Kandy Perahera - Esala Perahera, Sri Lanka.




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Published on Aug 28, 2011

At the forefront of the procession are the Whip Crackers. The cracking of whips all the way from the very beginning to end of the chosen path of Perahera signifies the approach of the procession.

Immediately following the whip crackers are the Flag Bearers carrying are the standards and the flags of the different Provinces and the Temples in single file on both sides of the road.

The official called Peramunerala riding on the first elephant follows next carrying the register of the Sacred Temple of the Tooth at Kandy.

Next on the procession are the Drummers playing an array of traditional drums and blowing traditional flutes. While the drummers play in explosive style, the teams of dancers leap and bound.

The hoards of drummers and dancers are followed up by the officer in charge of the Elephants, of course mounted on a caparisoned and decorated tusker. During the ancient and medieval times of Sri Lanka, the officer in charge of the Kings's stable had been a high ranking minister of the king. To date the officer in charge of the elephants called Gajanayaka Nilame carries the silver goad called Ankusa that symbolize his authority.

Following Gajanayake Nilame is another officer of the temple mounted on a tusker: the Kariyakorawnarala, is the officer in charge of drummers and dancers. He is also responsible for minor functions at the Sacred Temple of the Tooth. Arrival of Kariyakorawnarala set the stage for center of attraction: the Maligawa Tusker

Caparisoned, robed and illuminated, the tusker of the temple stepping in supreme grace and great pride carrying the resplendent golden casket called Ransivige sheltered with a canopy. The golden casket contains the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. The beast's sense of the solemnity of the procession and the reverence, in which the Sacred Tooth Relic is held by the human populace, it seems, could hardly be bettered even by a human itself. Held high over the Tusker is canopy; unrolled on to the way of the Tusker is a ream of white cloth called pavada. The devotees, spectators, the foreign tourists and all distinguished guests stand steadfast while the Maligawa tusker carrying the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha passes them.

The Tusker is followed by two long chains of vibrant dancers, on each side of the road, facing each other with a team of drummers in the middle forming another column. At the end of the retinue is the Custodian of the Temple of the Tooth titled "Diyawadana Nilame", dressed in traditional regalia of the high officials of the kings, who reigned at the medieval kingdom of Kandy. Diyawadana Nilame is attended by Murawadu (lance bearers), Wadana tal-athu (sunshade bearers and umbrella-bearers) as well as the other officials of the Sacred Temple of the Tooth.




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