The Temple of Tooth – Kandy

History of the Tooth Relic

Sri Lankan legends say that after the cremation of the Lord Buddha in 543 BC, his left canine tooth was rescued from the sandalwood funeral pyre at Kusinara India.  The Sacred Tooth Relic became a symbolic representation of the living Buddha.  800 years after the Buddha’s death, in the 4th century CE, King Guhaseewa of Kalinga India became the guardian of the venerated tooth relic.  He secretly sent prince Dantha and princess Hemamala with the tooth relic to Sri Lanka, to protect it from the invaders. Sri Lanka was selected mainly because of Lord Buddha’s declaration that Buddhism would be safe and continued to be practiced in Sri Lanka for 5000 years.  The sacred relic was moved from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, then to Dambadeniya and other cities due to foreign invasions during the period.  Finally, it was brought to Kandy in the 16th century.

Mahawansa, the great chronicle of twenty five thousand five hundred and fifty years of unbroken history of Sri Lanka, records that King Wimaladharma Sooriya the first who reigned Kandy between 1592 and 1603 had established a Temple of the Tooth Relic in the Kandyan Kingdom for the first time. The original three storied resplendent temple was built in 1687 AD by King Wimala-Dharma Sooriya the 2nd. It was destroyed by the Portuguese who held sway in the western and southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka and was later rebuilt on the original foundations. The temple was restored and extended by the successive Kandyan Kings throughout the century. Most significantly this was during the reign of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinha who reigned between 1746 and 1778, who was betrayed by the Kandyan nobles. In turn Sri Lanka succumbed to the British colonials in 1815 during the reign of King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha.

Mahawansa, the great chronicle of twenty five thousand five hundred and fifty years of unbroken history of Sri Lanka, records that King Wimaladharma Sooriya the first who reigned Kandy between 1592 and 1603 had established a Temple of the Tooth Relic in the Kandyan Kingdom for the first time. The original three storied resplendent temple was built in 1687 AD by King Wimala-Dharma Sooriya the 2nd. It was destroyed by the Portuguese who held sway in the western and southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka and was later rebuilt on the original foundations. The temple was restored and extended by the successive Kandyan Kings throughout the century. Most significantly this was during the reign of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinha who reigned between 1746 and 1778, who was betrayed by the Kandyan nobles. In turn Sri Lanka succumbed to the British colonials in 1815 during the reign of King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha.

There are two ways to access the Temple of Tooth Relic at present as follows:

  • The path across the God Paththini’s Shrine premises
  • Main entrance:  This is located in front of  Queen’s Hotel
  1. Maha Maluwa:  The Premier Garden – From the time of the Sinhala Kings, many events of national and religious importance have taken place at the Premier Garden.  This was laid by King Wimala-Dharma Sooriya the 1st (1591-1604) during whose reign the sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Kandy. It is believed, that this premier garden had been the threshing ground of a large paddy field which is the Kandy Lake environs today.It was from here, that aggrieved people were brought before the King by the royal officers.  This premier garden was where the King’s high officials first met, Kings and Princes of foreign lands, Prelates and Generals and foreign Emissaries, before meeting the King at the audience hall. It was also a ground on which men and women of all castes, creeds and religions, sat in hours of distress and sought peace, through the teachings of the Buddha. The presence of the Dalada Maligawa in the vicinity symbolised the supreme life and teachings of the Buddha.Of the many events that took place at the Maha Maluwa, three are noteworthy as events of horror. It was here that Pilimathalawwe Adigar received the death sentence from King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha. It was here, from the Octagon that the King ordered the execution of, Ehelepola Kumarihamy, and her children. Ehelepola Kumarihamy, lamented about her fate and that of her children from the Maha Maluwa, and cursed the King for his cruelty. The third was the execution of a Buddhist priest by the British Governor, Viscount Torrington.  There are five monuments in the Maha Maluwa. They are described under No. 2,3,4,5 and 6.
