The tooth of Load Buddha was taken after his death. In 313AD It was smuggled to Sri Lanka hidden in the hair of Princess Hemamali who fled Hindu armies besieging her father’s kingdom in India. At The time Dantha and Hemamali arrived Sri Lanka, Kirth Siri Mewan who ruled the land Was overjoyed when he heard the news. He warmly welcomed the royal couple and took over the sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha with great respect and built a beautiful place within the royal palace to keep the relic. King Kirth Siri Mewan ordered a Perahera to be held annually to honor the relic. As Kingdoms moved, Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa then after to other cities along with every movement the relic also was been taken and a new place was built to enshrine the relic. Finally the Kandy was the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka and when the capital was moved, the tooth was taken to the new city and placed in temples built to honor it. The temple was originally built under Kandyan kings between 1687 and 1707, but later severely damaged during the 18th-century colonial wars against the Portugese and Dutch. After the wars, the original wooden structures were restored in stone. The temple is called “DALADA MALIGAYA”. To day the relic of 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. The tooth relic is removed from its shrine only once a year, during the Esala Perahera, It is a celebration done for 10 days. Fire dancers, drummers, dignitaries, musicians, jugglers, torch bearers, boy dancers and acrobats, and members of noble families in Ceylonese garb and about 100 ornately decorated elephants make their way at the Perahera. It is now one of the better-known festivals in Asia, and it may be the largest Buddhist celebration in the world. Annually millions of people, local as well as from around the world gather to Kandy at the season of the Perahera. The perahera takes place in the months of July or August.
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