After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha the tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga and brought onto the island by princess Hemamala and her husband Prince Dantha on the instruction of their father King Guhasiva.
Safeguard of the relic was the responsibility of the monarch and over the years the custodianship of the relic became to symbolise the right to rule and was located close to their royal residences.
The present day temple of the tooth was built by King Veera Narendrasinha. The octagonal Patthirippuwa and the moat was added during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha.
This is situated next to the oldest resevoir Basavakkulam expanding over about 120 hectares. Visible is one of the most ancient and most sacred stupas of Sri Lanka, Ruwanwelisaya, a marvel construction done by the legendary King Dutugamunu in the 2nd century B.C. in honour of his victory over the Chola King Elara.
Ruwanwelisaya is one of the largest of ancient stupas in Sri Lanka and rises to a height of 92 metres.
Sri Maha Bodhi
After introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka Emperor Asoka in India sent his daughter Maha theri Sanghamitta to the island with a branch of the sacred Bodhi obtained from the main stem from the Bodhi tree in Buddhagaya under which Price Gauthama attained enlightenment.
The King Devanamoiyatissa received the sampling and planted it at the present site in 249 BC which was a royal garden gifted and reserved for the development of Buddhism. Taking this information into account today the tree is over 2260 years old. Thus the tree is the oldest recorded in the world.