If you only have time for one attraction in Kandy, let this be it. Now, you’re probably wondering, why is it called the Temple of the Tooth? Well, it’s because Buddha’s tooth relic lives here and is considered the most important in Sri Lanka.
The relic has had many homes on this island and has played an important role in politics as it’s rumoured that he who holds the relic, governs the country.
Pilgrims gather every morning in the temple to pray and bring offerings of flowers and it’s a beautiful sight to behold. Frangipani, lotus and jasmine flowers are placed in tribute to the relic.
I would highly recommend buying an offering if you want to get up close to see the tooth. Buy an offering in the temple itself, not from the hawkers outside as the ones in the temple are cheaper and fresher. It should be around 150-200 rupees.
One thing you also cannot miss is the opening ceremony here of the gate to the inner chamber called Tevava. The temple officially opens from 5.30am until 8pm but here’s a schedule for the ceremonies from their official website;
The Tevava is a fantastic affair of drums, colour and music and it really builds up the suspense of joining in line with the locals to catch a glimpse of the tooth.
Photography is not allowed in the inner line (the line closest to the tooth) but you can take photographs just behind it with the floral offerings. Even though I was in the inner line with my offering, I could hardly see the tooth when I reached the window.
I just saw the overwhelming glisten from the golden casing around it. You will be hurried along pretty fast, so it’s all a bit of a blur!
Top tip: Ladies, you will need to cover up your legs and shoulders to go inside, so make sure you bring a shawl and dress appropriately. This also goes for men wearing shorts. There are some hawkers that are outside the complex selling shawls and longyi’s (long wrap around for men) but they are a rip off. They also do a rental but that sounded gross to me as it’s so hot, you’re bound to be wearing a sweaty scarf. Make sure you haggle hard.
Tickets are 1500 rupees for foreigners and 750 rupees for SAARC countries.