|The Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha which is an object of great veneration by Buddhist is housed at the Dalada Maligawa, Kandy in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Buddhist that the blessing of the Sacred Tooth Relic has protected this country for the past 2500 years. The relic was shifted to wherever the kingdoms shifted, from Anuradhapura,Polonnaruwa,Dambadeniya,Yapahuwa,Kurunegala,Kotte,Gampola and finally to kandy with much reverence.
The Sacred Tooth, which is the Buddah’s left canine was brought here during the reign of king Kithsiri Meghavanna(301-328 B.C) by Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala from the Kingdom of Kalinga, India .Since then it was preciously protected and guarded inside a special shrine in the royal palace and honored as the palladium of kings .the possessor of the relic. it was believed ,had the right to rule the country.
The religious services in connection with it were conducted without any break even after the signing of the Kandyan Convention in 1815 , and it is being continued under the leadership of its three chief custodians, the Most Venerable Mahanayakes of the two Chapters of Malwatta and Asgiriya, and the Diyawadana Nilame in whose charge it has been placed.
The Sacred Tooth Relic ,the palladium of king was protected and worshipped by the Sinhalese kings of yore as well as by the Sinhalese Buddhists masses. Much ritual came to be centered around its worship. It was also believed that the time these services were neglected or less taken care, of the kingdom and the people would go though difficult times.
The Sri Dalada Maligawa(The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic).which today houses the tooth relic is recognized as a world heritage site and is visited by Buddhists the world heritage site and is visited by Buddhists the world over, A visit to the Maligawa when various services are being conducted with regularly during the year may give you a clear idea of how Buddhists are so piously devoted towards the Sacred Tooth Relic.
The Museum of the Maligawa
The Museum of the Dalada Maligawa is located in the second and third floors of the Aluth Maligawa. These museums were established by the Diyawadana Nilame,Nissanka Wijerathne,(1974-1985 A.D ).Many articles and books which describe the history of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the Maligawa are housed here .many valuable articles offered to the Maligawa are displayed here. All the articles are labeled in sinhala and English.
Around the Maligawa.
The Mahawasala(The Royal Palace)
The Royal Palace is located on the north of the Maligawa. This is an Archaeological Museum.
The Mueum of Raja (Museum of the Maligawa Elephant)
This is located in between the Maligawa and the Royal Palace. The replica of the “Raja” elephant has been erected by using its skin.This elephant had served the Maligawa for over 50 years.
Mangul Maduwa(The Royal Court)
The Maghl Maduwa or Royal Audience Hall is situated between the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth .This structure which consists of a heavy timber columns is said to have been designed by the Royal Architect Devendra Mulacharya during the reign of king Rajadhi Rajasingha and completed by his successor Sri Wickrama Rajasinha.
Ulpenge(The Bathing House)
The “Ulpenge” reset in the Kandy lake which had been built during the reign of king Sri Wickrema Rajasinghr in 1806 as a bathing chamber for queens. It is presently occupied by the security forces.
Biso Maligawa and Palle Vahala(Queens Palace)
These two buildings are on the east of the Maligawa. The National Museum of Kandy is located in the palle vahala. This building had been used by the queens of the king.
Orabi Pasha Museum
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens(The Royal Botanic Garden)