Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy – UNESCO World Heritage Site


Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy – UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Category: World Heritage Sites
  • Distance From Colombo‎: 123 km
  • Established: 1357–1374 AD
  • District: Kandy
  • Drive Time: 3 h 40 m
  • Location: Central Province
  • Availability: All Year
  • Txp: Van, Car, Jeep, Bus
  • Area: 1,940 km²
  • Best Time To Visit: December to April
  • Elevation: 500 m above sea level
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
About Kandy

Here you can visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, located in the royal palace complex which houses the sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an essential role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Moreover, Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site. So, 7 km from Kandy is the village of Amunugama, famous for its murals on the wall separating the vestibule from the inner chamber The Royal Palace of Kandy And on the stories portrayed on the natural rock ceiling.

Also, 12 km from Lankatilake Viharya, built on the top of a rock called Panhalgala, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding hills, also the rice fields and the variegated vegetation that surrounds it. Then The Embekke Devale sanctuary is located in the village of Embekke, about 13 km from Kandy, and is undoubtedly the most beautiful living example of wooden architecture and also art in Sri Lanka due to the innumerable elaborate sculptures on beams, beams, columns, shelves , doors, doors and windows Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Viharaya, built on a rock at the village of Gadaladeniya on the border of Udunuwara and Yatinuwara, is a famous village that produces metalwork ornaments typical of the island.

Good to know
August is considered to be a critical month for tourist arrivals because more tourists visit the world-famous Kandy Perahera. So, Over 200,000 tourists visited Sri Lanka in August 2018
Respect for the Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka
Temple Etiquette

Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of the majority of Sri Lanka practised by 70% of Sri Lanka’s population. Moreover, Theravada Buddhism and religion have long influenced culture is particularly strong in the southern and also central regions of the country. Before Visit, find out about these practical label tips.

Never touch or pat the top of a Buddhist monk’s head, including small children in temples. This seen as disrespectful.

Don’t take selfies with a statue of a Buddha.

Also, don’t turn your back on any figure of the Buddha.

Don’t share appropriate clothes when you are going to religious sites or temples.

Keep in mind that on full moon days, Poya (monthly) is not possible to serve or sell alcohol. Even in these days, no meat is sold in the markets.

If you have Buddha tattoos on your body, you must take care to hide them because it is considered disrespectful to have a Buddha image on your body.

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Kandy Highlights
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Temple of the Sacred Tooth

Buddhist Temple

Just north of the lake is this temple with a golden roof, which houses what is considered to be the most precious Buddhist relic of Sri Lanka: a tooth of the Buddha. During the puja (offerings or prayers), the closely guarded room that houses the tooth is open to the faithful and tourists. Still, you will not be able to see the relic because it is kept inside a gold casket in the shape of a Dagoba (reliquary ), which in turn contains a series of six smaller and smaller chests, up to the tooth. 

In addition to the main shrine, the complex houses many other temples and museums. Some independent guides will offer to accompany you to the temple complex for around Rs 600, while free audio guides are available at the ticket office. An elevator facilitates entry for disabled visitors. The complex in which the relic is preserved recalls a constant flow of the faithful and tourists: backpackers, groups of Chinese and Thai monks compete for space. For a visit wear clothes that cover legs and shoulders and take off your shoes.

What to See and Do in Dambulla
Closest landmarks
  • Udawattakele Forest Reserve
  • Spice garden
  • Kandy Gems Museum
  • Kaludiya Pokuna Aranya Temple
  • Kandalama Reservoir
  • Alut Maligawa
  • Asgiriya Maha Vihara
  • Audience Hall
  • Kandy Garrison Cemetery
  • Kandy Lake
  • Kataragama Devale
  • Malwatte Maha Vihara
  • Natha Devale
  • National Museum
  • Pattini Devale
  • Rajah Tusker Hall
  • Sri Dalada Museum
  • St Paul's Church
  • Vishnu Devale
  • World Buddhism Museum

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Buddhism in Sri Lanka
A Short History:

  • There are around 6,000 Buddhist monasteries on Sri Lankawith approximately 15,000 monks.
  • Sri Lanka was ruled by 181 monarchs from the Anuradhapura to Kandy periods.
  • Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in 236 b.e. (cir. 250 BCE)
  • Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is the oldest tree in the world, and it planted in 249 (2268 years ago) BC
  • Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle includes three major sites that form a triangle. Anuradhapura to the north, Polonnaruwa to the east and Kandy to the south-west. Inside the triangle, there are other places of interest; Mihintale, Ritigala and Dambulla.

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Sri Lanka's Best Cultural Sites

Spiritual Journeys To Sri Lanka

Wonderful 15-day spiritual tour in Sri Lanka, bursting with cultural richness, many stunning historical landscapes and fabulous sacred sites with intriguing history. Commencing from Negombo, you will explore the former capital cities and discover more than 9 amazing ancient monuments and temples, such as: The Sacred City of Anuradhapura (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Sigiriya rock fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the incredible stone cave temple in Dambulla, the Ancient Kingdom of Yapahuwa, Arankele Ancient Monastery and the Mysterious Forest Monastery of Ritigala.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of Buddhism is practised in Sri Lanka?

What type of Buddhism is practised in Sri Lanka? Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of Sri Lanka, with about 70% of the country’s population as followers.

How many Buddhist temples and monks are there in Sri Lanka?

There are around 6,000 Buddhist monasteries on Sri Lanka with approximately 15,000 monks.

Did Buddha visit Sri Lanka?

The Siddhartha Gautama’s (Buddha) first visit was in the ninth month after Buddhahood on Duruthu (January) Full Moon Day.(1 B.E. or 528 B.C.)

How did Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka?

How did Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka?
Buddhism came to Sri Lanka in the third century BCE. After the Third Buddhist council by Arhanthà Mahinda Thero, son of Emperor Ashoka, during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura.

How old is the Buddhist religion?

The religion is 2,500 years old and is followed by 350 million Buddhists worldwide.

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