Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), Sri Lanka
Kandy is a countryside city located in the central region of Sri Lanka. Less commonly known as Maha Nuvara, its Sinhalese name, Kandy is the 2nd busiest city in Sri Lanka, with 1st being Colombo. The city lies on top of hills (unfortunately it doesn't have the cooling temperature like Nuwara Eliya) and is home to tea plantations and the world famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa, one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community.
Plumeria and Purple Nil Manel flowers for praying
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a very holy place rich in religion and national history. Legend has it that the Sacred Tooth (which if you have not figured out by now, it belongs to Siddharta Gautama a.k.a. Buddha) is safeguarded by the monarchs and over time it became a symbol that 'whoever has the tooth, he shall be in power' (just like TVB Chinese dramas in the emperor era). According to Wiki, the precious Tooth relic is encased in seven caskets engraved with precious gemstones making it undoubtedly a national treasure.
Sri Dalada Maligawa
The temple was partially destroyed in the 1998 bomb blast attack when Sri Lanka was still in the midst of a civil war with the LTTE (Tamil Tigers). However, the architecturals has since been restored. Legend has it again that the Tooth is so powerful that the people will take it out when they face draught and there will be rain pour soon after.
Cooling holy water
The sacred tooth is kept behind the gold doors
One can read the story of the Tooth Relic presented in the form of paintings and English and Sinhalese captions
Rajah, the world's only stuffed elephant
There is an admission fee for foreigners at Rs. 1,000 (RM28) which also comes along with a mini CD that (I have yet to check out what's in it) but I would suspect some pictures, and descriptions of the temple lah. One has to go in the temple barefooted as well. Photos are allowed. Make sure you put Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic on your visit list the next time you're in Kandy!
After all, you've not been to Kandy if you've not seen the temple!