Last Capital in Kandy

History of Tooth Relic

Kandy - මහනුවර
(Kandy Era :1469 to 1815 A.D) 

The city of Kandy lies at an altitude of 488.6 meters (1629 feet) above sea level in the center of the island and surrounded by the ranges of mountains. It is still very much a focal point of Sri Lankan culture. It was the capitol of last generation of Sri Lanka`s kings until it fell in to the hands of British in 1815.
Kandy was originally known as Senkadagala pura after a hermit named Senkada who lived there. Many of Sinhalese people call it “Mahanuwara” meaning the "Great City”. But the name Kandy was derived from the Word Kanda, which means mountain. Due to it’s geographical location Kandy was not an easy target for the foreign invaders who could gain the control of coastal area of the island.
The tooth relic was brought to Sri Lanka in 371 A.D. from India. In India there was a king called Buhasiva. He has instructed his son in law Dhantha supposing if he lost in the battle take the tooth relic to Sri Lanka where his friend was living. He handed over this tooth relic to his son in law DhanthaThe king lost the battle and his daughter princes Hemamali and son in law Dhantha brought the tooth relic to Sri Lanka, and it was hidden in her knot of hair foe safety. When they reached Sri Lanka King Buhasiva’s friendly king Mahasen had died. So they handed the sacred tooth relic to king Megavan who was ruling in Anuradhapura. The sacred tooth relic was then handed over to bikku, buddhist monk’s of Abayagiriya for safe keeping and also object of worship for Buddha’s. Traditionally thereafter the sacred tooth relic was regarded as a royal treasure and symbol of kingship and was enshrined in the private shrine room of temple in the royal palace complex of Capital and protected by the king himself. 

When the capital was shifted from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa the tooth relic was taken to Polonnaruwa by king Vijayabahu 1 and he constructed “Atadage”and enshrined it.Aftertsome time Queen Sugala has taken the tooth to Amsterdam bay.There was a fortress and it was hidden there. After a long battle king Parakramabahu the 1st brought the tooth relic again to Polonnaruwa. And king Nissankamalla constructed the tooth relic temple called "Hatadage" and enshrined it. After that it was brought to Dmbadeniya,Yapahuwa, Kurunegala from Kurunegala they brought to Kotte. During the period of Mayadunna it was taken to Seethawaka.During period of Rajasinghe 1, portugues power spread in the costal area and it was taken to Delgamuwa Viharaya, which is situated at Kuruwita in Rathnapura district, and it was taken to Kandy in 1593 and kept by king Wimaladharmasuriya. In 1753 the Kandy Perahara started to honour the tooth relic, and it was taken around the Kandy town.

After Sri Lanka was concord by British in 1815 the custody of the sacred tooth relic given over to three custodians. The venerable mahanayaka thero of Asgiriya and malwatta chapters and to the Diyawadana Nilame, the chief custodian, and continue even to day. During the period of king wimaladhrmasuriya the temple of tooth relic constructed.he made it a two storied building. Later king wimaladhrmasuriya the 2nd, have constructed three storied building. King Narendrasingha re-built and had paintings of 32 jathaka stories of Depict of the wall of court yard.Paththirippuva (octagan) is part of the royal palace. King used to come and address the people from there. It was constructed by Devendra Moolachari during the period of king Sri Wickrama Rajasingha. Now it’s handed over to the temple of tooth relic, and uses as a library of ola leaves. In front of the Daladha Maligava you get the “diyarelibemma”. as soon as you come out side in the wall you get the diyarelibemma, in the shape of a waves get in the lake. When the electricity is not there you can keep the oil lamp and light in the “diyarelibemma”. There are two walls. First one is calld “diyareli bemma”. The one close to the temple calls “walakulu bemma” at the entrance you get the “maha wahalkada” one of the entrance to the palace area. At the entrance you get a moonstone and by both sides you get nicely carved elephant figures. When you enter the wahalkada you come through a door – way, with makara thorana. And a figur of dhorotupala.(door man) When you pass through a cave called ambarawa. Then you come to the hevisi mandapaya (drumers' courtyard) in front of the sacred tooth relic temple. The lower chamber of the temple call pallemaluwa. Upper chamber call uda mahala or wedahitina mahala. To the right side of the octagon is aramudal ge in which you get the Buddha's image house. then you get pirith mandapaya. Lower chamber of this building have two rooms called dig ge, long house. Other one is maha aramudhala. The treasure room, where the gifts offered are housed. The wooden doors framed over late with rich silver plates with the sun and moon symbol either sides. That is in the lover floor. In the upper chamber there are three rooms. handhun hunama, is the name given to first and second room, or sandal wood shed or gandhakutiya, or perfume chamber. It is the first room that the exposition of the tooth relic take place. The third room is called wadahitina maligawa , where the tooth relic reside. Door frames in these chambers are late with ivory. There are seven golden caskets enclosed for the tooth relic and each studded with precious gems. The outer most caster is embedded by jewellery offered to the relic by various kings and other distinguished quest. on the right hand of the tooth relic is the perahera karaduwa. There is a relic chamber presented by India with the Buddha's relic from dharmajika sthoopa in Thaksala the relic casket is covered with bullet proof glass frame. In front of it is the wooden alter mal asana in late with silver. over it from the ceiling hangs lotus flower made out of gold with gems at the center.

Daily rituals are performed three times a day. One is early morning at 4.30 a.m. second is at 10.30. a.m. and the third is at 6.30. p.m. in the evening at 4.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. 32 measures of rice are cooked as offering for Breakfast and Lunch every day. 32 vegetables are cooked for alms and in the evening various medicinal drinks like koththamalli, tea, fruit juice, with beetle and banana are offered as Buddhist's believe treating Buddha's relic is like treating Buddha alive.