A capital in the 14th century and the seat of much of Sri Lanka’s culture this urban fell after the last Kandyan King Wickrema Rajasinghe was capured by the British in 1815. Dating back to the 16th century A.D. this temple Dalada Maligawa is the lodestar of the Buddhist. It is said to house a tooth of Buddha. The Sacred Tooth is housed in a gold strongbox; six other smaller and smaller caskets are said to be inside this to save from harm the relic.The first king of Kandy was Wickramabahu. It became the country’s capital in 1592 under Wimakadharmasuriya 1, who also built current Dalada Maligawa. Kandy ruins the cultural and sacred centre of the Sinhalese and is a World Heritage Site for the most part due to the temple.
The Esala Perehera is held in Kandy every July to August to honour the holy tooth relic. The most wonderful annual event in the country, it is well known throughout Asia and tourists flock to Sri Lanka during the period to witness this spectacular parade. The sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is taken in procession.
The event takes place over several days with the grandest procession happening on the last day. The Esala Perehera is a grouping of five Pereheras those of the Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini Devalas in Kandy and the Maligawa itself.
The Maligawa Perehera was added to the further four processions and the event given more splendour by King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe. Dancers and drummers guide the procession, some cracking whips, some carrying lanterns and others performing Kandyan dances, stilt walkers, children carrying flags and banners and Diyawadane Nilames are part of the Perehera. They are followed by more than 50 wonderfully decorated elephants. In their midst walks the Maligawa Tusker, decorated in the most grand fashion carrying the tooth relic.