The Temple of the Tooth is also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa. It’s a beautiful Buddhist temple in the heart of Kandy. Inside the temple lies the legendary tooth relic of Buddha and the temple has huge religious fame as one of Buddhism’s most important shrines. It’s an incredible experience to see the several golden boxes, which are covered in jewels, inside which the tooth relic lies. The temple and its beautiful interior are worth a visit when in Kandy and definitely a must-do when in Sri Lanka.
The history of the Temple of the Tooth
The Temple of the Tooth was originally built by the kings of Kandy in the 18th century. It was built to keep Buddha’s tooth relic safe. The history of the tooth relic is long and complicated. Therefore, the relic has been in a lot of places. For a time, it was decided that the monarch who oversaw keeping the tooth relic safe should also be the king of the country. That meant that whoever had the tooth relic was crowned king. Over the years, the custodianship of the tooth relic came to symbolize the right to rule Sri Lanka. Therefore, the Temple of the Tooth was built to prevent this. The tooth relic was placed in the golden casket in the temple.
Everything you need to know for a visit to the Temple of the Tooth
Before you visit the Temple of the Tooth there are some things, which are good to know. Below you can read about everything you need to know before visiting the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.
The Temple of the Tooth is about an 8-minute walk from Kandy city center. You can enter the temple at two places. There is an entrance from the Kandy Jaffna Highway. This entrance is the most crowded but also the one we would recommend you use to get the most out of your visit. The other entrance is around Kandy Lake. This one is found right before the road branches off to some bars and restaurants.
Everyone can visit the Temple of the Tooth – also tourists. The temple is open from 5:30 to 20:00 every day. And the time for the services is 5:30 to 7:30, 9:30 to 11:30, and 18:30 to 20:00.
On Wednesdays, you can experience symbolic bathing of the sacred relic. This water is holy and is believed to contain healing powers.
The entrance fee for the Temple of the Tooth is 1500 LKR for visitors from SAARC countries and 1000 LKR for visitors from any other country.
It’s possible to buy your ticket to the Temple of the Tooth at various websites as well as at automatic ticket vending machines at the entrance of the temple.
It’s possible to buy a guide at the temple, but you don’t need a guide to enter the building. Some guides say otherwise. But remember if you don’t want to buy a guide you are not required to.
Even though the Temple of the Tooth is a very famous tourist attraction there are some dress codes, which you are required to follow when visiting the temple.
You are required to cover your shoulders and knees. This means that low cut or sleeveless clothing, as well as shorts and miniskirts, aren’t allowed. Hijab, niqab, and burka are not allowed as well. And lastly, you are not allowed to wear hats and shoes.
Regarding the shoes, you are required to remove your footwear before entering the temple. These will be stored outside the temple and handed back to you after your visit. A good tip is to bring socks because the tiles in the area inside and surrounding the temple tend to be hot from the sunlight.
Best time to visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
The best time to visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy depends on your preferences. If you want to avoid bigger crowds you should plan an early-morning visit to the temple. Our favorite time to visit the temple was around sunset. The light is magical at this time of the day and reflects beautifully on the temple.
If possible you could combine your visit at the Temple of the Tooth around sunset with a walk around Kandy Lake. As the light is very beautiful and it’s a perfect way to end the day.