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Cultural & Religious Back to Attractions

Back to Attractions

Sri Lanka with its written history of over 2500 years, comprises of many cultural and religious tourist attractions. Ancient ruins of cities, temples, shrines, remains of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonisation in the form of old forts and there architecture, is a tourist attraction of Sri Lanka.

Esala Perahera
The Kandy Esala Perahera (the Esala procession of Kandy) is a grand festival celebrated with elegant costumes and is held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) in Kandy. Known to be a unique symbol of Sri Lanka, this procession consists of many traditional dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances, in addition to the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional diya-kepeema ritual (a water cutting ceremony), which is held at the Mahaweli River in Getambe, Kandy. The Kandy Esala Perahera begins with the KapSituveema or Kappa, during which, a sanctified young Jackfruit tree (Artocarpusintegrifolia) is cut and planted in the premises of each of the four Devales dedicated to the four guardian gods 'Natha', 'Vishnu', 'Katharagama' and the goddess 'Pattini'. Traditionally, it was meant to shower blessing on the King and the people.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
Temple of the Tooth
Sri Dalada Maligawa or 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 of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the tooth relic of lord Buddha. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is ranked as a World Heritage Site, mainly due to the significance of the temple. Historically, a princess brought the tooth relic to Sri Lanka from Kalinga Desha, 1600 years ago. There are three guardians of the Tooth Relic: Two are chief incumbents of Asgiriyia Maha Viharaya and Malwathu Maha Vihara and the other is Diyavadana Nilame. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics, because it is believed that whoever holds the relic, holds the key to governing of the country. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic constitutes the premier Buddhist Institution of Sri Lanka and remains the cynosure of Buddhists and is a great tourist attraction. The annual pageant (Esala Perahera) has become the greatest religious festival of Sri Lanka, which attracts thousands of pilgrims as well as tourists from all over the world. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees every day. It can be reached by crossing a drawbridge that lies over the moat and a magnificently painted frontispiece. A passageway called 'Ambarawa', directs to the main shrine complex, which has a central courtyard. On the upper floor, lord Buddha' tooth relic is enclosed in seven golden caskets in the shape of pagodas. The Patthirippuwa is famous for its' Sinhalese style architecture and it is the most dominant feature of the building. It was used by the king to address the public on important occasions. The small stupa in the temple contains the Bowl Relic of the Buddha. The storied structures to the right and left of the shrine constitute the conference hall, the library, the office of the Diyawadana Nilame and the residence quarters of the monks affianced in daily rituals called Thevava. A golden canopy has been added recently.
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Attractions in Sri Lanka

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