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The Ancient Cities

Kandy

    The city of Kandy is located 116 kilometers from colombo.it is 465 meters above sea level and nestled in the

mountainous central region of the island .first established in the mid-14th century. The city resisted many invasions by Portuguese and Dutch, who occupied most of the island from the 16th century onwards.

Kandy remained the last independent capital of Sri Lanka until the reign of Sri Vikrama rajasinha, when it came under British rule in 1815.the seats of power then shifted to the coastal areas of kotte and Colombo. However, it is still considered the religious and cultural central of the country, with numerous temples and monasteries, Buddhist colleges and beautiful parks and gardens.

The lankathilake temple is known for its traditional Sinhalese architecture and was built in 1344 atop a rocky and uneven hilltop the embekke devale, constructed in the 14th century, is famous for its wooden structure and beautifully intricate wood carrings. Another popular temple in Kandy is the Gadaladeniya temple which was built in a south Indian style

 

The Temple Of Tooth

The most famous attraction in Kandy is the temple of the tooth, or “Sri Dalada Maligawa”.the Buddha’s tooth was first brought to Kandy during the rigon of vimaladharmasuriya I at the turn of the 17th century. He build a temple to house the velic but this was later destoyed.it was taken away for safety during a Portuguese invasion of Kandy and eventually recovered during a Portuguese invasion of Kandy and eventually recovered during the rule of king rajasinha II.

The present temple of the tooth was build in early 18th century by king viranarendrasingha,and later extended and modified by subsequent kings.exteranally,it is surrounded by a moat and low white walls with simple carrings.

Its distinctive octagonal tower, or “pattirippuwa”, was built in 1803 and houses a collection of palm leaf manuscripts.

The tooth is kept in a two storey shrine which is covered with a golden canopy and fronted by a museum where many Buddha images are kept; most of them gifts from different countries also displayed are paintings depicting the various events in the history of the tooth.

Thousands of devotees and visitors throng the shrine everyday to pay respectes to the tooth, which is encased within a set of seven caskets made of gold and precious gems. There is an air of great encitemet and anticipation among the crowd as the people await their turn to file past the tooth .there is usually not much more time than for a quick look as the attendants keep the crowd moving at a past pace.

A replica of the tooth, together with its on rate and beautiful caskets, is displayed once a year during the “esala perahara”.this is the island’s largest annual celebration, lasting for tendays,with colourful and elaborate parades of dancers, drummers and elephants, around a million peoples attend this festival each year. Due to security concerns, the actual tooth is never brought out for the festival.