  2. D.S. Senanayake – Don Stephen Senanayake was an independence activist who served as the first Prime Minister of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, after the independence in 1948.  He was also known as the “Father of the Nation”.   Senanayake played an active role in the independence movement, first supporting his brother F.R. Senanayake.  After F.R.’s death, D.S. took his place on the Legislative Council and led the independence movement. In 1931 he was elected to the State Council, and went on to become Minister of Agriculture and Lands. He combat Ceylon’s agricultural problems effectively, and established the LDO, an agricultural policy that countered Ceylon’s rice problems. This policy earned him respect, and he continued to be a minister for fifteen years. He also enforced “Agricultural Modernizations”, which increased production output. During World War II he was a member of the Ceylon war cabinet.He resigned in 1946 from his cabinet post, to fight for Ceylon’s independence. That year he founded the United National Party (UNP) by amalgamating three right-leaning pro-Dominion parties. In only a year he succeeded, and was elected as Ceylon’s first Prime Minister in the general election held in 1947. He refused a knighthood, but maintained good relations with Britain and was a Privy Councilor. He boldly made plans to spread out the population, and his Gal Oya scheme relocated over 250,000 people.His other plans included the increase of hydroelectric power, but he suffered a stroke and fell down whilst riding the Police mare “Chithra” at the Galle Face Green on the morning of 22 March 1952. He died at the age of sixty-seven.D.S Senanayake is respected by Sinhalese and some Muslims. However, Tamils were not happy with his citizenship laws, which disenfranchised virtually all Tamils of recent Indian origin living in the central highlands. His bold agricultural plans and pro-Western policies, attracted criticism for their modern and untraditional nature. Under his family’s leadership, Sri Lanka’s economy flourished, and D.S. Senanayake is still known as “The Father, of Sri Lanka”.
  3. The little hero Madduma Bandara – Madduma Bandara was the second son of Ehelepola, who was a minister to Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, the last King of Ceylon. The King suspected Ehelepola of scheming to usurp the crown. Ehelepola fled to the English to seek refuge. The King in his anger, sought revenge, by ordering the Ehelepola family to be killed. The order was executed on May 17, 1814.  They were brought to Bogambara by the King’s men. It was Madduma Bandara’s elder brother who had to face death first. But he dared not to come forward instead ran to the mother. Seeing Loku Bandara’s fear, Madduma Bandara came forward and said, “Brother, do not be afraid. I will show you how to die.” He imperiously ordered the executioner to cut off his head saying, “I am ready, cut my neck in one attempt.” The moment his head touched the ground, a national hero was born; A hero who will live in history for centuries to come.
  4. Monaravila Keppetipola Maha Dissawa – Monaravila Keppetipola more widely known as Keppetipola Disawe was a high-ranking official under the rule of King Sri Wikrama Rajasingha and later under the British Administration in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon. He was a prominent leader of the Uva rebellion of 1818 after he joined the rebels whom he was sent to suppress by the British. The rebellion was defeated by the British, and Keppetipola Disawe along with several other leaders of the rebellion were found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death. He is well known for the exceptional courage that he showed at the moment of his execution, and is now a national hero of Sri Lanka.
  5. Venarable  Sri Sumangala Thero – Sri Sumangala was a Buddhist monk who lived in the early 19th century in Sri Lanka. He was a chief venerate of the Asgiriya Chapter. Sri Sumangala is known for taking down the British flag and re-hoisting the Sinhalese lion flag, before the convention that handed over control of the country to the British in 1815. Later during the rebellion of 1818, he removed the Tooth Relic of the Buddha from the Temple of the Tooth, and handed it over to the leaders of the rebellion. He was arrested and convicted for treason the same year.
  6. Hemamala  and Prince Dantha – Dantha was a prince from Udeni, the present Ujjain in the Madya Pradesh India was the custodian of the tooth relic after he got married to princess Hemamala, daughter of King Guhaseewa who possessed the tooth relic after 800 years of Buddha’s demise.  King Guhaseewa secretly sent this royal couple to Sri Lanka with the Tooth relic in order to protect it from the imminent invasions. It is
    recorded that the prince and the princess, donned the garb of ascetics, and Princess Hemamala carried the Relic concealed in her coiffure, not to be noticed by passersby. Dantha and Hemamala had then embarked on board a ship at the ancient port of Tamralipti, India, a busy port at the time, located at the mouth of the river Ganga, and reached the shores of Sri Lanka at the port of Lankapathana, modern Ilankeiturei in the Trincomalee District, in 371 AD.  The Tooth Relic finally reached the Sri Lankan capital, Anuradhapura, and according to the Sinhala text, Dalada Siritha, the Relic was kept at the Megagiri vihara in the park Mahamegavana.
