Sri Lanka’s cultural masterpiece, the Kandy Esala Perahera, with all its grandeur was seen once again livening up the hills last week, attracting the attention of all arts and culture lovers from around the world, who gathered in Kandy to witness this majestic pageant.
Sri Lanka Insurance as the largest and the strongest Government insurer in the country takes upon itself the responsibility to nurture and protect the rich heritage and rituals of the Sri Lankan people to be handed down to the future generations of Sri Lankans.
As such the company was seen once again providing a special service for the benefit of pilgrims who visited Kandy during the Esala Perahera season by extending the ‘Ira Handa Pavathina Thuru’ personal accident cover amounting to Rs. 50,000 for all pilgrims who gathered to witness the perahera.
In addition Sri Lanka Insurance Motor Plus vehicle breakdown assistance and recovery service too was geared up in Kandy to provide assistance to all pilgrims who faced difficulties due to vehicle breakdown. This service was offered to all vehicle users and did not limit only to Sri Lanka Insurance Motor Plus policy holders.
According to the ‘Mahavamsa,’ the origins of the regal pageant dates back to the time the Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Ceylon in the reign of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna who ruled at Anuradhapura from 303-331 A.D. It is stated that the sacred tooth relic was placed in a casket made of Phalika (steatire or soapstone) and lodged in an edifice called the Dharma-Chakra built by King Devanampiyatissa in the third century B.C.
The ‘Mahavamsa’ goes on to say that 900,000 Kahapanas (a great sum of money) were spent in celebrating the festival in honour of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the King Kirthisiri Meghawanna announced that the relic should be taken round the city of Anuradhapura once a year in spring.
There is evidence to show that his order was faithfully carried out by those Kings who followed in their respective kingdoms, until it rested in Kandy during period of Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. The age old pageant is preserved to date with all its magnificence and grace.