The real name for this is the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic. However our itinerary simply said Temple of Tooth, so I’m going with that.
This a beautiful temple.
The temple was attacked by the Tamil Tigers during the civil war, but the damage was minimal and has been repaired.
The tooth is a tooth of Buddha. I was expecting a little glass box with a tooth inside of it. Sort of like the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, only smaller,people would wander past and take a glance.
Boy was I wrong. Three times a day a service happens with drummers and dancers.
The history of this tooth goes all the way back to the funeral pyre of Buddha where the tooth was snatched from the fire, then years later smuggled into Sri Lanka in the hair of a princess. Possession of the tooth was tantamount to ruling power. So, when the Portuguese came to Sri Lanka they stole it away. But wait! They only stole a replica say the devotees. Some say that the tooth here is only a replica and the real tooth is hidden away in a secure and secret location.
But here is where I was disappointed. Three times a day a heavily guarded room is open for what they call pujas, which consist of offerings (mostly flowers) and prayers. Then the long line of devotees slowly pass by a doorway to the room where the tooth is.
So where is the tooth? you ask. As it turns out there are six more of these Stupa shaped solid gold, jewel encrusted containers, each smaller than the other inside this one. Only once a year are they removed so you can actually see the tooth. It must be a madhouse.
That is it for Temple of Tooth. Next post will be a visit to a wonderful waterfall,with the very best hawkers I have ever run across!
Thanks for reading and share this with friends.