One of the most famous temples in all of Sri Lanka is located in Kandy, the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa). It was built in the 17th century and proudly boasts it is the home of Buddha’s tooth. The tooth is kept in a two-story inner shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks. The relic rests on a solid gold lotus flower, encased in jeweled caskets that sit on a throne. Basically, it is safely tucked away in a gold casket to be revered by all Sri Lankans.
According to legend, the tooth was taken from the Buddha as he lay on his funeral pyre. It was smuggled to Sri Lanka in 313 AD, hidden in the hair of Princess Hemamali who fled the Hindu armies besieging her father’s kingdom in India. But for mere mortals the important thing to know is that the temple is really beautiful and is most definitely the highlight of Kandy town. It’s situated on the lake and has a little moat wrapping around the outside which doesn’t really deter anyone or any monkey; but it makes it look lovely.
If you want a real cultural experience, then try to attend one of the three daily rituals at the temple on the 2nd floor in which special offerings are made to the tooth and the monks honor it in music.