This is probably the most popular landmark in Kandy so timing may make a difference to your visit. We arrived at about 10.30am along with about a million other people who were made up of both locals and visitors. Our visit coincided with a blessing time so many locals were bringing their offerings of beautiful lotus flowers in their droves……but were non plussed about extra visitors which I think reinforces their welcome to travellers allowing them to share in this special time.
Lal, our private driver and guide had dropped us at the temple gates, parked and then somehow miraculously found us amongst the many in the temple. He was able to guide us through the crowds and show us the highlights.
So along with thousands of others we squeezed through the narrow doorways and up and down staircases in our bare feet. Ground was warm from the sun and the interior was hot from the amount of bodies.
For many the highlight may well be the golden casket where the tooth is kept but for me I loved the hall with the creamy porcelain buddhas all with different poses and with a ceiling decorated with elephant heads . Elephants are important to the Sri Lankans and although I have seen them used as temple decoration across other Asian countries none more so than in Sri Lanka. In days gone by the elephant signified wealth in Sri Lankan culture.
It cost just 1500 rupees (£7) to enter and men and women have separate entrances going through security and I would recommend a visit to the nearby British Garrison Cemetery which is just a few steps behind the temple. Allow about two hours to visit both attractions.