  7. Cloud Walls : Walakulu Bemma – These constructions are known as one of the most famous traditional features of Sinhala architecture. The Cloud Walls are designed to light small oil lamps on them.  This unique design is said to be designed and built by Kandyan architect builder Handesse Dewendra Mulachariya who is credited with designing and construction of the Pattirippuwa (Octagon) of the Dalada Maligawa and such other works as the Magul Maduwa or Audience Hall.  But due to intrigues prevalent in the Kandyan Court at the time, it ultimately had led him to drown himself in the Kandy Lake.
  8. Moonstone  : Sandakadapahana – The Moonstone is called the half-moon stone or Ira-handa-gala, sun-moon stone, in Sinhala. In ancient times, the sun was venerated as the giver of life, fertility and growth.  As a consequence of the attack by the LTTE terrorists in January of 1998, the old moonstone was destroyed and the one which can be seen at present is a new moonstone made out of the model of the older one. The remnants of the older damaged moonstone have been placed below the Golden Armory for the public. The Moonstone is said to have originated in India, during the time of Lord Buddha.
    Starting from the outermost semi-circular panel, The arc with a flower petal motif (palapethi) represents the fires of a worldly existence.
    The arc of four beasts, the elephant, lion, horse and bull represents the four mortal perils of birth, disease, decay and death.
    The arc of undulating scrolls of leaves and flowers (leeyawelar) represents natural desires or craving.
    The arc of swans or geese represents the “thoughtful ones who have left their worldly abodes”.
    The arc containing a second motif represents the heavenly worlds.
    The arc of lotus petals turned outwards, the arc of lotus petals turned inwards and seed cup in the centre forming together half a lotus all represent nirvana or enlightenment.Starting from the outermost semi-circular panel,
  9. The Water Channel: Diya Agala – This is a major component of the ancient Sri Lankan city planning. This has been constructed by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha as a security strategy which is aimed at protecting the Temple of Tooth Relic and the royal palace. There had been a foldable bridge across the moat but it had been replaced with a bridge made of rock.  It is also known that there was an ancient practice teeming with vengefully watchful animals such as crocodiles to these small tanks as a security strategy.
  10. Maha Wahal-kada – There are four entrances to the Palace of Tooth Relic in Kandy. Among these four, the entrance identified for the general public, is known as the Maha Wahal-kada or the main entrance on the west. This is located across the water channel. After the Maha Wahal-kada, there are two stair ways towards the left and the right respectively. The stair way directed towards the left had been used to enter the royal palace, whereas the stair way facing the right is used to reach the Palace of Tooth Relic.
  11. Stage – The stage of a considerable height exists on the left of the right stair way. It is by standing on this stage that the reliquary of the sacred Tooth Relic is placed on the elephant during the pageant (Dalada Perahera) season.
  12. The Tunnel:  Ambarāva – At the end of the right side stairway you find a stone door frame where the Makara thorana (dragon arch) and the figures of guardsmen are carved on it. The main wooden door of the Tooth Palace is also designed in the shape of a Dragon pandol.  One can enter the tunnel of the Ambarawa trough this door. Ambarawa is said to have been completed during the seventeenth century.
    The tunnel has been decorated with the paintings of the Kandyan painting tradition.   The figures of 8 males who had worn, thupppotttiya, a dress of the male nobles with their bare bodies can be seen on the walls of the tunnel.  The bomb attack by LTTE on January 25th 1998, resulted disintegration of these enchanting paintings.   These paintings had to be redrawn in 1999.
