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The sacred Temple of the Tooth is one of the identities of Sri Lanka. Built in 1595 by the Kandyan King Vimaladharmasuriya I, the Temple of the Tooth houses and protects the Tooth Relic of Gautama Buddha. From the ancient times Sri Lanka’s countrymen believed that whoever possessed the Tooth Relic had the right and power to rule the Island, and it has been one of the highest duties of the ruler to protect and honor the Tooth Relic. The Tooth Relic reside under the golden roof complex within the temple of the tooth. It is a must visit place in Sri Lanka to understand the culture, and religion of the country.
The Temple of the Tooth is heavily guarded. During the poojah’s the chamber opens for devotees, and reveles the stupa shaped golden casket where the relic is kept inside. The casket you see houses six smaller caskets one within the other. You can offer flowers to the relic while you visit.
On the instruction of her father King Guhasiva Princess Hemamali and her Husband Prince Dantha brought The Tooth Relic to Sri Lanka, in the early 3rd century and handed it over to the Sri Lankan King Sirimeghavanna of Anuradhapura. From there onwards it has been on the main duties of the monarch to protect and honor the Tooth Relic. Under different Kings of Sri Lanka the Tooth Relic was kept safe in various magnificent temples in different towns, and was brought to Kandy.
Sadly the temple underwent two major bombings in 1989 and 1998 by a political party called JVP and the LTTE terrosists. However the temple survived these unfortunate incidents.
The temple opens from 5:30AM to 8:00 PM.
Phoojah times are 5:30AM to 6:45AM, 9:30AM to 11:00AM and 6:30AM to 8:00PM.
Note that you will have to enter the temple barefooted and appropriate clothing must be worn, white is most preferable.