Perahera 2012

The Perahera in 2012 starts on July 19 (Esala Full Moon Poya Day) and ends on August 2. Please contact us if you want to purchase Perahera tickets in advance.

Video impression of the Perahera

History of the Esala Perahera

It is believed the Kandy Perahera has its origin with the arrival of Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala, the son-in-law and daughter of King Guhasiva of Kalinga, India, to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna (305-331 AD). Following the decree of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna that the Relic be taken round the city of Anuradhapura once a year, the Esala Perehera pageant has been continued by the succession of kings, though with interruptions caused by the foreign invasions. The most revealing narration on 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 intermittent invasions by the Dravidian kingdoms in southern Sri Lanka was to result in the shifting of the seat of the kingdom from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, then to Dambadeniya and other cities. Upon each retreat, a new Temple of the Tooth was built to enshrine the Sacred Tooth Relic. Since the shift of the capital to Kandy, the Sacred Tooth Relic has finally been left undisturbed. Today the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha and so it is there that the annual Esala Perehera pageant is held.

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