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Temple of the Tooth

Temple of the Tooth: A Sacred Gem in the Heart of Sri Lanka

Temple of the Tooth

Discovering the Sacred: A Journey to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Nestled in the heart of Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka, lies the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa). This revered temple is not just a significant religious site but also a symbol of rich cultural heritage and spiritual sanctity. As you plan your visit to this sacred place, here’s everything you need to know to make your journey unforgettable.

About the Temple of the Tooth

The Temple of the Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. Legends say that the tooth was taken from the Buddha on his deathbed, smuggled into Sri Lanka hidden in the hair of a princess, and has since become a symbol of sovereignty and power. The temple complex itself is a stunning example of Sri Lankan architecture, with intricate carvings, beautiful paintings, and an atmosphere of serene divinity.

Location and Hours of Operation

  • Location: The temple is located in the city of Kandy, in the central part of Sri Lanka, overlooking the picturesque Kandy Lake.
  • Hours of Operation: Open daily, the temple welcomes visitors from early morning until late evening, typically from 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM. It’s advisable to check the latest timings before your visit.

Entry Fees

  • Fees: There is a modest entry fee for foreign visitors, which helps in the maintenance and preservation of this historic site. The fee is around $10 USD, but rates can vary, so it’s good to have local currency on hand.

What to See and Do

  • The Relic Chamber: The heart of the temple, where the sacred tooth relic is enshrined. Though the relic itself is not visible, the elaborate casket it’s housed in is a sight to behold.
  • Rituals and Ceremonies: Witness the puja ceremonies held three times a day, an experience that blends devotion with tradition in a mesmerizing display.
  • The Royal Palace and Museum: Explore the adjacent royal palace and museums within the complex, offering a glimpse into the temple’s history and the significance of the tooth relic in Sri Lankan culture.

Tips for Visitors

  • Dress Code: Dress modestly when visiting; legs and shoulders should be covered as a sign of respect.
  • Photography: Photography is allowed, but it’s respectful to avoid flash and direct photos of the monks or during rituals.


Q: Can anyone visit the Temple of the Tooth?
A: Yes, the temple is open to visitors of all faiths and backgrounds. It’s a place of worship, so visitors are expected to behave respectfully.

Q: Is there a best time to visit?
A: Early morning or evening during the puja ceremonies is particularly special. The temple is less crowded, and you can fully immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance.

Q: Are there guides available?
A: Yes, official guides are available who can enrich your visit with insights into the temple’s history and significance.

Exploring Beyond the Temple

Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage city, offers more than just the Temple of the Tooth. Stroll around Kandy Lake, visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, or explore the bustling local markets. Each corner of Kandy has a story to tell, reflecting the soul of Sri Lanka.


Visiting the Temple of the Tooth is more than just a tourist activity; it’s a spiritual journey into the heart of Sri Lankan culture and Buddhism. Whether you’re drawn by faith, history, or architecture, this sacred site offers a profound experience that resonates long after your visit. Plan your trip to the Temple of the Tooth and immerse yourself in the peace and beauty that Kandy has to offer.

For more insights and guides on exploring Sri Lanka, remember to check out Sri Lanka’s travel listings. Your adventure in this enchanting island nation awaits!




Google Reviews

379 reviews
  • Ross Daniels
    Ross Daniels
    6 months ago

    To be candid in Kandy I was really not sure what to make of the The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. We were fortunate to watch the mesmerizing ceremony as the monks entered into the inner sanctum which is alleged to hold the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. It is played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. I realise this is a World Heritage Site but I really would like to see some more concrete evidence that this truly is a tooth belonging to the Buddha. I guess that's where faith comes in!

  • Daniyal Saleem
    Daniyal Saleem
    7 months ago

    This Buddhist temple in Kandy is a true gem that should be on your list when visiting the city. If you plan your visit for the afternoon, particularly after 6:00pm, you'll have the unique opportunity to witness the mesmerizing evening ceremony, though be prepared for the vibrant and lengthy music that accompanies it. The entrance fee is 2,000 LKR. For Buddhists, this site holds immense historical significance and is a must-visit. Please note that parking options for private vehicles nearby can be limited. To avoid any issues, consider parking in government-paid areas and enjoy a short walk to the temple. Additionally, it's advisable to avoid purchasing flowers at the entrance, as they tend to be quite pricey.

  • Adrian Campan
    Adrian Campan
    5 months ago

    Nice sacred temple. Good security. Lots of tourists and locals. Go there when it’s a ceremony, you will enjoy.

  • Lucie Ferguson
    Lucie Ferguson
    5 months ago

    We visited at ceremony time (around 6.30pm) so it was quite busy and difficult to see around as some areas were restricted. Very impressive and grand temple though and worth a visit. Entry cost was 2000 rupees per person

  • Manolis Lekkas
    Manolis Lekkas
    a year ago

    A beautiful Buddhist temple, definitely worth visiting while in Kandy. If you visit afternoon (like after 6:00pm) you will have the chance to observe the ritual evening ceremony (just be prepared for loud, long-lasting music). Entrance fee: 2,000 LKR.

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