Travels with V
Fire and the Buddha’s tooth
Kandy part one
Once again we travel by bus, this time from Sigiriya to Kandy, the capital of the last Sri Lankan kingdom. Today Kandy is the second largest city in the country, and the site of one of its most holy artifacts. Deep inside a huge temple there is a tooth that once sat in Buddhas mouth.
The tooth is placed inside a spectacular urn inside a locked room, but every once in a while the urn is brought out for a few people who have paid big money to see it. But before they close the door to that sanctuary also some of us mortals may get a glimpse of it.
Kings ruled in Kandy for more than 200 years and they fiercely defended their borders against the British and other colonizer’s armies. But the last king finally surrendered in 1815, largely because of wide-spread resistance to his authoritarian regime. When he had a rival executed and put his head and the heads of his wife and children on sticks in the dam, the people started a rebellion. Shortly after that British soldiers conquered the city and the king was dethroned.
Kandy today is a cultural hotspot and one evening we watch a beautiful and moving performance lit by candles, traditional dancing to heavy drum beats and some acrobat performance. It ends with men walking on beds of burning coal.
In the next chapter we have lots of great photos from the gorgeous botanical gardens in Kandy. And we finally see the fat lizards!