The temple of the sacred tooth relic is a world-renowned place of worship. It is here that Lord Buddha enshrines the left canine tooth. The temple which is venerated by thousands of local and foreign devotees and tourists daily was named a world heritage by UNESCO in 1988. Buddhist Tooth Relic Temple which carries a lot of value to Buddhists all over the world also has immense cultural value. The architecture is unique. Kandy and architectural style with a combination of the unique style used to build Dalada Mandira, the shrines which housed the sacred tooth relic previously in other kingdoms.
The sacred tooth relic temple is built in the city of Kandy, near the ancient royal and ivory. The relic has played an important role in local politics. It is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country
Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. It is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple. The sacred city of Kandy is the final location of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha.
The sacred relic was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and Prince Dantha from the city of Kalinga in ancient India during the reign of king Kirthi Sri Megavannan, Kithsiri Mewan 301-328
It became a symbol of Sri Lankan kings and was preciously guarded in a special shrine built within the precincts of the royal palace wherever the capital was located. The ruins of such edifices remain in the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Kurunegala, and Gampola.
While in Kandy the last kingdom the temple of the sacred tooth relic continues to be the greatest shrine to receive the utmost veneration of the Buddhist world
The first Dalada Madura in Kandy which housed the sacred tooth relic was built by king Wimaladarmasooriya the first during his reign from the year 1592-1604. History reveals that this was destroyed by the Portuguese during their invasions. The second temple was built in the same location by king Rajasinghe ii during his reign from 1635 to 1687 which was burnt by the Dutch.
The Dalada history says in the year 1687 king Wimaladarmasooriya ii built a three-story Dalada madhura and performed Dalada rituals with great devotion but with time the building was decayed and destroyed. Later his son king Sri Weera Parakrama Narendrasinghe who reigned from 1707 to 1739 built the two-story Dalada Madhura which one can see today.
The south Indian kings who ruled the country from Senkadagala renovated and protected the shrine which was built by king Narendrasinghe. The Buddhist Tooth Relic Temple was finally renovated and beautified by king Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe to its present appearance
Paththirupawa or the octagonal pavilion was constructed by king Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe who reigned from the year 1798 to 1815.
Protecting the sacred tooth relic and conducting religious rituals without a break is being carried out to the present day under the strict surveillance of the three chief custodians of the tooth relic. The most venerable Mahanayaka theroes of Malwatthe and Asgiriya chapters and the lay custodian the Diyawadana Nillamey
Al-wat and Asgarya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily at dawn at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays, there is a symbolic bathing of the sacred relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers. It called Nanumura Mangalya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.
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