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Temple of the Tooth

Nestled in a ring of mountain ranges, the city of Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhala Monarchy.  This city with a unique and distinctive heritage and culture boasts a history that dates back to five centuries before the dawn of the Common Era.  Breathtaking Kandy, with its misty mountains, verdant slopes and cityscapes, is enveloped by a congenial climate throughout the year.

The prestigious Temple of the Tooth, located in the heart of Kandy houses the left canine tooth of Lord Buddha. The legend speaks of a Hindustani Princess from the Kalinga kingdom named Hemamali, who along with her husband, smuggled the tooth relic from India and brought it to this island as it was about to be destroyed by the rulers of the surrounding kingdoms during the 4th century.  Today this relic is preserved in a two-story inner shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks.  It rests on a solid gold lotus flower, encased in jewelled caskets that sit on a throne.

The Temple is a stunning 17th-century ziggurat decorated with inlaid woods, ivory and lacquer, built under the Kandyan kings of the era.   As Buddhism was interwoven with culture and heritage strongly during this period, the Tooth Relic and its home were given much prominence.   To this day pious pilgrims clad in white bearing lotus blossoms and frangipani, paying homage to this temple is a common sight.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bereau

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