The final Randoli Perahera being held for the 1 thousand 699th time tonight.
The Chronicle Data Wansa says that during the reign of King Sri Meghawarna, known as Kith Siri Mewan, princess Hemamala the daughter of King Guhaseeva of Kalingu-Rata, and his Son in Law Prince Dantha brought the tooth relic to Anuradhapura. Thereafter with the progression of the Sinhala Kingdoms, the tooth relic was brought to Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Kurunegala, Kotte, Sithawaka and Gampola. It was venerated by the kings and other dignitaries of the country.
The Snhalese Kings risked their lives to protect the tooth relic from foreign invaders. The present Dalada maligawa was built by King Narendra Singha. The last King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe added the building known as ‘Pattirippuwa’ and also built the Kandy lake known as Kiri Muhuda’. The tooth relic became the symbol of Sinhalese Kingdom. The chronicle Maha Wansa as well as the Chinese monk Fa-Hien’s travel records indicates that the Dalada Perahera started during the Anuradhapura era. King Kith Siri Mewan who was pleased due to obtaining the tooth relic paid obeisance by holding a colourful procession. He also ordered that a procession be held annually. History shows that the Perahera was continued to be held to venerate the tooth relic during several eras. The annual Esala Perahera started after Wimaladharmasuriya the 1st became the King of Kandy. The Esala Perahera, held for the deities in the initial period of the Kandy era became Dalada Perahera during the reign of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe. According to Mahawansa the city was colourfully decorated and the procession also consisted of dance items. The casket of relics was placed on a platform and King and his Ministers also walked in the procession. The history shows that the English administrators also supported the procession. The Perahera still consists of many ancient features. The Esala Perahera begins after planting Kap at the four devales at auspicious times. Five Kumbal peraheras and five Randoli peraheras are held on auspicious times. The Perahera that reaches the Adahana maluwa and the procession of the water cutting ceremony are part of the Esala festival. It is a reason to be proud that the Esala Perahera which displays the grandeur of the past is still being held. Our sister Channel ITN telecasts the Esala Perahera live from Kandy today.