Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Tooth, is one of the landmark sites in the city of Kandy. It is located in the heart of Kandy town surrounded by the lake and the commercial district. The Maligawa was once the royal palace inhabited by the king and his consorts, but after the demise of the Kandy Kingdom, the palace was transformed into a Buddhist temple that holds Buddha’s tooth.
The sacred tooth relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamali and Prince Dantha, her husband. The relic was initially enshrined at the Isurumuniya Temple in Anuradhapura, which was called Meghagiri Vihara back then.
Temple of the Tooth Relic consists of three main buildings. They are the Vedahiti Maligaya, Pattirippuwa and Aluth Maligawa. Temple of the Tooth in Kandy was first built by King Vimaladharmasooriya I (1593 – 1603 A.D.) but those structures built by him are not found any more. Between 1593 – 1603 A.D King Vimaladharmasooriya II constructed a three-storied building to house the Sacred Tooth Relic. During the reign of King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, (1798 – 1815 A.D) the front section with the Pattirippuwa (Octagon) was built by Devendra Moolacarya, the Architect. The king is supposed to have addressed the people from this building.
It is a must-visit location for all tourists. Visitors can catch a glimpse of Buddhist rituals, explore the museum that includes several ancient artefacts, and pay your tribute to the tooth relic at one of the Buddhist ceremonies held at the premises. The architectural splendour and the historical importance of the Dalada Maligawa are sure to amaze you. Points of interest are the Aluth Maligawa, Audience Hall and the World Buddhism Museum.