  13. Haweesee Mandapaya:  The Drumming area- After the tunnel you first enter the Hewisi Mandapaya or the drumming area which has 20 huge rock pillars which are decorated with the designs of flowers, and the carvings of peacocks, elephants, lions and connected swans. The place is devoted to conduct the thevawa, ritual offerings to the sacred tooth relic. These traditional services and rituals are performed by the Bikkkhus of the two monastic establishments  “Malwatta and Asgiriya” whilst the above services are performed there is continuous drumming performed by four traditional groups of Drummers.   These services are performed each day at 5:30 am to 7 a.m., 9.30am to 11 a.m., 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., it is also said that the services rendered to the Sacred Tooth Relic are in accordance with the services rendered to Lord Buddha by Reverend Ananda Thero. These traditions had been followed even by the Kings from ancient times. The Hewisi Mandapaya has two stair ways on both sides. The right stair way is devoted to enter the Pattirippuwa, the octagon, and the palle malaya, down floor. The left stair way can be used to reach the internal pagoda and upper floor of the Tooth Palace.
  14. Lower floor of the Vvaddar Seeteena Maligawa” or the Dwelling Palace of the Tooth Relic: Behind the Hewisi Mandapaya is a two-tiered building located in the area known as “Madamidula” or Centre courtyard. The sacred tooth relic is positioned with due respect and honor in the top floor of this building. The ground floor consists of two parts:
    • Diggeya: Here there is a staircase to reach the top floor where the tooth relic is kept. However, the public is not allowed to enter this area.
    • Aramudala: The English equivalent for this term is “fund”. This area is located towards the east of the building and contains valuable golden items and tools.
  15. Office of the Diyawadana Nilame – Diyawadana Nilame is the chief lay custodian of Temple of the Tooth. Formerly an office of the Royal household, today it remains a prestigious position, enriched with over two thousand years of history to safeguard and carry out ancient rituals for the most sacred Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Prior to 1815, during the Kandyan monarchy, the Diyawadana Nilame was a minister of the royal court tasked with supplying the King with water and carrying out the ancient rituals to ensure rain during correct seasons. This duty is still carried out by the Diyawadana Nilame for the most sacred Relic of the tooth of the Buddha, marked by the water cutting ceremony on the final day of the Esala Perahera. Diyawadana Nilame has the responsibility of overseeing of all aspects of the Sri Dalada Maligawa and the traditional duty of organizing the annual pageant, the Kandy Esala Perahera. The Diyawadana Nilame is now elected by a far-flung electorate comprising the venerable Mahanayaka Theros of the “Malwatta and Asgiriya” Chapters, trustees of Buddhist Temples with an annual income of Rupees 1,000 and registered with the Public Trustee and the divisional revenue in the Kandy areas. These officers have to be Buddhists and male. Lady Administrative Service officers are not eligible to vote. Each term of an elected Diyawadana Nilame is 10 years and he may run for a second term. The current Diyawadana Nilame is Praddeep Nilanga Dela.
  16. The Internal Pagoda – When you walk to the right you will find the staircase to the upper floor.  Here you will find the internal pagoda in the middle of the stair way. The pagoda which is 12 feet in height is of the shape of a water bubble. The common belief is that this was built during the period 1863-1882 by a person called Dunuwila Disave.   It is believed that this small stupa contains the Bowl Relic of the Buddha.
  17. Udu Mala Diggeya : Upper floor of Section described under No 14 – There is a large hall located at the end of the wooden stair way towards the upper floor.  This place has been constructed for the devotees to offer flowers to the tooth relic and to worship.  Right behind the altar of flowers you will see the upper floor of the Diggeya described under number 14.  There are 8 sections in the dwelling place of the tooth relic.  They are described under sub section “a” to sub section “h”.  This is a mere continuation of the architectural design of the Temples where the tooth relic was kept before Kandy.
    • The Pirith Mandapa – Pirith is the Sinhala word for, paritta in Palee language, which means protection from all directions. This is the recitation or chanting Buddha’s words. The Pirith mandpaya is used for special occasions like special chanting of Pirith and Special expositions of the sacred tooth relic.
    • Handun-Kudama -There are two big bowls kept inside this place. One of these bowls is made of copper and is known as “aluth sahal mangalya pattra”, meaning ‘the bowl used for the ceremony of the fresh rice harvest’. The new rice festival is an important event of the harvest festival in Sri Lanka. The first batch of new rice after being plucked, threshed and winnowed is offered to the Lord Buddha and deities.  Every January full moon Day new rice festival commences. The devotees who participate this festival awaits in the Pirith Mandpaya, described under section A,  until they get called for the great purpose after the doors of the dwelling place of the tooth relic were opened.Only after the new rice festival at the Sri Dalada Maligawa and offering rice to the sacred tooth relic, can the farmers around the country collect their harvest and commence their own new rice festivals in the respective villages.
