusks of elephant all around it. And people walking towards the main shrine to form the queue as the prayers were started. With the door open for everyone to take a look at the golden casket holding the Sacred Tooth Relic. You are not allowed to take pictures or video while you are in the queue to not disturb people there with their offerings and prayers. And smoothly, giving a chance to everyone there to have a look at the casket.
You will hear the drums at every corner of the temple, as the prayers start with other rituals carried out at the other shrine we saw while entering. The temple visit doesn’t end here as it closes at 8 PM and I had the time to walk around. There are many other shrines too, in the complex. Also, as you walk towards the right of the temple there is a candle room with 100s of candles and incense sticks lit there giving it a mesmerizing feel to the place.
I think the best time to visit Kandy, would be during the Esala Perahera procession. A 10-day festival where the relic casket is paraded around on a male elephant. It is one of the largest Buddhist festivals in the world and the most important in Sri Lanka. So, if you are in Sri Lanka during that time, it would be a wonderful memory for you.
After my visit to the temple was over, I just wandered around the town to get some dinner. And got to try the Egg Kottu, as suggested at one of the restaurants which is also a famous dish in South India. Called as Kotthu here in India, but has a minor different name in Sri Lanka. And that was the end of my first day at Sri Lanka, there is more to visit in Kandy like the Ceylon Tea Museum and White Buddha. But next week, there is something unique to share with you guys a beautiful place I visited after Kandy so stay tuned. Till then, love you guys.