Buddha tooth temple

Buddha tooth temple

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.
Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evening. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and flagrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.
The temple sustained damage from bombings at various times but was fully restored each time.
After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga and smuggled to the island by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha on the instructions of her father King Guhasiva.[1] They landed in the island in Lankapattana during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Meghavarna (301-328) and handed over the tooth relic. The king enshrined it Meghagiri Vihara (present day Isurumuniya) in Anuradhapura. Safeguard of the relic was a responsibility of the monarch, therefore over the years the custodianship of relic became to symbolize the right to rule. Therefore reigning monarchs built the tooth relic temples quite close to their royal residences, as was the case during the times of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa and Kurunegala kingdoms. During the era of Kingdom of Gampola the relic was housed in Niyamgampaya Vihara. It is reported in the messenger poems such as Hamsa, Gira, and Selalihini that the temple of tooth relic was situated within the city of Kotte when the kingdom was established there
During the reign of King Dharmapala, the relic kept hidden in Delgamuwa Vihara, Ratnapura in a grinding stone. It was brought to Kandy by Hiripitiye Diyawadana Rala and Devanagala Rathnalankara Thera. King Vimaladharmasuriya I built a two storey building to deposit the tooth relic and the building is now gone.[2] In 1603 when the Portuguese invaded Kandy, it was carried to Meda Mahanuwara in Dumbara. It was recovered in the time of Râjasimha II and it has been reported that he reinstate the original building or has built a new temple.[1] The present day temple of the tooth was built by Vira Narendra Sinha.[3] The octagonal Patthirippuwa and moat was added during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. Famous Kandyan architect Devandra Mulacharin is credited with building the Patthirippuwa. Originally it was used by the kings for recreational activities and later it was offered to the tooth relic. Now it is an oriental library. Although it was heavily damaged in the 1998 terrorist attack it has restored to its previous state.

More information here

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h

Sightseeings nearby
Tourist reviews about Buddha tooth temple

the most beautiful temple ever!
Heidi B [TA], , Negombo, Sri Lanka

I have visited the temple of the tooth several times. I love the atmosphere there, especially when they play the flute and drums. It is the most beautiful temple ever.

Great experience
Chaklei [TA], , Salalah, Oman

We went to the Temple on a Poya day (full moon holiday), it was packed with pilgrims but that was part of the experience. Very little information provided, apart from a free CD but that wasn't much use on the day.

It was okey place - nothing more.
Jerry T [TA], , Krakow, Poland

Really nice place to see, but in true nothing special. Especially that you are in queue to the tooth and it's behind the wall (glass) and then it's about 3 meters from wall to the tooth. You can only see it by a 2 sec. as other people are rushing you.

Good experience
Lauren K [TA], , Seoul, South Korea

Regardless of religion, it was worth a visit. Inside of the temple was beautiful, many local people came to worship, which was also a unique experience. Sacred spiritual place.
I was wearing shorts so I had to rent a salon to cover my legs. So do wear sth that can fully cover your legs. Buying flowers to temple is something that must do in Sri lankan culture.

Peaceful place
DPMMumbai [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

In the hustle bustle of Kandy City this is so serene place and a must visit. The architecture is good, this is a huge place.
There is plenty to see and also a Museum. The temple is well located in the centre of the Market you just cannot miss the ODEL store just outside the temple

Worth the trip to Kandi
Ambra_Cho... [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

I loved taking time out to see the sights in Kandi, and this was a highlight. Be prepared to cover up to be considerate of the importance of the site - longer length dresses/pants and sleeves is essential. We enjoyed driving around the entire grounds seeing from all angles and from the inside the history, architecture and importance to the locals was evident. Well worth the visit. The sun hitting the gold roof is quite amazing. Lots of local monkeys and squirrels too! We were there across easter in 2013.

