Dalada Maligawa is one of the most visited places among the tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. This historical temple houses the most sacred object of Buddhists of Sri Lanka, which is known as left eye tooth of Buddha or daldawa in the Sinhalese language. Tooth Relic was brought to the island in the 2nd century AD from India and it was placed in the first capital of the island, Anuradhapura. As the capital of the island was dislodged for several times in the past, tooth relic was also shifted from place to place and brought to Kandy during the Kandy period. Today the tooth relic is residing in Dalada Maligawa.
Esala ceremony of Kandy that evolved around the tooth relic is the annual event which takes place in the months of July/August is considered to be one of the most beautiful pageants in Asia.
Dalada Maligawa is surrounded by a ditch and the bridge out of stones provides the access to the temple. There is a large amount of fish and a turtle in the ditch and it was constructed during the reign of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (1798-1815). The construction of the temple present started in 1706; the octagon was constructed in a later period and dating back to the beginning of 19th century. It had been used in the important events such as demonstrating the tooth relic. There was a secret passage from the octagon, supposed to be used by the king in the event of a risk for his life. Today octagon used the library and housed some of the very valuable literary work of the country.
The main building of the Dalada Maligawa is located in the middle of the temple which has two stories. Tooth relic is to be found on the upper floor of the main building (Udamale). Tooth relic is surrounded by seven caskets which are in gradually smaller in size. The topmost casket that is in dome-shaped and it is one meter in height. The casket is beautifully decorated with gems, gold, silver and ivory.
Audience hall is located in the direction of east from the main building of Dalada Maligawa. Even though the construction started in 1784it was completed under the king Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe. The architecture considered being typical Kandyan style and the building is constructed with beautifully decorated wooden pillars and columns. It was the venue where the Kandy convention, which made Sri Lanka a British colony, was signed between the representative of King and the British rulers in 1815.
South of the Audience hall is the national museum which was constructed in 1765 after the Dutch architecture. There are a number of valuable artefacts in the museum some of the noteworthy objects are the Golden crown of king Raja Sinha 2, ivories, wood carvings, oil lamps that used in rituals, beautifully decorated figures with traditional upcountry attire, and thousands of years old palm-leave manuscripts.
Natha Devala another important religious building belongs to the Dalada Maligawa complex is located in the direction of north from the main building. Natha Devala was constructed in the 14th century and it is the oldest construction in the city. Temple is dedicated to the God Natha, who is dedicated to protecting the city. Pattini Devala is dedicated to the Goddess pattini and the temple is located further fifty meters towards the North direction from the Natha Devala.