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Temple of the Tooth

April 11, 2008

Tom – We were up at 5am to go with Namal the Tuk Tuk driver to do the 5:30am puja (offering and prayer) at the Temple of the Tooth.  It was raining but we left our umbrellas and shoes in the parked Tuk Tuk in front of the temple.  Namal had prepared a rice offering for each of us to present to the monk in the doorway to the room containing the sacred tooth of the Buddha.  We got pretty wet before we were able to use the umbrellas provided inside the gate of the temple. 

 

The drums were beating as we entered the temple and took up our positions in the line waiting to give offerings.  An extended family was sitting in an enclosure in front of the offering doorway – it was their day at the temple (an honor).  We made our offering (with donation) and took a peek at the reliquary inside the room containing the sacred tooth.  As we were leaving, one of the guards asked if we wanted to go into the room with the reliquary.  Again, this is quite an honor and relatively few people are allowed inside.  We said yes but had to wait about 20 minutes to be escorted into the room.  You were only given about 20 seconds inside – just enough to give another donation and get a close up look at the reliquary.  It was a spectacular sight!  You can see a little bit of it in the picture taken of the monk in the doorway. 

This is a picture of another temple shrine hall in the complex. 

We intend to come back to explore the entire complex and museum at a later date.

 

Helen – It was Tom’s last day teaching but he spent the rest of the day working on tying up loose ends at the university.  Shenani and I stayed home and were getting dinner ready because Shamila and Raj were coming over that night.  She made several dishes which I will make when we get home since the spice level was within our range and absolutely delicious.  Shamila brought us lovely gifts which included a red material shoulder bag for me, a blue batik wall hanging, and a smaller wooden mask which is traditional for the Kandy area.

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