Temple Of The Tooth

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Temple Of The Tooth


The well-known 16th century Temple of the Tooth, also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, is located in the city of Kandy. It is strongly believed that the temple houses the upper canine tooth of Lord Buddha. The Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha in the Kandy Temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists to the sacred city of Kandy. The placement of Lord Buddha’s tooth in the temple makes it one of the most sacred shrines in Sri Lanka. Today the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

The exteriors of the temple are plainly done up whereas the interiors are richly carved and decorated with inlaid woods, ivory, and lacquer. The temple complex is built with white stone wall and is intricately carved with marble stones. The relic of the tooth is carefully hidden in an inner shrine protected by two large elephant tusks. The tooth rests on a throne which is made up of solid gold lotus flower and is enclosed in jeweled caskets.

The Temple of the Tooth is joined to the Pattiripuwa (Octagon) tower (housing a collection of manuscripts) and the King’s Palace is also situated in the ground of the temple.

The tooth relic of Lord Buddha is removed from its shrine only once a year and it is only done during the Esala Perahera. The event of Esala Perahera is a 10-day procession of dancers and drummers, dignitaries, and richly decorated elephants. The festival only takes place during the lunar month of Esala – July/August and is a spectacle worth seeing in Kandy. During festivals and special events comes a time of celebration and the whole temple complex is lit up with candles.

A large number of devotees, monks, and temple musicians come to the Kandy Temple to offer flowers, music and prayers and to pay their reverence to the Lord Buddha.

Best time to visit

The best time to come to the city is from March through the middle of May. The month of June, July, December and January should be avoided as the weather is rough and unstable during these months.


The ten day event at the Temple of Tooth- Esala Perahera is a spectacle worth seeing in Kandy.


The prayers start at 7:00 am in the morning. So visit the temple early in the morning.

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