Really interesting, busy and colourful
Kevin F [TA], , Nottingham

This is a full scale worKing temple and as a visitor you may feel slightly out of place or trespassing slightly. We went on a day the shrine was open so the place was crowded with queues of people with offerings. The inside though is a spectacle of lots of people, flowers and the temple officials.
Remember to wear appropriate clothing i.e. Cover shoulders and legs and be prepared to go barefoot inside. The floors are even so there is no problem with bare feet. We had a local guide ( recommend Dewmini Tours) which helps in negotiating your way round.
Outside the temple building there are grounds to walk round, a small museum and a Hindu shrine nearby.
Altogether an impressive experience to see what is a major cultural event locally. Definitely recommended.

Main Attraction
FamilyTra... [TA], , Muscat, Oman

Obviously one of the main sites. We were fortunate that it was low season so we could take our time. There is plenty to see, including the attached Museum. The are plenty of guides and guide book entries to give proper descriptions, but it is a must see if you are in the area.

lots of people
Bert H [TA], , Biddinghuizen

nice settting in the center of the town. Ceremony during the evening is well visited and hard to follow and understand. The mini DVD with your tickets explains it when you are at home. Nice setting, very photo-genetic

Very Interesting - Steeped in History
jcstich [TA], , Memphis, Tennessee

This holy Buddhist temple is said to contain a tooth of Buddha himself. It is beautifully kept up and rich with history. The tour guide was well versed in the temple and history surrounding it. He was very easy to understand, which is not always the case. We spent a couple of hours touring the temple and the grounds and came away with a better understanding of what Buddhism is all about.
If you are in the area, this is a definite must see.

Take time for this important religious site
Emma B [TA], , Brisbane, Australia

A beautiful site full of history. It's worth taking the time to appreciate the peace of the place and following the story of the tooth relic depicted around the inner walls of the temple.

Sacred place
Inna S [TA], , Novosibirsk, Russia

Special place for anyone who respects the sacred and powerful places of World's religions. The Museum is also very nice and peaceful. .

PastorVas... [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka

Try and visit around 6 pm .... you will see more and feel less troubled by the crowds. In the evening there is the alms-giving for the monks.

Interesting especially if you are Buddhist
nicknickx... [TA], , London, United Kingdom

Calm and peaceful with beautiful architecture. There is security on arrival. You have to take shoes off to enter. Elephant exhibit is not to everyone's liking but it is to honour a special elephant and has good intentions.

A Definite Must See
chiamay [TA], , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If you happen to be in Kandy you must stop by the Temple. Security is tight, and unfortunately for Hijabis you will have to take off your scarf if you want to enter. We had a Malay friend with us and she went to the museum instead :(

Entrance is 1000 rupees for foreigners, like most visit to the temple you will have to take off your shoes. The temple consist of several buildings, the main entrance leads you to the main prayer hall. The interior is very grand, with gilded lotus on the ceiling, brass door handles, and carvings on columns. It is a place of spirituality and locals come here to pray, you can't really see the tooth, just a casket. There is a newer hall within the compound at the back with a grander interior.

There is a timber pavillion with elaborate carvings just next to the temple that is worth checking out as well. We spent almost 2 hours here taking our time soaking in the elaborateness of the entire temple.

A very holy place
Andersons... [TA], , Kinver, West Midlands, UK

Which is one of the downsides for a non-Buddhist, I did feel a little as those we were gauping at what was for most of the local visitors a very spiritual moment. That said we were made welcome and the history of the tooth relic is fascinating. Try and combine your visit with one of the prayer times.

