The Secret History Of The Temple Of The Tooth In Kandy & Many Features of Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya

The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

History of Dalada Maligawa

The temple of the tooth is known as its famous name ‘Daladha Maligawa’. It is in Kandy located 116 kilometres from Colombo. Kandy remained the last independent capital of Sri Lanka until the reign of Sri Wikkrama Rajasinghe. Kandy is the final location of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. This sacred relic was brought to Sri Lanka by prince Diantha and Prince Hemamala from India. It was the period of King Kithsirimevan. From that day Sri Lanka rulers gave it to a special guard. The capital of Sri Lanka was changing many times in our history. At that every time this Sacred tooth was also put in the new capital.
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The sacred tooth was first brought to Kandy during the reign of Vimaladharmasooriya i. It was the 17th century. The first Dalada Medura in Kandy was built by king Vimaladharmasooriya. It was destroyed by the Portuguese. After sometimes later the second temple of the tooth was built in that same place by king Rajasinghe. It was also burnt by Dutch. The present temple of the tooth was built in the early 18th century by king Veera Narendrasinghe. It was extended and modified by subsequent kings. Thousands of devotees and visitors throng the shrine every day pay respects to the tooth.

The bhikkhus of the two particular chapters, which Malwthu and Asgiri chapters conducted daily worship for the temple of the tooth. It is usually done three times a day.

The Sacred tooth is kept in a two-story shrine. Later president R. Premadasa offered a golden canopy on the roof of Dalada Maligawa.  A replica of the tooth, together with its ornate and beautiful; caskets is displayed once a year during the Esala Perahera. The devotees all over the island come to visit the Perahera. Due to security concerns, the actual tooth is never brought out for the festival.


There is an octagonal building near the Sacred tooth, added during the period of king Sri Wikkrama Rajasinghe.  It is named Patthirippuwa. 

It was built in the year 1803. The royal architecture of Dewndra Mulacharya is credited with this new modern building.  Patthirippuwa was used by the king for recreational activities. Now it is a house for the collection of palm leaf manuscripts. It is like a small museum and a library.


There is a  museum near the Dalida Maligawa. We can visit some ancient items in that museum especially the Kandy period. Many Buddha images are kept in the museum. Most of the gifts from different countries. The museum displayed paintings flags, clothes, and instrument that used in the houses, and various event in the history of the tooth.

Magul Maduwa

Magul Maduwa is an audience hall where the Kandyan kings held their court. It was one of the most beautiful wooden carving Hall of the Kandyan period. It was built by the king Sri Rajadhi Rajasinghe in 1783. 

The hall was renovated in 1872. It was 58 feet long and 35.6 feet wide. There are wooden carving pillars that support the wooden roof.

Esala Perahera

Esala Perahea is the largest traditional annual celebration in Sri Lanka. It was held to commemorate the buddhas conception, his renunciation, and the first sermon. Esala Perahra is usually held in the month of July. It was a world-famous annual pageant.
In the 18th century at the time of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe, the four Devala Perahera, and Dalada Perahera were amalgamated. Now the Esala Peraher is a world-famous event. There are thousands of dancers, drummers, and more than a hundred elephants are included in the Perahera.  It held for 14 days in Kandy. At the end of the Perahera, the president of Sri Lanka gives gifts to the people that go on the Perahera.

Elephant Raja’s museum

There is a small museum near the Magul maduwa named raja’s museum. Raja was a Sri Lankan tusker elephant, that participated annual Esala Peraher in Kandy for around 50 years. He was the most celebrated elephant in Sri Lanka because he was the bearer of the Sacred casket in the Peraher for 37 years.

 Later Sri Lanka president J. R. Jayawardhane declared the elephant Raja as a national treasure. After the death Raja’s  protected body is in the museum near the Dalada Maligawa.

Kelaniya Rajamaha  Viharaya Everything You Need to Know

KelaniyaRajamaha  Viharaya is located in the city of Kelaniya 12 kilometres east of Colombo city. It is situated on the bank of the Kelaniya River and Gampaha District. Kelaniya is famous for being visited by the Buddha during his legendary trips to Sri Lanka.

It was the first and the final visit of the Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka. Historically Kelaniya is older than the great cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

There is a long history of the Kelaniya kingdom. According to the Mahavamsa, there was a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached in the Kelaniya Stupa. The Naga king Chulodara and Mahodara had trouble the possession of a gem-studded throne. At that period the Buddha came and settled it. After listened dhamma sermons by Buddha, the Naga king had offered the throne to Lord Buddha. After then king Maniakkitha constructed a stupa covering that throne.  

There was a historically important event of Kelaniya. Kelaniya was the provincial capital of Sri Lanka. At that period king Kelanithissa was the ruler of Kelaniya and they had to face a tsunami. Viharamahadevi, the daughter of king Kelanithissa saved the country.

The temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in the 16th century. After then it was rebuilt in the 18th century.  The temple was reconstructed by the patronage of King Keerthi Sri Raja Singha in 1769 AD. The original temple and the stupa were built in the 5th century BC.

The Stupa in Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya

The stupa is 90 feet in height and the shape of Danyakara. It is said that like a heap of grain. The stupa had been renovated by king Uttiya, Parakramabahu and Yatalathissa several times.

The Image House 

There are four sections of the shrine room. It is decorated with paintings of various periods. Some paintings seem Kandyan period and others are new period. But the Kelaniya is famous because of the painting of Soliyas Mendis.

The oldest paintings are founded Raja Pilima ge section. They are similar to the Kandyan period. King Maniakkitha with a sword in his hand was situated in Raja Pilima ge.  There are 7 Jathaka stories on the wall of this section. The main entrance is in this section.
  1. Oth Pilima ge
  2. Raja Pilima ge
  3. Aluth vihara ge
  4. Ran Pilima get

There is a seated Buddha image in the Ran Pilima ge. There is snow-crested Himalayan mountains background of the golden buddha statue. An important occasion of Sri Lanka history is painting on the side of the wall in this shrine room. They are by famous artist Soliyas Mendis.

New image house is famous for the paintings of Soliyas Mendis. When Kelanithissa ruling time, the sea level has risen and vast land areas. That episode has painted on a wall by Soliyas Mendis. It was a Tsunami. We know it after the tsunami on 24th December 2004.

The month of January every year, held Duruthu maha Perahera in this temple. Thousand of people in Sri Lanka comes to visit this famous event. There is a Devalaya call Vibishana on one side of the temple.  The statue of God Ganga is near the stupa and another side statue of Naga King.  An ancient variety of countries buddha statues are in the museum near the Bo Tree. 

Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya Location



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