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Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa), Kandy

Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) Overview

Temple of the Tooth, also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, is the site where Sri Lanka’s most important relic- the tooth of Buddha- has been kept. Situated in the royal palace complex of Kandy city, the place is visited by Buddhist pilgrims in large numbers throughout the year. This temple is what has mainly the earned the city its World Heritage Site status.

History
After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the sacred tooth preserved in Kalinga was smuggled to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamali and her husband, as instructed by her father. Responsibility to safeguard the relic was on the monarch’s shoulders and thus for centuries, its custodianship symbolized the right to rule. During the rule of Vimaladharmasuriya I, the tooth was hidden in Delgamuwa Vihara in Sabaragamuwa province. He brought it back from there and constructed the present-day temple to safeguard it.

The Tooth Relic
Is not shown to anybody. It has been kept inside a gold casket, shaped like a stupa, which contains six other caskets of a decreasing size. The room is heavily guarded and visitors and devotees are allowed entry only during the prayer time.

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