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Friday, January 23, 2009

Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Sri Lanka

The Sacred Temple of the Tooth

Dalada Maligawa in Kandy

Dalada Maligawa occupies a unique position in the life of the people of Sri Lanka. Not only during festive days but also throughout the year the throb of drums, the wail of the fife, the clang of the cymbals and the call of the conch continues to resonate within the chambers of this hallowed shrine reminding us of oblations that have been performed throughout the ages.


Kandyan king Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592-1604 A.D) built a two storied Temple for the Relic which had been concealed in Delgamuwa near Kuruwita in the Sabaragamuwa.
King Wimaladharmasuriya II (1687-1707) built a three storied temple and king Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1782) built the existing inner temple and King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe built the Pattirippuwa.
The Paththirippuva (octagan) is part of the royal palace. The king is said to have addressed the people from this spot. It was constructed by Devendra Moolachari during the period of king Sri Wickrama Rajasingha.
Now it is part of the temple of the tooth and is used as a library. In front of the Dalada Maligava is the Diyarelibamma, which is seen and as soon as you walk out of the temple. The diyarelibamma is in the shape of waves of a lake.


There are two walls. One is the diyarelibamma. The one close to the temple is called the walakulubama and at the entrance you get the maha wahalkada. At the entrance you get a moonstone and it is intricately carved with the figures of elephant.
When entering the Wahalkada you pass through a door, with “Makara thorana”.
Then you come to the hevisi mandapaya (drumers’ courtyard) in front of the sacred tooth relic temple. The lower chamber of the temple is called pahale maluwa. The upper chamber is called uda mahala or wedahitina mahala.


To the right side of the octagon is aramudal ge where one can see the Buddha’s image house. Further on one can see the pirith mandapaya. The lower chamber of this building have two rooms called dig ge or ‘long house.’
Another chamber is called the maha aramudhala or the ‘treasure room,’ where the gifts offered are housed. The wooden doors were framed over late with rich silver plates with the sun and moon symbol either sides. This is on the lower floor.
In the upper chamber there are three rooms. Second room, or sandal wood shed is called a “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 casket is embedded with jewellery offered to the relic by various kings and other distinguished quest.
On the right hand of the tooth relic is the perahera karanduwa. 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 in 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 Buddhists believe treating Buddha’s relic is like treating Buddha alive.

**********Lakbima News !


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