    • The ‘Gepalun’ Varandah – This is located on both sides of the Handun-Kudama. This place is devoted to store the garments and jewelries of the people who are involved in the thewawa ceremony.
    • Alanthee Varandah – This place is devoted to the women who engage in the thewawa, offering ritual, for the sacred Tooth Relic. This is the only female contribution to this offering. These women are known as alanthi mothers.
    • The Gandakutiya: Perfume chamber – This area located behind the Handun-Kudama is believed to be the most sacred area of the Tooth Palace, since the sacred tooth relic is enshrined here. The tooth relic is placed inside a golden reliquary which is 5 feet in height. Inside it are seven similar caskets of decreasing sizes with each one, except the last, smallest one, containing the next smaller casket in it. The innermost casket, the 8th, the smallest one contains the Sacred Tooth Relic. There are three different keys to the eight caskets; one held by the temple’s administrator, the others by the chief monks of the Malwattha and Asgiriya Buddhist monasteries in Kandy. The Procession casket, replica of the original casket, which is used during the Esala Perahera is also displayed in the same chamber.  The last time the original casket was taken in the procession was in 1928.
    • The Kath thiyana verandah – This term is used to refer to the verandah on the right of the Ganda-kutiya which was mentioned above. The items like gold bowls which are used for the thewawa ceremony are located here.
    • The ‘Kavikara Maduwa’:  Poet’s Area – This is located on the left of Ganda-kutiya and is devoted to make offerings to the sacred tooth relic in the form of poems and verses.
    • The Nalu Maduwa: Actors’ shelter – This place is located behind the Perfume chamber (Section E) and is also known as Costume chamber. This was earlier used to keep King’s garments and ornaments when he arrived to worship the sacred tooth relic.
  18. Pallle Malaya – The down Floor – When you climb down from the right hand side staircase of the upper floor or walk to the right from the Hewisi Mandapaya and climb up on to your right, you will find the Palle Malaya or the down floor.  This building is the main area devoted to the statues of the Tooth Palace. The lions and gatekeepers on either side of the door are painted yellow, red, black and white.  Inside you will see painted with Buddha, the eight Bodi-sathva, Vishnu, King Kirthi Sri Rajasinha.  The term “Bodi-sathva ” was used by the Buddha  to refer to himself both in his previous lives and as a young man in his current life, prior to his enlightenment, in the period during which he was working towards his own liberation.There is a glass partition with a door at each end forming a narrow sanctuary at the back of the room.  In the middle on a table sits a gilt Buddha made to the size of King Rajadi Rajasinha.  On his right stands a model of a Siamese temple, on his left a small brass tope.  On the table in front are numerous Buddhas, a casket in the shape of a square temple with Bengalee roof.  It is of wood, overlaid with richly chased silver, bordered with bands of gold.  Each arch is carved and undercut ivory, all one piece.  They had been some process by which ivory could be bent without breaking.  Tradition says that this casket was captured with the tooth by the Portuguese.  It now contains a crystal Buddha, which is shown with a lighted candle behind to those worshippers who desire to see it.
  19. The Pattirippuwa :  The Octagon – This is the symbol of identity of the Kandyan Architecture built in 1802 A.D on the instructions of Kings Sri Wickrama Rajasinha, who was the last King of Nayakkar Dynasty who reigned between 1798 to 1815 A.D..  He had used this building as a restroom overlooking the milky ocean, the Kandy Lake which was also built by him.  It is thus clear that this was not a part of the temple and was later connected to the long open hall on its right side.  The elevation of the octagon was raised from the bottom to equate the ground level of the upper story of the Temple of the tooth relic with that of the octagon. This octagonal shaped building has an architecturally created roof with a steep gradient. This attractive place in which the ancient ola-leaf manuscripts of the palace are placed had been used in the old days by the King, to address and see the general public. It was a creation by a master craftsman named Handesse Dewendra Mulachariya. Out of his constructions Magul Maduwa or the pavilion hall held a prominent place. Legend records that he was born in Matale, stayed for some time in Kotmale and finally lived in Handasse, till his tragic death of drowning himself of being ashamed of losing one of his fingers, as punishment on the orders of King, who listened to slanders against this great craftsman.
