The Temple of the Tooth is a very important cornerstone of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the world.
If you want to spend a holiday in Kandy staying at a hotel like Kings Pavilion, plan it somewhere in August. The Perahera is a 10-day festival of lights and colour that celebrates Buddha’s conception, renunciation and first sermon. There is dancing, stilt-walkers, fire lights and brightly dressed elephants. Looking for a hotel in Kandy around this time is very difficult so be sure to book ahead.
It is said that the Tooth of Buddha was sent to Sri Lanka in the 4th century through the king’s children Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala. The King of Anuradhapura who was handed the tooth enshrined it in the then kingdom and it was passed down from dynasty to dynasty across the ancient kingdoms until it was brought to Kandy.
The temple belongs to the royal complex and is part of a massive structure that houses the octagon, a golden canopy, the main entrance and the moat, the new palace, the old palace, the national museum of Kandy and the concubines’ quarters. It is quite a sight to see even today.