Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
4
Points of Interest & LandmarksReligious Sites
About
Sri Dalada Maligawa (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී දළදා මාළිගාව) or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple. The temple which houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha is one of the holiest shrines in the entire Buddhist world.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Dottie_Brisbane
    Brisbane, Australia24 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
    This is a must as a culturally significant sight. There had been huge crowds being the long weekend of Buddha's birthday. However, waiting until the next day and visiting early on a rainy day, we beat the crowds.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 29, 2023
  • Odyssey27286697394
    27 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    A short but interesting evening visit
    Recommend going between 5 and 8 pm for slightly fewer crowds. An ok trip to a religious monument. You enter and can queue to walk past the room hosting the Sacred Tooth Relic. The new shrine room also has some paintings and plaques about the history of the Tooth, which was interesting. A 30 min trip max as there is not much else to see.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 25, 2023
  • HHess
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates138 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take the guide inside the temple
    You have to walk barefoot from the security checkpoint. Its worth to take one of the local guides to explain things around the temple. They work on donation system. We had an amazing time with our guide and were happy he explained to many things to us. The temple is beautiful and interesting, it has gardens and hindu temple as well. Avoid ceremony times as it gets very busy.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 8, 2023
  • Terri W
    South Wales, United Kingdom123 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spiritual spectical.
    Beautiful old temple with stunning ornate decorations. Even in the pouring rain it was a sight to behold. Be prepared to take shoes off and make sure you are appropriately covered as this is an active temple not just a tourist destination...people are praying.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 11, 2023
  • Bea
    Sydney, Australia2,434 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wasn’t much to see frankly
    There isn’t much to see as the tooth is stored in 7 layers of a protective stupa looking covering and stored behind small doors that were closed when we arrived. Perhaps as the Kandy Festival is commencing soon the temple was busy with staff preparing. I wouldn’t say it is a must see as we didn’t stay long.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 18, 2023
  • Judith
    Freiberg, Germany78 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unfiltered insight into religious practice - must experience
    I can confirm a lot of the other reviews. It is very full especially on poya (full moon days). BUT please consider this is a sacred religious place for the locals and as tourists we are lucky to be allowed to enter and get a glimpse of the religious practice and culture. Still for me it was somewhat overwhelming: people will not mind your personal space and push you along the stream of people, there ist a lot of loud praying and people bring tons of flowers and other offerings. Look out: In front of the main building there are many people who want to be your guide and tourists are guided to leave there shoes with some guard. We did not give them money because we think the entrance fee is high enough. And a guard is not necessary there. Pro tip: if you don’t want to stand out too much were white like the locals. If you’re not up to it don’t come during the ceremony times (around 10:30/ 11am and 17:30/18pm).
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 20, 2023
  • Raymond H
    West Wickham, United Kingdom232 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see in Kandy
    A fascinating Buddhist temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Supposedly a tooth was recovered from Buddha’s own funeral pyre in Nepal and transported to Sri Lanka for safe keeping. This is a wonderful (and perhaps unique) temple location, There is an older inner temple around which the main structure was built. A place of great significance for Buddhists.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 9, 2023
  • Wil P
    Maastricht, The Netherlands137 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must visit!
    The Temple of the Tooth ceremony is a must see, when you are in Kandy, and starts every day at 21.30. After the ceremony we met Dinesh (tuk-tuk driver) outside in front of the temple where the tuk-tuk drivers stop and he made us an offer to drive us all through Sri Lanka and showed us the most beautiful places of his country. We had a 14 days drive with this beautiful guy, always smiling and reliable and drove us to places that tourists never see. He was a perfect tourguide. Call him and you never will be disappointed !! Dinesh tel. +94 750323014
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 11, 2023
  • Matthew P
    Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom784 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Calm and Serene
    What an amazing place so beautiful and serene with so much to look at both within and outside the temple. As a visitor make sure you have appropriate clothing, shoulders and upper arms covered as well as knees as this is considered respectful to Buddah. Take your time to look around and take in this amazingly spiritual place and respect the devotees who are often sitting in the temple praying and chanting. If you have time go both in the day and again in the evening when the temple is lit up like a fairy castle which is jus amazing to see.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 20, 2023
  • Handysmith
    Ryde, Australia301 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Use an Official Guide if going to the tooth opening in the evening
    Our private driver arranged for an off duty official guide to take us around. We timed it when the tooth room was open in the evening. This was well worth the extra money for a guide as he took us via shortcuts only the guides know and timed everything to the second so we were in the correct spots at the correct times. He kept checking his watch to make sure we didn't miss anything. In the evening rooms are only open for a short period so if you have no idea where you are going and what you are looking at I strongly suggest getting a guide who works there and knows where to be and at what time. We also wanted to see the Raja Tusker Museum and would have never found it in the dark without him. Being a religion place you cannot wear shoes and knees and shoulders have to be covered.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 26, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles12,136 reviews
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5,384
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4,195
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Francis D
Dubai, United Arab Emirates384 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
The number one tourist destination in Kandy is surely this Temple. Easy to find in central Kandy. The entrance is adjacent to the old Victoria Hotel. Be aware that your legs and shoulders must be covered (no shorts allowed), so local sellers do sell some wraps or baggy loose trousers for a fee. Once in, a short stroll through the garden to the museum itself. If you are not native to Sri Lanka, you must go to the right to deposit your shoes in a locker/storage area before then queuing, searching and enter the temple. You also may want to pick up lotus or incense offerings before you go in too. Follow the crowds, it’s easy to navigate, and try not to take too many photos inside (which may offend) and pay the appropriate respects to those there for religious purposes. There is also a museum on site too towards the rear of the temple that’s worth a look too.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Youri van den Hurk
Eindhoven, The Netherlands230 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Overhyped and overpriced tourist attraction/temple that doesn’t seem to have much of an atmosphere or pays respect to a religion.

