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Photographer's Note

The Esala Perahera is held annually in Kandy to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic. It runs for 10 days, ending on the poya (full moon).

Its origins go back to when the Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Ceylon, which was during the reign of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna who ruled at Anuradhapura from 303 to 331.

The Kandy Esala Perahera as we know it today, with the four Hindu Dewale Peraheras participating in it, has its origin in 1775 A.D. under the reign of King Kirthisri Rajasinghe.

The anuual procession in Kandy is one of Asia's most magnificent festivals. Up to 100 elephants take part in it and there were more than one million spectators this year.

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This picture shows a dewale elephant carrying a relic on its back.

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2987 W: 35 N: 6574] (34154)
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