Explore Travel

Sri Dalada Maligawa

Religious and Political Symbolism

Within the royal palace complex of the ancient Kingdom of Kandy, the Sri Dalada Maligawa (or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) is a Buddhist temple that is home to the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. The city of Kandy was the last great capital of Sri Lanka’s ancient kings, and the presence of the temple is a major reason that the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The relic that lies within the temple has played a major role in Sri Lanka’s political history, as it was believed that the holder of the relic possessed the right to govern the country.

When the tooth relic was first brought to the shores of Sri Lanka, the king who ruled at the time had it enshrined in the city of Anuradhapura. The protection of the tooth relic became one of the duties of the monarch, and so over time, it became a symbol of the right to rule. This is why the temples that were built to safeguard the relic were situated so close to the monarch’s royal residence.

What You Can See

The main entrance gate to the temple lies over a moat. Moonstones can be found carved into the ground in the traditional Kandyan architectural style, before the steps that lead up to the gate. The stairs are flanked by two elephants carved into stone. Inside, beyond the temple, the royal palace can be found to the north, and the royal audience hall where kings held their court can be found at the center of the complex.


Useful Information

  • The temple is open year-round. The famous Kandy Perahera that is hosted by the temple takes place in July.
  • There is an entrance fee of LKR 1,500.
  • Dress appropriately, covering arms and legs before entering the premises. Footwear must be left at the entrance.

More Things to do in


Sri Dalada Maligawa

Sri Dalada Maligawa (or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) is a Buddhist temple that is home to the tooth relic of Lord Buddha.


Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja is a stunning rainforest in Sri Lanka with rich biodiversity, guided tours, towering trees, waterfalls, diverse wildlife, and a need to respect its delicate ecosystem.


Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a wonderful experience for nature and animal lovers. Witness the elephants, support conservation, and learn with guided tours.

Nelligala Temple

This sacred place where the golden Buddha statue, the Saman Devi Stupa, and the holy relic of the Buddha reside, sitting on a white elephant, relaxes the mind.


Hotels Around Sri Dalada Maligawa