After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga and smuggled to the island by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha on the instructions of her father King Guhasiva.
The Sacred Tooth Relic, which is the Buddha’s left canine was brought here during the reign of king Kithsiri Meghavanna (301-328 B.C.) by Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala from the Kingdom of Kalinga, India.
The temple is open from dawn to dusk. It houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and is consequently considered one of Sri Lanka’s most holy shrines. Although you may not view the actual tooth itself, the casket within which it is said to be is displayed twice a day. The best time to view this ornate casket is around 6.30PM Make sure to cover up below the knees with pants and everything on the shoulders. There are plenty of people at the entrance that will hire you a shoal to cover for 150 to 200 LKR.
There is also a foreigner only shoe drop just before you enter the temple where they ask for a donation. there is a local shoe drop for free behind it so don’t feel like you need to give a donation as you have already had to pay 1,000 LKR. Foreigner entrance: LKR1,000. The Pooja times are 6.30 AM, 9.30 AM and 6.30 PM. There are two sides to this – some prefer to see the Temple during a Pooja, a small ceremony of reverence involving drummers and dancers – there are more people during this time.