Kandy - Sri Lanka
Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth: A Spiritual and Cultural Gem
Kandy is a picturesque city located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. One of its most revered attractions is the Temple of the Tooth, also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa. Here's a closer look at Kandy and this sacred temple:
Kandy - The Cultural Heart of Sri Lanka
1. **Historical Significance:** Kandy served as the last capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kandy before it fell to British colonial rule in the 19th century. This historical significance is still evident in the city's architecture and traditions.
2. **Natural Beauty:** Nestled amidst lush green hills, Kandy boasts a stunning natural backdrop. The serene Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake) adds to the city's charm.
3. **Cultural Events:** Kandy is famous for its cultural festivals, most notably the Kandy Esala Perahera, a grand procession featuring traditional dancers, drummers, and adorned elephants. It's celebrated annually to honor the Sacred Tooth Relic.
The Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa)
1. **Spiritual Center:** The Temple of the Tooth is one of the holiest sites in Buddhism. It houses a sacred relic, a tooth believed to belong to Lord Buddha, making it a major pilgrimage destination for Buddhists from around the world.
2. **Architectural Beauty:** The temple itself is a masterpiece of Sri Lankan architecture, with intricate woodwork, golden roofs, and stunning murals that depict Buddhist stories.
3. **Pujas and Ceremonies:** Visitors can witness daily rituals and ceremonies, including pujas (offerings), which provide a glimpse into the religious devotion of the local community.
4. **Esala Perahera:** As part of the Kandy Esala Perahera, the Sacred Tooth Relic is paraded through the streets of Kandy in a grand procession. It's a spectacular event that attracts thousands of spectators.
- Modest attire is required when visiting the Temple of the Tooth. Shoulders and knees should be covered as a sign of respect.
- Removing shoes before entering the temple is customary.
- Photography restrictions may apply in certain areas of the temple.
**Best Time to Visit:**
Kandy is a year-round destination, but the period between July and August, during the Kandy Esala Perahera, is an especially vibrant and culturally rich time to visit.
Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth offer a unique blend of spirituality, history, and natural beauty that continues to captivate travelers and provide insight into Sri Lanka's cultural tapestry. It's a must-visit destination for those exploring the island's heritage.