Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – Kandy, Sri Lanka - Atlas Obscura

Located in the appropriately-named-to-Western-ears town of Kandy in Sri Lanka, the Temple of the Tooth offers some sweet Eastern architecture surrounding a religious relic. 

According to local tradition, the Buddha’s tooth was given to the Sri Lankan monarchy in ancient times. Whoever holds the relic is said to hold the governance of the country. The tooth was passed around through various kings and holy men who hid, moved, and relocated the sacred relic across centuries.

Now the tooth is housed in a dedicated temple inside the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy. Worshipers can visit the relic, which is held in a golden stupa inside the two-story shrine. The relic is encased in seven golden caskets which are engraved and inlaid with precious gemstones.

Although parts of the shrine were destroyed and rebuilt over the years in various bombings and acts of war, the building still retains its opulent style of gold and moonstone, surrounded by Buddhist carvings and offerings.

This piece of peace may be small, but the Temple of the Tooth makes it seem as important as the Buddha himself.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web