Pristine white against the sky by day, and glittering with a thousand lights at night this unique landmark of the hill capital Kandy, exudes serenity. Revered by pilgrims from near and far, the Temple of the Tooth – also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, is a sacred Buddhist shrine housing a tooth relic of Lord Buddha and located in the ancient royal palace complex of the last Kandyan king. The tooth relic is encased in seven gold caskets shaped in the form of a Stupa; each encrusted with precious gems. The relic played a vital role in Sri Lanka’s history as it was believed that the governance of the land belonged to whoever held it – and indeed Kandy was the very last kingdom, before the entire island succumbed to colonial rule. The worship and ceremonies involve much pageantry – age old customs observed carefully to this day.

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