Exciting experience
585Petr [TA], , Eastbourne, United Kingdom

We visited the Temple as a part of your escorted tour, accompanied by our guide / driver. We arrived slightly before later morning worship, when devotees became to queue to go upstairs to see golden casket, where Buddha's tooth is supposed to be. We passed upper chamber shortly after the door were opened. In spite we are not Buddhist, we really enjoyed and shared the excitement with other people. I took a second tour, joined the left queue which allowed to see the casket even closer. There are many other parts of the Temple to visit. In summary, must to go place in Sri Lanka. Make sure that you will attend when the upper chamber will be opened.

heart of buddhism
mytravels... [TA], , Negombo, Sri Lanka

This is place greatest place around city of kandy..Remember , you can not go inside this temple without dressing properly

a wonderful expereince
Gemma H [TA], , London, United Kingdom

i would recommend a visit if travelling through kandy it was amazing we had to wait at the altar and went late in the evening we were able to pay respects by buying flowers and were able to give them to be laid at the resting place of the tooth relic.
the temple was amazing and as we entered we were given a mini DVD to take away about the temple

Norma W [TA], ,

We are so excited and thrilled to have a chance to see the traditional dance before we walked into the hall to view the 'tooth relic'. Another beautiful wooden shrine structure (number of pillars to form the structure) next to the tooth relic spot.

Fantastic experience
Ashrita K [TA], , Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

The discipline and faith of the Buddhists comes through when you enter the gates. Though the lines are long and you get but a few seconds in front of the altar, the temple itself is so beautiful!

Davancar [TA], , Keighley

we visited during the tooth ceremony. Lots of drum banging, trumpet tooting etc as priests bustled back and forth. Quite fascinating

A Must Do
Janice V [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

Great place to visit. You can take a local guide for 500 Sri Lankan rupees at the locations and get him to explain the history and importance of the location. Beautiful place on the lake.

Take a guide
Traveling... [TA], , Las Cruces, New Mexico

This is a very interesting place. You can only go 3x of the day: 530, 930 and 630. We were really lost though, because we did not use a guide. Wait until you get inside and when someone asks, use them. Unlike other places in SL, they are hard to find.

Sacred temple
Usha65 [TA], , Hyderabad, India

Religious as well as beautiful temple. Felt very sacred inside. Though it is crowded the inner side is beautiful with good paintings and structures.

Feel the ancient times on your skin
Meru53 [TA], , Hurghada, Egypt

We visited the Temple on our road trip around the country. This place is defo one of the highlights. As we entered the temple, some monks were playing traditional music which was so beautiful and touching. The place was really crowded, but the temple is in a very good condition. The museum part did not impressed us. Very interesting things are there, but not gracefully presented. But again, the temple is beautiful. In the garden we could pet an elephant too. I liked, that in next door, there is a christian church, and the 2 religion seem completely peacefull with each other. Great place to visit

Holy Tooth Temple at Kandy
MKBP [TA], , Bhubaneswar

We visited the temple in the evening after witnessing the traditional Srilankan folk dance show in the nearby cultural center. For the believers, it offers traditional exposure to devotion with a peaceful experience and a large crowd mostly in white. For others, the experience is still soothing . But you must have patience as there would be long queue with a very large crowd.

Beautiful temple
Dorai N [TA], , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Myself and my wife visited this temple during our recent Sri Lanka tour. The temple complex with its lake and beautiful buildings are amazing. There is even a Hindu temple nearby.

Mouse1982 [TA], , Bristol, United Kingdom

Like nothing I've ever experienced - get there early doors and you'll see what I mean. Quite staggering.

Soothing experience
Anam0105 [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

do visit at prayer time...the sight of visitors in white, with lotus flowers in hands and chanting in background is very soothing

Very touristic and busy
SteJenny [TA], ,

We were disappointed with this temple, it is crowded inside and too busy to stop and take in anything about the place. You get to see the casket the tooth relic is stored in but there is a long queue and you get about 10 seconds to stop and look at it.
This site is of huge importance to Buddhists and I do not want to disrespect them but for an outside tourist I found other temples much more interesting to walk around. If you want to say you have seen the tooth relic then visit it but there are better places to visit.

