The final Randoli Perahera of the Kandy Esala Festival and the most grandiloquent of the peraheras is being held in full regalia. The Perahera commenced at the auspicious time of 8.30 p.m.
The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th Century AD. The Tooth Relic was taken in procession to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala & Prince Dantha. The Modern Perahera dates back to the reign of the Kandyan King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe. During these times, the Tooth Relic was considered private property of the King and the public never got a chance to worship it. However, King Rajasinghe decreed that the Relic be taken in procession for the masses to see and venerate.
After the Kandyan Kingdom fell to the British in 1815, the custody of the Relic was handed over to the Maha Sangha. In the absence of the King, a lay custodian called the “Diyawadana Nilame” was appointed to handle routine administrative matters.
The Devala Peraheras are being held during the first five days since the launch of the Esala Perahera. On the sixth night, the Kumbal Perahera begins and continues on for five days. It is followed by the Randoli Perahera. The Perahera Festival will draw to a close with the water cutting ceremony. The festival drawing to close on the Nikini Poya is a notable feature.
The Perahera which commenced a short while from now wended its way through the Dalada Veediya, Yatinuwara Veediya, Kande Veediya, D.S.Senanayake Veediya and returned to the precincts of the Sri Dalada Maligawa via Raja Veediya. Hundreds of thousand of people among them many foreign tourists are viewing this historic Perahera.