Kandy Esala Perahera is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka.
Kandy Esala Perahera, which occurs for 10 days during the months of July and August of every year in Sri Lanka is one much anticipated procession by locals and foreigners alike. The Kandy Esala Perahera denotes the Lord Buddha’s Enlightenment, his Renunciation and the period during which his First Sermon was stated.
The procession begins at approximately 7.30pm and tends to go on for at least 4 hours. The eye-catching event pays homage to Lord Buddha’s tooth relic where usually it stays secure inside the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. These processions open up a doorway for festivities and celebrations unlike seen anywhere else. Tourists especially gather to witness this event unfold and even travel from miles away just to do so.
Our lives are always influenced by the enigma that has found its way from the days of our ancestors and days of yore. No doubt, the Kandy Esala Perahera (Perahera translates to Procession or Parade) is a unique experience that we definitely need to become a part of. Everyone who witnesses this will also enjoy a view of amazing stunts and action-packed events that take place. Some of these include the manipulation of oil torches, fire blowers, flag bearers, whip crackers, fire ball dancers, sword carriers, drummers, adorned elephants and simply, a whole lot more.
Tickets are recommended for those who seek the chance to get a little up close to the procession and get seated as well. The Perahera attracts crowds from far and beyond so this means that getting the chance to fully enjoy this spectacle might pose a challenge. Bookings are encouraged months in advance. This can be easily done online or can be obtained from every major hotel in Kandy itself.
Kumbal Perahera – This procession commences on the sixth night of the Perahera. The name Kumbal originated from the fact when the Esala Tree was enclosed within a clay structure resembling that of an ant-hill around which the procession continues.
Randholi Perahera – Following the Kumbal Perahera, this procession occurs after five nights from the start of the Kumbal procession. Randholi is basically what is known as the palanquin on which Kings and Queens were usually transported in.
This well-planned itinerary offers the best of architectural, cultural and scenic experiences of Sri Lanka.
Exquisitely carved stone structures, serene statues of Lord Buddha, dazzlingly decorated temples built in to rocky overhangs and feats of irrigation that amaze the world even today are just some of the treasures left by a proud civilization stretching back more than two thousand years.