Not worth it
ChloeA_g [TA], , Bristol

Backpacking around SL for two weeks with my boyfriend (mid-twenties couple). All the guide books said to go to Kandy so we thought we'd just Check it out but so not worth it. Train ride from Ella to kandy was an attraction itself though. Yes Kandy is a nicer city than Colombo, but still not great! The temple is just a money making fad, you pay to go in, pay someone to look after your shoes, pay for lotus flowers then the monk asks for a donation once you've queued for ages to see the casket that you can't even see anyway! There are better temples elsewhere in SL and more worth your time.

barry s [TA], , Brussels, Belgium

It is not only the building but the atmosphere created by all the local worshipers. An aspect which particularly struck us was a group of mothers with obviously very young babies. Our guide explained that this would be the babies first excursion out of their houses.

The main reason for going to Kandy
Allirat [TA], , Copenhagen

You can go different times of the day and experience the temple in different ways. In the heart of the temple is a relic, a tooth from the buddha. Once a day they open the small shrine and you can stand in line to see, not the tooth, but the gold case that contains the buddha. The queue is long, the noise is unbelievable, and the vibrations of anticipation fill the temple. Fantastic experience. You can also wander around the temple and see lots of statues and art work, check out the ceiling.Could be good with a guide for the basic story but be prepared to haggle for your price first. If you visit the temple at other times its much quieter but its also just to walk in the garden and see all the poeple meditating or in prayer. Most people go to Kandy to visit the temple and its historically ver important for all buddhists. If you are not a buddhist it is still a great trip.

nice place
ashan-tra... [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka

this is the Kandy most must see place.realy recommendation this place.here is a museum in the temple complex and few hindhu temples nearby.The temple closes by 8 pm.

ldeyanne [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

Liked the Serenity of the place & the history,please make sure you dont wear shorts, you will need to wear a Sarong.

Great attraction but perhaps best to avoid during Puja
ScottCabs [TA], , London, United Kingdom

Firstly, this is a spectacular temple and worth visiting if only to wonder around and take it all in. I must say my rating is heavily influenced by the fact that we visited during the evening Puja which is a good experience with the drumming and feeding of the Buddah rituals taking place, however, it got to a point where the crowds were unbearable, especially in the upper room where they open the shrine for you to get the sneakiest of peaks at the casket which houses the tooth (you will struggle to see anything through the throngs of people). I think if we had visited the temple out side of ceremony hours and also wondered around the grounds my rating would be higher. Overall, the temple is magnificent and worth a visit. We especially enjoyed the room which tells the story of Buddah. However, I would not recommend visiting during Puja, there is really no added benefit. It would be much more relaxing, and allow you to take in more of the temple to visit outside these ceremonies and do things at your own pace.

A great place.
Daniela M [TA], , Chisinau, Moldova

A very interesting place with a great culture and a rich history.We liked it.The arhitecture is amazing.You should visit it if you are there.There are some lotus flowers on the entrance and it says if you buy one and put it inside temple your wish came true,who knows:)?Anyway a beautiful place.

Barbara M [TA], , Brisbane, Australia

A wonderful monument and a beautiful place to visit and linger and one of those must see and do would highly recommend it is an education of a different culture y

For the architecture & surrounding, but not the tooth.
ArthurC [TA], , Singapore

While I would not want to comment too much about the tooth relic, I do appreciate the architecture of the temple (which was built in recent times (10-15 years?) with the museum in mind first and not as a temple first.

Do check out the surrounding places, especially the hawker centre .... the new one by the street or the older one on the 2nd/3rd floor of the building behind. As a local, I’ll go for the latter anytime.

Multi level extremely interesting
seadwelle... [TA], , Phoenix, Arizona

Its very hard to see the actual relic but wow this temple is amazing all the gold and buddhas take your time through this place to enjoy take it all in.

Not that impressive
FelixvdG [TA], , Breda, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

Didn't have any expectations, place is nice but not very impressive. Better go to Anuradhapura if you want to experience Buddism and temples.

Very nice experience
1_Puteshe... [TA], , Moscow, Russia

We went in the evening and enjoyed the place very much. Very beautiful and inspiring. There was a queue to see the relic itself so we decided not to wait.

