Dalada Maligawa or Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic is believed to house the left upper canine tooth of the Lord Buddha that was brought to Sri Lanka from the Kalinga province in ancient India in the 4th century AD. Built in the 16th century, Dalada Maligawa is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage tourist sites in Sri Lanka and the world.
Originally the temple was within the King’s palace complex which is also in the temple compound. Several buildings have been added to the temple complex by successive rulers, the latest being the Golden Canopy over the inner shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks where the Tooth Relic is placed. The tooth relic rests on solid gold lotus flower. The interiors of the temple buildings are richly carved and decorated with inlaid woods, ivory, and lacquer.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit by tourists is when a pooja (religious service) is being held at dawn, midday, or in the evening. Daily ceremonies of homage to the Tooth Relic are performed thrice a day-at 4.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m., and 6.30 p.m. respectively. Dalada Maligawa temple also has a museum, full of more artifacts to discover and learn more about the rituals and religion