Among many tourists, Kandy has always been a major place of interest to pay a visit to from the time they step in. Kandy has been a remarkable Golden Kingdom and still resembles the Royalty in Sri Lanka. The City of Kandy which catches the eye of both Sri Lankans and foreigners holds many historically and religiously important events. One of them would be the Kandy Esala Perahera which is also known as the Festival of the Sacred Tooth.
History of Kandy Esala Perahera
Sri Lanka has always been a country with many Buddhist worshipers thus preserving every bit of what was left from the ancient times. Kandy Esala Perahera thus has a remarkable history which still influences the Buddhist worshippers and followers to celebrate what they believe in. World’s oldest historical, religious and cultural pageant commenced at the four Devales surrounding the Sri Dalada Maligawa also known as the “Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic” of Kandy. During the reign of King Sri Meghavarna, the “Dhanta Dhatu” (The tooth relic of Lord Buddha) was brought to the country by Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala of Kalinga Desha in India. Since then the ceremony of carrying the sacred tooth relic on the decorated Royal Elephant followed by the Kandyan dancers, drummers, street crackers and various skilled individuals join the procession. The tooth relic is carried along the street and re installed in its very sacred and precious place in the temple which is done as paying homage to the “DhantaDhatu” by the Buddhist followers. Irrespective of the religion, local citizens volunteer in many ways in making this event a success every year. The rituals during this event of the Kandy Esala Perahera (procession) are being led by the four Devales that surround the Sri Dalada Maligawa which are believed as the guardians of the Temple. The rituals are done by the four gods in these Devales namely, God Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Goddess Pattini. The rituals are conducted consecutively every year in order to pay homage and renew the beliefs and the worship of every Buddhist individual as well as to preserve the rituals and traditions of this historical event from generation to generation.
The procession will last for nearly 10 days which are dedicated to differentiated cultural themes name Kumbal Perahera (Procession), Randholi, Devale and Dhawal Perahera which will be held on the last day. The installation of the Sacred Tooth Relic back in the place will be done on an auspicious time. During the period of procession the followers put up many attractive shopping stalls. The procession would be made colorful with exciting cultural events like traditional drummers, caparisoned elephants, and dancers from various traditions along with singers. The procession will include more than 60 Elephants out which some belong to the Temple of the Tooth. More than 1200 artistes like drum beaters, fire ball dancers, whip crackers and many more make the procession more and more colorful. During this period, many tourists are attracted to taking part and witnessing this unbelievably outstanding traditional event like no other. Capture the moments you will never be able to. The Festival of the Sacred Tooth Relic or the Kandy Esala Perahera lets you enjoy an experience like never before and lets you experience the unique Sri Lankan culture and tradition!