Sri Lanka: Kandy perahera 2023


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One departure only:    25 July 2023

Sri Lanka

There really is so much to see and do in Sri Lanka: nature, amazing beaches, fascinating wildlife, endless historical and religious sites, delicious, (spicy) food and, of course, the Kandy perahera. This Buddhist festival pays homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (also known as the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of traditional local dances such as fire dances and performances in whip-dance garments. It is held every night for over a week and gets bigger and better every night until the grand finale, with over a hundred elephants in procession that have walked from every corner of the island to participate.

The perahera

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a world-renowned place of worship, where the left  tooth of Gautama Buddha is enshrined. The temple which is venerated by thousands of local & foreign devotees and tourists daily was named as a world heritage by UNESCO in 1988. 

The temple which carries a lot of value to Buddhists all over the world also has immense cultural value. The architecture is of unique Kandyan architectural style with a combination of the unique style used to build “Dalada Mandira” the shrines which housed the Sacred Tooth Relic previously in other kingdoms.

The temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is built in the city of Kandy near the ancient Royal Palace which is situated to the North of the temple and the forest reserve called “Udawaththa Kelaya” to the East. The famous Kandy Lake also known as “Kiri Muhuda” to the South and “Natha & Paththini Devala” on the West. The temple is adorned with intricate carvings using gold, silver, bronze and ivory.


Many festivals are held throughout the year such as the Festival of New Rice in January which is the last festival for the year as per Sinhala calendar. A milk rice prepared using the first harvest of paddy is offered to the Sacred Tooth Relic. In the ancient times the King officiated this ceremony and measuring and distribution of rice was done by the King himself. At present the lay custodian of the Sacred Tooth Relic Diyawadana Nilame attend to this. He distributes rice to 91 temples and Devalas and the rest is distributed according to the 2nd and 3rd list. From the first harvest of rice, 80 serus (an ancient traditional measurement) of milk rice is offered to the sacred tooth Relic on the Duruthu full moon poya day. 

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The Elephant Orphanage was started in 1975 in order to provide care and protection to the many baby elephants found in the jungle without their mothers. In most of these cases the mother had either died or been killed. In some instances the baby had fallen into a pit and in others the mother had fallen in and died. This stop is both fascinating and confronting because some of the resident elephants show clear evidence of the trauma they have experienced.

A similarly interesting, but far more enjoy experience is a morning or evening safari in the Yala National Park. It is is popular for Elephant, Leopard, Bear, Crocodile and Wild Boar and has received much fame through publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project. 

Several salt and fresh water lagoons are a haven for a large variety of resident and migratory birds.

You will also visit a turtle hatchery near Bentota and go on a river boat safari.

Blink and you’ll miss it. Most holidays for early-mid 2023 are already sold out, so call 1300 221 550 from anywhere in Australia to talk to our specialist travel consultants or click on the button below to send an enquiry.

History & Culture

Sri Lanka’s history reaches way back before the time of Christ, when Sri Lanka was not an island, and was joined to India by a land bridge. Artifacts found around the Sigiriya mountain-capital show that the society traded extensively with the Egyptians.

The Dambulla World Heritage cave temple complex was established in the 3rd century BC and has been occupied continuously to this day.


Is it safe?

Most of us are aware that Sri Lanka has experienced civil unrest in the recent past as the masses rose up to condemn institutionalised corruption and to remove opportunistic political leaders. Now that the issue has been resolved, the populous is keen to welcome back tourists to help rebuild the economy and over 700,000 people have visited in the past year. This is a peace-loving happy society, and whilst travellers should always take care of their personal safety and belongings, this is a Buddhist society that seeks calm and compassion.

Blink and you’ll miss it. Most holidays for early-mid 2023 are already sold out, so call 1300 221 550 from anywhere in Australia to talk to our specialist travel consultants or click on the button below to send an enquiry.