Idea #369 – Visiting the temple of the relic of the tooth of Kandy in Sri Lanka
Kandy, the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, is famous for its palatial complex which shelters the Temple of the Tooth, or Sri Dalada Maligawa. After Parinirvana and cremation of Gautama Bouddha to Kushinagar, the tooth found in its ashes, considered as a relic, was kept in Kalinga and transported in secret in Ceylon by princess Hemamali and its husband prince Dantha, on the orders of its father king Guhasiva.
The guarding of the relic becomes then of the responsibility of the monarch, and eventually symbolizes the royal legitimacy. Over the centuries, the sovereigns systematically built a temple to welcome the relic, near their residence, whether it is during the kingdoms of Anuradhapura (377 BC. J.C.), of Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya (1220-1345); having been hidden in a grindstone during Dharmapala de Kotte’s reign, convert in the Catholicism (1551-1597), the relic is finally deposited to Kandy. The temple knows afterward several vicissitudes, but will be restored every time.
The at present visible temple was built by Vira Narendra Sinha in the first quarter of the XVIIIth century. Both levels of the sanctuary are known under the names of ” Palle malaya ” (first floor) and ” Udu malaya ” ( upper floor); they are overhung by a golden roof built in 1987. Doors are decorated with sculptured ivory and the relic, deposited in a chamber, is sheltered in seven golden caskets overlaid with precious stones, in the shape of stupa. The monks of both chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya have a practice even every day of ceremonies in the internal room(chamber) of the temple. These rites take place at dawn, at noon and in the twilight.
On Wednesdays, the relic is symbolically washed with a preparation of perfumed water and nice-smelling flowers called “Nanumura Mangallaya”. This sacred, supposed water to possess virtues quacks, is then distributed among the assistants. The city is registered on the UNESCO world heritage, mainly because of the temple. Go, hoping that Buddah does not have a grudge against us…
Where is it ?
Temple of the tooth, Kandy, Province of Kandy, Sri Lanka