  20. The New Palace – This three tiered building was constructed in 1925. The statue of the Lord Buddha placed in the lower floor of the new building was gifted by Thailand. The array of classical Buddhist paintings hung high on the walls of the museum narrates the travels & travails of the Sacred Relic of Tooth during last couple of millenniums since the final extinction of Buddha in 543 BC. It also displays the modern photos of damage caused by the 1998 terrorist bombing, bringing home the remarkable scale & skill of the restoration carried out since then.
  21. Magul Maduwa – The Magul Maduwa of the Palace is where the king met his ministers and carried out his daily administrative tasks. This was also known as the “Maha Naduwa”, high court, by the local residence as this building was used by the king as the court. This building is also called the Assembly Hall or the Audience Hall. The construction of this finely carved wooden structure has been started by the King Rajadhi Rajasinha in 1783, but was unable to complete it within his reign. A number of key events in our history has taken place in this Magul Maduwa. The major one being the handing over the last Sri Lankan kingdom to the British throne in 1815 ending over 2500 years of sovereignty, an agreement signed on the 10th of March 1815 between the British and the Chiefs of the Kandyan Kingdom, in Sri Lanka for the deposition of rule of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha. With this treaty Kandy recognized the King of England as its King and became a British protectorate. It was at this place that the British handed over the death sentence to the Sri Lankan patriots, Magudalla Desawe and the Keppettipola Disawe. In the early days of the British occupation, the British Missionaries used this Audience Hall as their Church building in their conversion process. This Audience Hall which played a key role in the Kingdom was considered a place where the ‘most horrid cruelties were exercised’ by these missionaries. The Magul Maduwa we see today is an extension to the original made by the British to facilitate the welcome of Prince of Wales in 1872. They pulled out 32 carved wooden columns from the building called “Palla Wahala” (which was the Queens living quarters during the last king of Kandy, now the National Museum building) and replaced them with brick pillars. Out of these, 16 pillars were used to extend the Magul Maduwa with 8 pillars on each side and the old decayed bases have been replaced by new wooden bases. With this addition, building has two rows of elegantly carved pillars. Each row having 32 columns. Other adjoining buildings to the halls are believed to be demolished during the British rule. A Kandyan style roof rests upon these columns. Today it is used for state ceremonies and conserved under department of archaeology.
  22. Raja Hasthi Museum: Museum of the Royal Elephant –A well-known elephant that brought the reliquary of the sacred tooth relic called Raja is famous among the people of Sri Lanka. After its death, the body was preserved using special methods and it is currently displayed at this museum. There is also a collection of photographs of this elephant exhibited in the same building. It was opened for the public on the 2nd December of 1989. The highly respected royal tusker Raja who performed the most onerous task of carrying the casket of the sacred Tooth Relic for 51 years, was offered to the Dalada Maligawa by its owner on July 31, 1938. Raja won the hearts of millions of devotees for its solemn and dignified behavior while carrying the casket along the streets of Kandy during the annual Esala Perahera.
    Born in the thick jungles close to Batticaloa, the animal was captured on January 5, 1925 under a warrant issued by the government. It was then four feet five inches in height and 12 years of age. According to the traditional concepts, there were several characteristic features of a royal tusker. Its trunk, the tail and the genitals should touch the ground. The spine should be flat. The head when raised should give a dignified look. The left tusk should be slightly more elevated than the right. Raja possessed all these features.
    Mampitiya Disawe bought the tusker on December 11, 1925 for Rupees three thousand three hundred. Twelve years later he offered Raja to the Maligawa along with a baby tusker ‘Kanda.’
    On August 20, 1986 President J. R. Jayewardana declared Raja as a national treasure in recognition of its invaluable services to the religion, performing its task of carrying the relic casket with utmost respect. It was the only tusker in Asia to be honored thus.
    Due to old age Raja started falling ill after its 60th year and was provided with expert treatment until its death on July 16, 1988. A stamp was issued in its memory on December 12, 1989.
