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ashan Panangala
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The Esala Perahera in Kandy is celebrated to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic and the four ‘guardian’ Gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Goddess Pattini. The Kandy Maligawa Perahera is followed in order by those of the Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini ‘Devales’ (Temples dedicated to these Gods) which are situated in the vicinity of the Kandy Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth).
After the Kandyan Kingdom fell to the British in 1815, the custody of the Tooth Relic was handed over to the Buddhist Clergy. In the absence of the King, a lay custodian called the Diyawadana Nilame was appointed to handle routine administrative matters. The purpose of the Kandy Esala Perahera Procession is to beseech blessings of the gods to obtain rain for the cultivation of crops and to enrich the lands of the kingdom.

This ritual is performed by carrying the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha through the streets of the Kandy city which is done with exceptional panache. This is considered as one of the most beautiful pageants in the Asia.

The first ritual ‘Kap Situweema’ (planting of a sanctified young Jackfruit Tree) will be held to commence the rituals that start off Perahera. The ritual is performed according to an auspicious time decided by astrologers. The Jackfruit tree is sprinkled with sandalwood scented water and offerings are is made of nine kinds of flowers and an oil lamp with nine wicks. The priest of the Maha Vishnu Devale (Vishnu Temple) recites his prayers to all the gods.

History of the Kandy Perahera

Old Ceylon Kandy Perahera – the Kandy Perahera originates with the arrival of Prince Dantaha and Princess Hemamala, the son-in-law and daughter of King Guhasiva of Kalinga in India to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna (305-331 AD). Following the decree of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna that the Relic should be taken round the city of Anuradhapura once a year, the Esala Perahera had been followed by the succession of kings, though with interruptions caused by foreign invasions.

The most revealing narration of the Esala Perehera is found in the book written by the Chinese pilgrim ‘Fa Hien’ who visited Sri Lanka in the 5th century A.D. The sporadic invasions by the Dravidian Kingdoms resulted in the shifting of the seat of the kingdom from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, then to Dambadeniya and thereafter to other cities. In each retreat, a new temple was constructed to enshrine the Sacred Tooth Relic. Finally, after the shift of the capital to Kandy, the Relic has been undisturbed. ever since and the Esala Perahera has been held annually to rejoice and honour the Sacred Tooth Relic.

Tentative dates of the Kandy Esala Perahera 2015

17th Aug 2015 to 30th Aug 2015.
(Subject to change).

Date Event
17th Aug 2015 Kapsituvima (Planting of the ‘Kapa’)
17th Aug 2015 to 20th Aug 2015 Internal Perahera of Four Devales
20th Aug 2015 1st Kumbal Perahera
21stAug 2015
2nd Kumbal Perahera
22nd Aug 2015
3rd Kumbal Perahera
23rd Aug 2015
4th Kumbal Perahera
24th Aug 2015 5th Kumbal Perahera
25th Aug 2015
1st Randoli Perahera
26th Aug 2015 2nd Randoli Perahera
27th Aug 2015 3rd Randoli Perahera
28th Aug 2015 4th Randoli Perahera
29th Aug 2015 5th Randoli Perahera
30th Aug 2015 Day Perahera (W
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