It’s starts with paying the entrance fee, which basically feels like sponsoring the government. After dropping your shoes you enter the temple and don’t really know what a logical way is to start, especially since it’s super crowded.

We went for the ‘ceremony’ but all it really was, was some guys banging a drum really loud for more then an hour. While that happend on the first floor on the second floor a queue of people pushing each other around formed to look in to a window (for not even a second) which apparently showed something important. I’m still not sure what it was.

The temple has some pretty aspects but they mainly show in the hallways in the form of patterns and wallpaintings.

After your whole ‘experience’ you’ll go and pick up your shoes and get to deal with the guys behind the desk forcing you to put money in a donation box while clinching on to your shoes. Kind of defeats the purpose of a donation doesn’t it?
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bhaskar_10
New Delhi, India3,127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Visited on 18 February 2020 at 10.30am

Dress decently. Very important is to wear cloths which cover the body and legs. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. For hot days carry cap/scarves. Please note.

On Kandy sightseeing, this was the first stopover of the day. The entry tickets were arranged as part of the package which included a CD and souvenir. The location of this temple is beside a lake and approach road has many colonial buildings.

The temple complex has many attraction within. Museum, floors, different portions dedicated to rituals and related things.

Photos are allowed but not selfies. Respect the rules.
This attraction will have long walks so suggest take a guide along and senior citizens must take rest breaks.

There is a souvenir shop inside the Museum complex selling authentic Sri Lankan craft at appropriate prices. Authenticity is guaranteed. Do use this opportunity to take few products back to your country. I bought Elephants (SLR 350), key rings (SLR 80) and fridge magnets (SLR 200).

Beautiful flower shops will amaze you when you exit the temple.

You will feel a calmness and happy after visiting this place.

Go and enjoy .
Written April 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tab D
Fredericton, Canada18 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
So you only get a 1 or 2 second glimpse of the casket or urn of the Tooth Relic. The man rudely ushers you passed the small door so fast that you can't see much and left feeling disappointed especially because this comes after waiting in conjested hot and humid line up of people for 45 mins pmus. Not really my thing. I wouldn't recommend doing this but certain aspects of the building are nice, like the flower offerings and the galleries, as well as the outside of the building and grounds. It's the viewing of the Relic that was not worth it.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lybu
Milton Keynes60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We visited this temple as part of an organised tour with Walkers tours and definitely benefited from having our guide, Sumith, giving his insight and sharing his expertise whilst we were there. I don't think the experience would have been the same without this personal insight and informed commentary.

