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Malwatta Temple

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

10 Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Krishan
Local tour guide
"Visit Malwatta Temple in the late afternoon when the crowds are thinner and the setting sun casts a serene glow on the temple's intricate architecture. Remember to ask the monks for a brief tour—they often share insights and stories not found in guidebooks."

What is Malwatta Temple?

In the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka, you'll find the serene and dignified Malwatta Temple, a place that isn't just a structure of worship but a testament to the spiritual heartbeat of the city. This temple is a cornerstone of the Buddhist religious landscape, home to one of the two chapters of Siyam Nikaya, one of the three main Buddhist Sects in Sri Lanka. It's more than just a scenic spot; it's a living, breathing centre where culture, religion, and education intertwine.

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As you walk through its hallowed halls, you'll notice the elegant architecture and the peaceful ambiance that pervade every corner. The temple complex includes a variety of buildings, each with their own unique purpose and history, including the residence of the Mahanayake Thero, the chief high priest of the Malwatte Chapter. Imagine a place where every step takes you deeper into a spiritual journey, where the whispers of the past meet the practices of the present.

History of Malwatta Temple

The saga of Malwatta Temple stretches back centuries, rooted in the ancient Kingdom of Kandy. Its foundation dates back to the 14th century, and throughout the years, the temple has stood as a witness to the ebb and flow of Sri Lanka's complex history. Initially, it served as a residence for monks who preached the principles of Theravada Buddhism. When Kandy became the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and the Temple of the Tooth Relic was established nearby, Malwatta's significance grew exponentially.

Over time, it gained the honor of safeguarding the continuity of the higher ordination tradition of Buddhist monks, particularly at times when the country faced colonial pressures. The temple also served as a bastion of education and culture, nurturing generations of Buddhist scholars and practitioners. Its resilience through periods of strife, and its role in the preservation and propagation of Buddhist teachings, cannot be overstated.

Why is Malwatta Temple Important?

Malwatta Temple isn't just a place— it's a symbol. It stands for the unwavering spirit of Sri Lankan Buddhism and its enduring legacy. Consider why countless pilgrims and visitors are drawn here: Malwatta Temple is one of the custodians of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the revered artefact believed to be the left canine tooth of the Buddha himself. By virtue of this association, the temple holds a place of utmost reverence in the hearts of the faithful.

The temple's importance also extends into the academic and ecclesiastical realms. Historically, the Malwatta Chapter, based here, has been instrumental in the education and ordination of monks, ensuring the perpetuity of Theravada Buddhism. This has had a profound impact on the cultural and religious fabric of Sri Lanka, helping to sustain and spread Buddhist practices and teachings throughout the island and beyond. Can you imagine the countless lives touched and molded within these sacred precincts?

Things to Do & See at Malwatta Temple

At Malwatta Temple, you're offered a collage of activities that cater to both the spirit and the senses. Begin with a respectful stroll through the temple's tranquil grounds, taking in the atmosphere of contemplation and devotion. You can observe the daily routines of the monks, perhaps even pausing to witness the rituals and ceremonies that imbue the temple with its spiritual resonance.

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Be sure to visit the temple's library, an often-overlooked treasure trove preserving ancient Pali and Sanskrit texts— some of the hallmarks of Buddhist literature. And while photography inside the temple can be restricted, the exterior offers ample opportunities to capture the elegance of Kandyan architecture, with its distinctive roofs and intricate woodwork.


If your visit coincides with a Poya Day, the full moon day which is of religious significance in Buddhist tradition, you'll be treated to the temple in its full ceremonial splendor. It's an immersion in local culture and religion that's hard to find elsewhere. Have you ever witnessed a place alive with the thrum of timeless tradition, the air thick with devotion? That's Malwatta Temple, and it's waiting to share its story with you.

Frequently asked questions

What is Malwatta Temple?

Malwatta Temple is a prominent Buddhist temple located in Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is one of the two head temples of the Siyam Nikaya, an order of Theravada Buddhism, and plays a significant role in the spiritual and cultural life of the country.

How old is Malwatta Temple?

Malwatta Temple has a rich history dating back centuries, although the exact year of its founding is not well-documented, it has been a key institution since the Kandyan Kingdom era.

What can visitors see at Malwatta Temple?

Visitors to Malwatta Temple can observe traditional Theravada Buddhist architecture, intricate murals, statues of Buddha, and experience the peaceful ambiance of the temple's surroundings. Additionally, they may witness monks in their daily prayers and rituals.

Is there an entry fee for Malwatta Temple?

Typically, there is no entry fee for visitors to enter Malwatta Temple, but donations are welcome to support the maintenance of the temple.

What are the visiting hours of Malwatta Temple?

The visiting hours for Malwatta Temple may vary, but it is generally open to visitors during daylight hours. It is advisable to check in advance for any specific times or changes, especially during religious festivals or national holidays.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

10 Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps