Just when I thought it was safe… one final temple. This is the big one, but also the one I liked the least: The Temple of the Tooth. It’s the biggest and most important temple in Sri Lanka. Why? It apparently houses Buddha’s tooth. Why this particular bodily relic should be considered more important than any other I don’t know. Maybe it’s a particularly interesting tooth (big diamond in it or something… evidence of root canal work, I don’t know) but sheesh – the QUEUES. We went at 9am because that’s when ‘pooja’ happens: everyone queues up in their Sunday best (except it happens every day – twice) and offers flowers, makes prayers, wishes, checks out what each others’ wearing to the tooth. There’s a lot of very loud drumming and a bit of what sounds like kazoo-playing. And then everyone shuffles past the tooth very slowly. It’s as scintillating as it sounds.
Then a quick beauty view of Kandy (see pix) for a bit of time-killing before our train time (we’re heading to the hills, dear boy) and a clamber on the CRAZY TREE. I can’t remember what type of tree it is but it’s in the grounds of Kandy University (largest and best in SL) so if anyone knows, please put it in the comments and sent it to me. It’s the coolest thing. Only 120 years old so it’s grown GANGBUSTERS. Each new brach twists and contorts back on itself so you can’t actually follow it with your eyes and quite a few of them grow back into the ground to form new trunks. It’s like a massive climbing frame for monkeys (human and primate).