Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Sri Dalada Maligawa or The Temple of the Tooth

Sri Dalada Maligawa or The Temple of the Tooth is located in the city of kandy, Sri Lanka. The Sacred Tooth Relic of The Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.

The Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and Prince Dantha. Further, The Sacred Tooth Relic is becoming the leading national and religious symbol of the Buddhist community in Sri Lanka. The Temple of Tooth was first built by the king of Palamu Wimaladharmasuriya. Moreover, every king who ruled the country had to work more hard to protect the sacred Tooth Relic. This is because they kept the Tooth Relic in under their hands. The Tooth Relic is signifying him as a king and to symbolize the kingdom.
There are four temples in the vicinity of the Dalada Maligawa. These are called in Sinhala “Sathara Maha Dewala.”These are Natha Devalaya, Vishnu Devalaya, Kataragama Devalaya and Paththini Devalaya.
As well as four ceremonies were held at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. These are Aluth aurudu Mangalya (the New Year Festival), Esala Mangalya (the Esala Festival), Karthika Mangalya and Aluth Sahal Mangalya (The New rice festival).

The sacred tooth relic oblation is performed daily by the monks of the Malwathu and Asgiri monasteries. These are held three times a day. (Early, Lunch, and Evening). Also, on Wednesdays, the Nanumura Feast is held as a special feast. The tooth relic is symbolically bathing by medicinal water. 

The Esala Mangalya is the most important part of these feasts. It is due to the Sri Dalada Perahera. The Esala Perahera was started in the Anuradhapura era, and it has been done in the same manner during the colonial era. This procession is conducted by giving priority to past traditions. The special feature of the Esala Perahera is the participation of the elephants. Among the elephants in the Dalada Maligawa are Sinha Raja, Ekadanthaya, Indi Raja, Sumana, and Vijaya Raja. There are many local cultural dances in the Dalada Perahera. The procession begins with planting caps according to the 'Esala Pura Poya'.

Kandy Esala Perahera is also known as The Festival of the Tooth. The Esala Perahera is a grand festival celebrated with elegant costumes and is held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. In this year Kandy Esala  perahera 2018 will begin on Wednesday, July 18 and ends on Saturday, July 28.
This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. The procession consists of many traditional traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances. The festival ends with the traditional diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony which is held at the Mahaweli River at GetambeKandy.

The three storey museum of the Dalada Maligawa is also a special place. The museum is also a place of concern for local and foreign tourists. Historical items, Buddha statues, precious stones, traditional up country jewelery and many other things have been found in this museum.

In fact this is a national treasure. In 1998 UNESCO named the Tooth Relic Temple and declared the holy city Kandy as a World Heritage site.

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