Tuskers at Esala Perahera of Kandy City

Glittering Esala Perahera in Kandy

Glittering Esala Perahera in Kandy

Tuskers at Esala Perahera of Kandy City

Esala Perahera in Kandy or Dalada Perahera is perhaps the world’s oldest religious pageant. It held for the 1790th time this year. It is held in the August to honour the sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha which reposes in the Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy.

The sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and her husband Prince Dantha from Kalinga State, and handed to then King Kirthi Sri Meghawarna (AD 303 – 331), who reigned in Anuradhapura. The king reverently accepted the precious relic and deposited it in a mansion called the Damma Cakka Geha which was built by the first Buddhist King of Sri Lanka, Devanampiyatissa. Initially it was kept at the Meghagiri monastery, currently called Isurumuniya.

During that time the sacred Tooth Relic was taken to the Abhayagiriya in a procession and it is considered the origin of the Dalada Perahera. According to the Chulavamsa, King Kirthi Sri Meghawarna began the Perahera in the 10th year of his reign and continued till 372 AD.

Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Senkadagala by the King Vimaladharmasuriya (AD 1591 – 1604).

The reign of King Kirthi Sri R​Rajasinghe (AD 1747 – 1810) is considered as the golden era of Buddhism. Even though he belonged to the Indian Nayakkar Dynasty, he did much to the Buddhism. During his time he ordered to held the individual Peraheras of the  Four Devala and the Dalada Maligawa Perahera together as a one perahera, with the advice of the Ven. Sanga Raja, Velivita Sri Saranankara thera.