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.

An Evening View of Kandy Lake

Kandy Lake

The Kandy Lake (Kiri-muhuda)

A beautiful lake can be seen in front of the Temple of the Tooth Relic which is called “Kandy Lake”. It was a stretch of paddy fields called “Tigolwela” in the past. King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe built the lake converting the paddy fields. Since there was a beautiful pond named as “Kiri-muhuda” (a sea of milk) in the middle of the Tigolwela, the lake too had been named as “Kiri-muhuda”.

The extent of the lake is 6544 sq. meters. (70,400 sq. ft.) The circumference is 3.21 km. Highest depth is 18.5 m (60 ft.) The parapet wall, giving the appearance of a cloud, is popularly called “Walakulu Bemma” and measures 633.82 m. It is a beautiful lake which greatly enhances the scenic appeal of the city.

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Udawaththakele Forest Reserve

Udawaththakele Forest Reserve

Udawaththakele Forest Reserve is a historic forest reserve with a Royal touch and located on a hill in the hill capital city of Kandy. It covers an approximately 257 acres of area. (104 hectares)  The reserve is famed for its wide-ranging avifauna. The forest reserve contains a huge variety of plant species, especially lianas, shrubs and small and giant trees.

Source : Wikipedia

Udawattakele was known as “Uda Wasala Watta” in Sinhalese which means “the garden above the royal palace”. It was used as a pleasure garden by the Kandyan kings and the Royal family. The pond in the forest was used by the crowned heads for bathing. It was a “Forbidden forest” for the general public as they were restricted from accessing the forest.


A study has revealed that there are nearly 400 species of plants inclusive of ferns, orchids and lianas. Around the lake is mostly covered with exotic Mahogani and Myroxlion balsamum and most of the forest reserve is covered with some introduced species of trees. A breathtaking beauty is added by native liana, which is called as “Wevel” and other exotic creepers.

Mammals & Birds

The reserve boast of a rich vegetation and it helps many wild animals. Udawaththakele hosts 15 different mammals, 32 species of Butterflies and more than 80 species of Birds and many varieties of reptiles and amphibians. Among the large mammals, Barking Deer, Wild-boar and Toque-monky  can be seen inside the Park. Dark fronted babbler, Gray horn-bill, Hill myna and Layard paraquet can be seen as well. Other commonly found birds are Owls, Eagles, Kingfishers, Wood-peckers and Fly-catches.

Aquatic Animals

Fresh water turtle species named Black Turtle and fish species of Thilapia also found in the pond at the Udawaththakele forest reserve.

Puss-wel (Giant liana)

A giant liana named Pusswel (Entada puseatha) is spread across nearly 2 hectares can be found and it is estimated to be 200 years old.

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