Very calm locatioon
Jersmish [TA], ,

This beautiful and historical yet very important Buddhist temple was our highlight it kandy city. Visited by many locals for rituals on a daily basis it is Truely amazing. The carvings and general architecture is a must see. Watch out for your clothing as u need to be reasonably dressed.

at the centre of sri lankan culture
susanhold... [TA], , Huddersfield, United Kingdom

This visir was about halfway through our trip. We had a driver/guide who was a devout buddhist although not pushy with his beliefs. He was delighted when we took a keen interest in buddhism and explained exceptionally well what was going on. He guided us through the entire experience. We went early evening. It is advised to be covered to below the knees, and buddhists wear all white.As other reviewers have said, it is very croded and you only see the box, but it is a moving experience to see something held in such esteem

A worth visit-
william F [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

I like the structure and the shrine room-And it is a world heritage site and the centre of the Theravada Buddhism-The second big city of Srilanka and the last kingdom of Ceylon-With some devotees @ the Tooth relic temple-Wow-

never fails to facinate
northt21 [TA], , Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

living in Kandy for the last six months I have lost count of the number of times I have been there, suffice to say some of the staff now greet me as they recognise me.
I have been there with friends from all over the world and many Sri Lankan friends as well.
Every time I go I see something new, yes its all been there for many hundreds of years but there is just so much to appriciate. You just have to go and look and actually see just how much there is there.
For Sri Lankan Buddhists it is a place they have to go to show respect for their religion, how many actually realise how much of their heritage is there? I am sure tourists see so much more.
Please go and spend a few hours there.

Nice temple
FabulousM... [TA], , Manila

If you like gold then this place is a must-see for you. The area where the Buddha tooth relic is placed is surrounded by real gold. It is quite a sight to see so much gold in one place, even the floor tiles are gold. Too bad pictures aren't allowed in the relic area. Other than that, photos are allowed in the other areas of the temple.

Most Beautiful Buddhist temple
Yanne56 [TA], , Amsterdam

Historic and active the most beautiful Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. When hiring a guide try to find one who you understand and
take your time!

Great place for buddhists
Eli M [TA], , Bangkok, Thailand

As in Thailand this country is also full of Buddhist monuments,but the temple of the tooth was something specials for us too as we also Buddhist.Other temple are mostly like ruins but this temple is still growing its spiritual powers.

Great temple
acorna [TA], , Vilnius

It is, of course, a must visit when in Kandy, but, as with all places of high worship I have mixed feelings. This is definitely first and foremost a Temple, one of the most important Buddhist objects, therefore as a tourist, I feel somewhat under the foot of the worshipers and always have a feeling that such objects are to be left mainly for religious people. Though it is fascinating, to observe the ceremonies, to see people queuing for pujas, to watch paintings, donated sculptures, architecture details.

Go early
tiny13_uk [TA], , London, United Kingdom

Our guide advised us to go in the morning to see the offerings rather than in the evening, which tends to be busier and more tourists. We reached there around 9am and had time to look around before going upstairs to see the offerings. They also have a small museum upstairs, which is interesting to visit.

Must Visit in Kandy
Hrishikes... [TA], , Mumbai (Bombay), India

The is very vast.Well maintained with cleanliness all around.Everything in the temple is well organized.and the place itself is beautiful and has a calming effect on the mind.

Can get crowded
M1CoCo [TA], , San Francisco, California

The second holiest temple in Sri Lanka. A wonderfully gorgeous temple once inside. Try to go on off times to thoroughly take in what this temple has to offer.

Go when there is a ceremony
juandrew [TA], , Dover, kent

We visited when there was a ceremony and it was wonderful. Lots of worshipers with their new babies visiting the temple for the first time. You did have to queue to see the tooth casket but there was so much going on it didn't feel too long. Not to be missed.

