Kandy Esala Perahera

Kandy Esala Perahera

Near by Kandy Esala Perahera

Images of Kandy Esala Perahera

About Kandy Esala Perahera

During the months of July and August every year the streets of Kandy come alive with a kaleidoscope of spinning firemen, fire breathing dancers, and colourful dancers treading the streets for ten days. At the centre of this colourful procession you’ll find a gigantic elephant, a unique symbol of Sri Lanka, carrying the Sacred Tooth Relic on its back swaying to the drumbeats of the traditional drummers.

This procession of energy and lights is commonly referred to as the Kandy Esala Perehera and it’s a must visit for those who visit Sri Lanka. During the grand festival everyone takes to the street to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic, which sits majestically on the back of an elephant slowly ambling along the crowded streets of the hill capital. Thought to be one of the most colourful religious pageants in Asia, Kandy's Esala Perahera is one of Sri Lanka's most spectacular festivals that attract people from all over the country to the hill capital.

You can either view the procession from the streets below or from any cosy hotel in that area.

Story in a nutshell

The reason for the parading of the Sacred Tooth Relic lies in its history which takes us back to India. According to local stories the Sacred Tooth found at the centre of the Perehara was taken from Lord Buddha during his cremation. It was believed in India that whoever held the Sacred Tooth was given the divine right to rule that land. Hence kings and princes fought over the Sacred Tooth growing power hungry as the years flew past. This prompted a royal couple to smuggle the Sacred Tooth into Sri Lanka. Local tales state that King Kirti Sri Megavanna received the Relic and built an abode for the preservation of the Sacred Relic. He initiated the tradition of the Esala Perehera that still takes place to honour the sacred symbol.

For a detailed description of the contents of the Esala Perehera visit