How wrong we were to think we would avoid the crowds with a 6am visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Granted, we were the first foreign tourists for the day, however hundreds of Sunday morning pilgrims filed in for the dawn ritual. The procession is marched barefoot into the main shrine and shuffled forward by security, past the chamber that holds the gilded casket and alleged tooth relic of Buddha. Tom had his floss ready, hoping to give it a bit of a spruce up, but we barely glimpsed a look before being pushed along in the crush. Certainly not enough time to become enlightened.
The ancient cave monastery complex of The Golden Temple of Dambulla was our next UNESCO World Heritage monument, and a quieter reflection of Buddhist murals and statuary.