The land of Sri Lanka is home to many amazing attractions. But no matter how fascinating they are, at some point or the other, some of us might have felt that merely visiting them would add up to a clichéd travel experience. So, if you are among those who are still keen to see the less visited side of Sri Lanka on your holidays, we suggest you check out the popular Esala Perahera Festival On your itinerary. Even though this is one of the oldest festivals in Kandy, not many tourists know about it, which means you are in for a surprise and a completely unique experience!
About Esala Perahera
One of Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest Buddhist festivals, the Esala Perahera is worth a visit. This historic festival is held annually to worship the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, which is enshrined at Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. During each Esala (July or August), processions take to the streets at night for 10 days. The Sinhala word perahera literally means a parade of musicians, dancers, drummers and other performers. Therefore, as part of the parade, well-dressed elephants and tuskers walk along the routes with the remains of the tusk in a coffin. The entire festival ends with a water cutting ceremony on the Mahaweli River in Kandy.
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Esala Perahera Dates
The Esala Perahera festival in Kandy is celebrated every year in July or August. This year, the tentative dates of the 10-day festival are August 14 to August 24.
Esala Perahera Entry Ticket
Like most festivals, there is no entry ticket to attend the Kandy Esala Perahera or be part of the procession. You can get your heart out and join the hundreds of locals and devotees who walk in the parade at night during the festival. However, if you want to watch the festivities from the balcony above, a seat will cost around Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,000, depending on the night and demand.
Most processions begin with a bang and end with the firing of cannon balls into the air. Some perahera also unite at some point during the 10 days. There are major processions which make the festival lively.
- temple of tooth relic
- Randoli Perahera
- Diya Kepeema and Day Perahera
- Kumble Perahera
- Devale Perahera
- devel’s oven
- modern perahera
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Where to stay during Esala Perahera
If the Esala Perahera is part of your Sri Lanka itinerary, there is no doubt that you will want to see the best of the festival and how it brings the entire city to life. Therefore, choosing the right accommodation will really come in handy during your trip for a better experience.
There is certainly no shortage of places to stay in Kandy, however, there are only a few hotels that offer the best views of both cities and are located close to the center where the perahera takes place. Here are some shortlisted for you:
- Hotel Suisse (Luxury)
- The Stone House (Luxury)
- Queens Hotel (Mid-Range)
- clock in (budget)
- Villa 92 (Budget)
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Tips for Participating in Esala Perahera
- Although there is no dress code defined for the festival, it is best to dress decently when you are part of the procession.
- Choose and book your hotel early and quickly as most hotels around the center run out of rooms as the festival approaches.
- Reach the route on time. Most parades start between 8 and 9 pm, so make sure you grab your spot on the sidewalk before it starts.
- If you plan to tag along, be prepared to be part of a large crowd.
- If you would most appreciate a relaxing experience and a viewing gallery to visit Esala’s various attractions, be sure to reserve a seat for yourself in advance.
- There are also guided tours of the Kandy Festival during the 10 days. If you are more of a history buff and don’t want to miss any details, don’t forget to book one for yourself.
- If you want to visit the Temple of the Tooth of the Relic, make sure you check with locals for tourist hours and travel times and dress appropriately.
- Do not get into any kind of argument with the local people or insult their culture or language.
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Esala Perahera in Kandy is certainly one of the most iconic festivals in Sri Lanka, lighting up all the streets of the city with lights and enthusiasm. Many culturally rich festivals can be witnessed such as acrobats, fire dance, Kandyan dance and more. Without a doubt, this festival offers a true glimpse of the traditions and lifestyle of Kandy. So, make sure you don’t miss it on your next trip to Sri Lanka with TourTravelHotels. After all, a rich vacation is always better than a worn-out trip.
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