The Kandy Esala Perahera | Sunday Observer

The Kandy Esala Perahera

18 July, 2021

The Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest religious celebrations of Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The Sacred Tooth Relic is housed in the Sacred Temple of Tooth in the city of Kandy. There are daily, weekly and annual poojas and rituals. The Dalada Perahera is known as the Kandy Esala Perehera and is held in July or August annually.

It is considered as the epitome of the country’s Buddhist celebrations. The Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka due to continuous conflicts in the kingdom of Kaalinga. Princess Hemamala and Prince Dhantha brought the Sacred Tooth Relic to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Keerthi Sri Meghavarna, seeking protection for the Tooth Relic.

During the past eight kingdoms the annual Dalada Perahera was performed to showcase the guardianship of the Sacred Tooth Relic along with all rituals and poojas. The Dalada Perahera is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic along with numerous rituals and performances.

The procession is composed of musicians, dancers, singers, acrobats, flag bearers and various other performers accompanied by a large number of caparisoned tuskers and elephants. The parading of the streets begins with the whip crackers announcing the commencement of the event.

They are followed by the flag bearers who carry the flags of the different provinces in Sri Lanka. The most exciting experience is watching the performances of drummers and the elephants marching. A herd of elephants are adorned with colourful costumes and taken across the road by mahouts. And also there’s one special tusker which participate as the main casket bearer of the Kandy Esala Peraher. In the past, there were many special tuskers who carried the tooth relic in the procession such as Raja, Heiyanthudawe Raja, Millangoda Raja and Nadungamuwe Raja.

The Kandy Esala Perahera is a mixture of histories and cultures, including Sinhalese traditions, Hindu culture. This is considered to be one of the oldest and cultural events in the world.


Chithsara Dahanayake

Grade 11 R


Rajapaksa College, Homagama