Firstly, to be clear you do not see the sacred tooth! If you are lucky you may get a quick peek at the casket (with its separate 5 locks) where it is housed. If you are a tourist you can reach this by one very quick queue where Buddhists who wish to leave an offering may queue for 3 hours to reach the relic. The feeling of reference and respect is overwhelming and moving, just close your eyes for a moment and take in the sounds of chanting and drumming, the smells of essence and offerings, the emotions shown by people of faith. I can honestly say I felt completely overcome and still shiver at the memory.

On leaving this area there is plenty more to see which are less crowded and easier to view. We particularly enjoyed the room with the pictures outlining the history of the sacred tooth around a statue of Buddha with another place for offerings

a must do place in Kandy, particularly if you can have an insight as to why it is so important to the people of Sri Lanka
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ajaycmistry
54 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Very grand temple, different fees for locals and tourists, you can pay at the machine - ideally take the correct amount of change. The inside architecture and decor is impressive and the story of the ancient tooth relic is written on the walls. You can also light lamps outside in prayer or for blessings. I imagine it can be very peaceful. If you don't like crowds don't go at prayer time as it is really busy.
Written May 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kai Wah
Malaysia3,578 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site with interesting history and background. The site is located in city centre of Kandy right in front of Kandy Lake. Tooth Relic is believed to be sacred for Buddhism and the royal family was responsible for the safekeeping of the tooth relic. It is believed to be brought from Anuradhapura to Kandy Kingdom. Two storeys building was constructed for safekeeping the tooth relic. But the building was destroyed several times. Each time it was restored whenever it was destroyed. There will be ceremony everyday for the blessings by the devotees. We visited around late afternoon and waited for the ceremony around 6pm plus. Interesting cultural sights, but be prepared for uncontrollable crowds and haphazard situation during the ceremony. The tooth relic is said to be kept within a gold plated ornament, hence it cannot be seen by anyone even during the ceremony. The international Buddhism Museum within the compound is worth to check out too for the interesting architecture and interior design. Overall, it is still worth the entrance fee of LKR1,500 per person and appropriate attire is required and tight security check at the entrance.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sanjaya b
Berlin, Germany7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Couples
Enchanting views, can capture Queens hotel from the entrance of Temple of Tooth relic at dusk. The pond you see if on left has small garden in the middle. Crossing two coconut trees will mesmerize you for sure in the evening. Walk through pond side pathway and feed fishes in the pond. Boe trees surround the views will enhance the view beautify.
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2torontotraveller
Toronto, Canada1,926 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy. It is a very important Sri Lankan temple as it houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha.

We visited this temple as part of a G Adventures tour in the evening when the doors of the area where the casket that houses the tooth relic is open, This allows the locals as well as the tourists to see this casket.

Due to problems with possible terrorists, there are high security measures taken before you can enter the temple. You must also be appropriately dressed with women wearing clothes that cover their shoulders and knees and men should wear full length pants. Most of the locals wear complete white outfits to show their respect when visiting the temple.

It is a very busy in this temple and you cannot wear your shoes in it. I had a guide help me through the temple, which I would not have been able to do if he had not helped me up and down the numerous stairs you need to use to see the entire temple.

The museum that is attached to the temple was also interesting to see as it held many sacred texts about Buddha's life.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

abroadwithashley
Minneapolis, MN1,717 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We were surprised how much we enjoyed this temple. We originally planned to go because what else were we going to do in Kandy, and ended up spending far longer here than anticipated. It felt like there was something beautiful to stop and notice every time we paused during our time in the temple, and we were happy to wander around taking in each and every piece. We recommend circling the interior temple twice just to get a view of each of the different elements. The grounds are also lovely, and you could easily spend long moments quietly watching the people stream through. Our advice: Go in the morning! We practically had the place to ourselves...when we left a few hours later, the place was really filling up!
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy

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