  23. The Ancient Royal Palace –The royal palace is situated to the north of the Dalada Maligawa.  Sanasammatha Wikramabahu who reigned Kandy between 1469 to 1511 built the royal palace in this location. Wimala Dharmasooriya the 1st undertook various decorations to the palace. The royal residence is known as “Maha Wasala” in Sinhala from the Polonnaruwa period 11th Century. The royal palace is also known as “Maligawa.” There are 3 entrances to the Royal palace but the entrance facing the Natha Devale is said to be the oldest.From ancient times, it had been a custom to build both the royal palace and the Tooth Palace adjacent to each other. One reason behind may have been the ideology of considering the sacred tooth relic to be a symbol of Kingship. Other factors were the need to keep the sacred tooth relic under King’s protection and supervision during war times, while venerating the tooth relic with the need to make offerings at the maximum level. An important part of the palace is the construction of the Look through Window (See Meduru Kawlu) which was used by the King to observe the Tooth Palace premise, The Royal Street and the royal sanctuary up to the woods in the hills.During the beginning of the British period, it was used by Government Agent Sir John Doyly. Successors of Doyly have continued to use it as their official residence. Today it is preserved as an archeological museum.
  24. Ran Ayuda Mandapaya : Golden armory – Constructed in 1592 by the King Wimala-Dharama-Sooriya the first, the golden armoury was believed to be the place where the crowns and sword of the Kandyan kings were designed, moulded and bejeweled. It was one of the first features which has been adjoined to the Dalada Maligawa complex. It was later renovated by Kings Senerath, Rajasinha II and Wimaladharmasooriya II.  The building was damaged due to foreign invasions and finally fell into hands of the British during their reign. They attached it to the Kandy District Courts complex after the Kandyan Convention was signed in 1815.  Currently, the Media Unit of the Palace of the Tooth is established here.
  25. International Museum for World Buddhism –The International Museum of World Buddhism, established in the premises of Sri Dalada Maligawa at the former High Court Complex adjoining a building of the Sri Dalada Maligawa was opened 21st May 2011.The Sri Dalada International Museum of World Buddhism has been established aiming to showcase the historical value of Buddhism. It provides the opportunity to study from one location on the world Buddhist heritage. It is the only Museum in the world to study Buddhism.  The Museum established with the contributions from 16 Buddhist countries including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Maldives. Visitors can obtain knowledge about the Buddhist culture of Buddhist countries at this museum. Sixteen countries are showcasing exhibits from their countries in separate chambers at the museum.
  26. Biso Maligawa :  Queens Palace – Most of Ancient Sri Lankan’s kings were polygamous and maintained a number of concubines, or ‘little wives’ in addition to the officially designated queen-wife. All of the women lived in a separate, secluded building known as a, harem or Biso Maligawa. This is located behind the Tooth Palace.  The entire staff was composed of women, even the small army that stood guard night and day on the ramparts to prevent any man approaching the king’s possessions too closely. The woman warriors often wore male uniforms and were armed with a full range of bows, spears and armour. The lives of the women in the harem were mostly those of pampered boredom. All would be well when the king made a visit and the woman’s status was high. However, kings cannot visit all the women all the time, even those who fell into lives of ‘debauchery’ and, subsequently, died of ‘exhaustion.’ For the rest of the time, the women, princesses or slave girls, since status could vary a great deal within the harem, spent their lives trying to make themselves as alluring and youthful-appearing as possible. Not only would this be vital in catching the attention of the king but was also important in maintaining self-esteem and in keeping a position of high status vis-à-vis the other inhabitants of the harem. Depending on the power of the king, new entrants to the harem would be arriving on a more or less regular basis and, generally, would be younger than existing inhabitants and possessed of youthful beauty or at least freshness more likely to catch the eye of a king. The plotting and scheming among the women seems likely to have been intensive, if only to stave off the boredom of living such generally aimless lives. Occasionally, a group excursion might be made to a river for a communal bathing session or else a pilgrimage to some religiously significant location.
  27. Ulpan geya : Queen’s Bath – The queen’s bath is situated partly in the waters of the Kandy Lake. There is a pond in the middle of the building. It is believed that the wives of Sri Wickrama Rajasinha used this for their communal bathing sessions.  This was converted to a library by the British and now it is been used as a police post.
