Kandy protected by UNESCO

Kandy the hill capital is another “World Heritage Site”. It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “Dalada Maligawa” – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (“Maha Wasala”), “Palle Wasala”- where the Queens stayed-now used for the National Museum, “Meda Wasala” where other close relatives lived, Audience Hall, Natha Devala and Vishnu Devala are situated close by. The Bathing Pavilion (“Ulpenge”) is by the Lake and in the Center of the lake is the Island called “Kiri samudraya” (Milk white ocean) used by the kings as the summerhouse. Today it is the center of Buddhism, Arts, Crafts, Dancing, Music and Culture.

SRI DALADA MALIGAWA – THE TEMPLE OF THE SACRED TOOTH RELIC

The Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex, which houses a relic of Buddha, a tooth, which is venerated by Buddhists. The relic has played an important role in the local politics since ancient times; it’s believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country, which caused the ancient kings to protect it with great effort. Kandy was the capital of the Sinhalese kings. Kings from 1592 to 1815, fortified the terrain of the mountains and made difficult to approach Kandy. The city is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, in part due to the temple. Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily ritual worship in the inner chamber of the temple, in annual rotation. They conduct these services three times a day: at dawn, at noon and in the evening. On Wednesdays, there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and flagrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.

KANDY ESALA PERAHERA

The Kandy Esala Perahera is an annual event that held in the mid-summer nights during the months of July / August every year for 10 days ending with the day perahera with the Water-cutting ceremony held at Getembe near Peradeniya on the last day. This gorgeous cultural pageant has history, religion and a nation’s culture mingled in it. This traditional rehearsal of Kandy’s past glory carries a spiritual message too and it shows the harmonious blending of Buddhism and Hinduism. For a long time a traditional procession was held in honor of the four Hindu Gods, Natha, Vishnu, Skanda and Pattini and during the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe The Procession of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic was also added and prominence was given to it by leading the Devala processions. This colorful Kandy Perahera consists of a “Kap” Planting Ceremony (planting the holy stick), followed by 5 days of Kumbal Perahera increasing the splendor by changing the distance and routes, increasing the number of Dancers, Drummers, Elephants every day and succeeded by the Randoli Perahera which will increase its splendor daily and on the last 3 day more than 100 elephants will take part in the procession. On the last day, the Perahera held during the Day ending up with the visit to Getembe near Peradeniya where Water Cutting Ceremony will take place. The chiefs in silver and gold ceremonial dress with world famed Kandyan dancers and drummers are notable attractions. However, the highlight of the procession is the richly caparisoned Maligawa Tusker. During the perahera set against the background of a starry tropic night, the ancient city of Kandy echoes and re-echoes, as it certainly did centuries ago, to the tunes of massed drums and flutes, the cracking of whips and the clang of elephants’ bells while the solemn cheers of worship from the enthusiastic spectators are enchanting indeed.

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