Beautiful temple
Paul N [TA], , Dublin, Ireland

It's an active temple. People studying while we were there to visit. Have covers that you can use to cover up if you're not wearing suitable attire. Knee length shorts are acceptable. Lots of gold and beautiful decoration. Definitely worth a visit

amitjain1... [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

WOW..i am amazed I missed it for so long..what a temple..amazingly well kept. super artifacts..awesome way to exhibit..great. great ..don't go with small children ;-)..they wont let you enjoy this marvel that much.

Can only see tooth on TV screen
Darren F [TA], , Bangkok, Thailand

The temple itself was well maintained, unlike those on mainland China, and on the ground floor I liked the painting of the 10 hells of Budism. On the 4th floor, you can visit the tooth, which is contained in a gold panelled room not accessible to the public. Either side of the bullet-proof glass is a small TV, which displays an old yellow and brown tooth. Not particularly impressive site.

Overwhelming in its spirituality
Ed D [TA], , Swansea, United Kingdom

Not to be missed a rare treat and view into a spiritual world many would never see. A trip to Singapore would not be complete without a visit to this temple.

Wonderful temple
Marcelo_R... [TA], , Porto Alegre, RS

beautiful and sacred place, free access, you can visit on your own. on the top floor there is a large prayer wheel. is a place of prayer and meditation for Buddhists.

Worth visiting
Christoph... [TA], , Bangkok, Thailand

This is a great temple to visit. There are a number of temples to visit in Singapore but if you have to visit one, this is the one to visit.

An interesting temple
TAlbreht [TA], , Ljubljana, Slovenia

Worth visiting as a part of a sightseeing tour to Singapore as it represents one of its most remarkable temples.

Nice, not amazing
Sebdansle... [TA], , Montreal, Canada

From the review score, it seemed like this was one of the major must-see attractions in Singapore. Well, if you've never seen a Buddhist temple before, sure, it's cool, but otherwise, it's not very big and not as impressive as others I've seen. It's free and easy to access though, and won't take much time to visit, so I guess it's still on the to-do list.

Check it out, even if you won't go in.
Marialena... [TA], , Nicosia, Cyprus

We were walking around in Chinatown after food and went to check the temple out. It was magnificent! It looked truly amazing, you should anyway go see it!

An interesting place
Yunatka [TA], , Kathu, Thailand

Great place to have a look at even if you are not a buddhist. All confessions are welcomed here.
I loved the hall with thousands of small Buddha statuettes.

Don't miss it.
Floortje... [TA], , Sanur, Indonesia

In Chinatown a place of silence and religion. Temple is worth visiting. Don't miss the rooftop garden. This Buddhist temple is unique in this city.

Peaceful and Serene
SanjuRana [TA], , Auckland, New Zealand

Great location, Beautiful from outside and amazing from inside. This place is a must visit in singapore

Very nice
William18... [TA], , Lisbon, Portugal

It is a very nice place. We went on a saturday and we saw a prayer ceremony. The bulding itself is very beautiful too.

chezza48 [TA], , Sebastian.Australia

I loved this temple, it was a very sacred place. I almost felt uncomfortable taking photos in there. I felt that I was an intruder but I did take photos because it was so beautiful and as an Australian we dont see things like that in our country.Worthy of a visit

Good value vegetarian food
Foodtaste... [TA], , Singapore River, Singapore

Good value. Clean place for vegetarian meal. There is at least variety of 3 dishes to choose from. It comes with soup and you could also order some drinks or coffee. Donation of at least $3 for each meal.

A must see!
Sandra S [TA], , Hamburg, Germany

Been there today and it was amazing! But make sure you go there before 5 pm because after that time you cannot go to the top. Unfortunately I was a bit too late, but the good thing is I was almost alone in the temple as most of the tourists were already gone ;-)

Interesting and peaceful Temple
Mal J [TA], , London, United Kingdom

My friend and I were out early and arrived here as a service was taking place. It was lovely, peaceful and serene. All the floors in the temple offered something of interest especially the Museum and Orchid Garden on the roof.

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