  28. The Kandy Lake – Kandy Lake is a lake in the heart of the hill city of Kandy built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha of Sri Lanka next to the Temple of the Tooth. It has a perimeter of 2.1 miles and a maximum depth of 60 feet. Over the years, it was reduced in size. It is a protected lake, with fishing banned. There are many legends and folklore regarding the lake. One such is that the small island at its center was used by the king’s helm for bathing and was connected to the palace by secret tunnel. This is a man-made lake created in 1807 by the last Sinhalese King of Kandy, using forced labor.  Earlier, the area on which the lake was built had been a paddy field known as “Migolwela Paddy Field” between the Palace of the Tooth and the Temple of Malwaththa. The King used this paddy field to create the lake. It stands as an indictment of the excessive power of the Kandyan monarchy in wasting national resources to build an ornamental lake at a time when the Kingdom was under serious threat. When hundreds of his counsels advised King Sri Wickrama Rajasinha against building the lake, he had them impaled on the reservoir bund of the paddy field which he was converting into an ornamental lake. It was not long before the British captured him, with help from his own noblemen disgruntled by his irrational policies.
  29. Diyathilaka Mandapaya – This an island-like area in the middle of the Kandy lake.  It is believed that the King built a dam across the lake to travel to the other side of the lake to visit the Malwaththa temple, but then he destroyed it from both ends leaving only a portion in the centre creating an island and then used this area as a Royal Summer hut. One of the tunnels starting from the Royal Palace is directed towards this place as well.
  30. Natha Devalaya –Natha Devale is one of the four Hindu shrines in Kandy, the other three being the Vishnoo, Katharagama and Paththini. These four shrines have a long association with the Royal Palace and the Temple of Tooth Relic and has been venerated by Buddhists and Hindus alike from the inception. During the Kandy period, Natha was the highest ranking deity, and then is was Vishnu, Katharagamra and Paththini in that order. The name ‘Natha’ literally means ‘no form’ and ‘no shape’, and is therefore generally associated with Lord Maitreeya, the next Buddha.This is situated directly facing the Dalada Maligawa and this building is the oldest surviving structure from the Kandyan Kingdom. The Shrine was built by King Wickramabahu III in the 14th Century. The building has a Dravidian architecture with a “Gediga” style. The structure has 3 stories but the 1st and the 2nd floor levels serves no practical purpose. The roof is a dome with a shape of a stupa. This has two stupas and a recent excavation have revealed a circular shape basement probably a Mandapa which has been destroyed by invaders. The stupa near the shrine is thought to contain the bowl relic of Buddha and was broken in to by Relic Hunters in 1889. The Image house facing east contains an ancient a foot print of Buddha engraved on a stone. The Bodhi tree in this shrine is a sampling of the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. The Vahalkada or the entrance to the area is a roofed building with two guard stones on the sides and a Makara thorana on the top. This shrine also plays a key role in the appointment of a new King. All newly appointed kings would come in front of the image of the Natha and select a name by which he is to be known. The common belief is that these shrines were constructed for the religious observances of the South Indian queens of the King.
  31. Paththini Devalya –In Sinhala Buddhist belief the Paththini is a guardian deity of Buddhism. She is the deification of Kannagi, who is the central character of a Tamil epic. She is worshipped by both Buddhists and Hindus and is the patron goddess of fertility and health – particularly of smallpox, which is referred to as ‘the divine affliction’ in the Sinhala language.According to Sinhala mythology, the Bodisathva Paththini was incarnated as Paththini in order to rid the Pandya kingdom of its evil three eyed king. She was said to have been born of a mango fruit, which was cut down by the god Shakra with an arrow.
  32. Muladanee Mandpaya – This was where the heads of the villages stayed when they visited Kandy for their official duties.
  33. Vishnu Devale – This is located to the north of the Natha Devale, is in the inner complex of the palace. That shrine is dedicated to God Vishnu, one of the Hindu Triad, is considered a sober divinity who was committed to the protection of Buddhism from the beginning. He is the god that protects Sri Lanka, thus if he protects Sri Lanka he protects Buddhism.  Lord Buddha prophesied that Buddhism would flourish for 5,000 years. More than 2500 years of that 5000 years has gone past. It is said that Lord Natha is still in the battle of protecting Buddhism from Mara, and he has sent gods from the heaven to earth to protect Buddhism.

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