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Kataragama City Information Sri Lanka

Kataragama Sri Lanka also Katharagama, and Katirkamam is a regionally popular place of pilgrimage to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and indigenous Vedda communities of Sri Lanka and South India. The city has turned into a popular pilgrimage destination frequented by devotees of all religions in Sri Lanka. The main shrine is devoted to Skanda popularly described in acclamations as God having six faces and twelve arms whose aid is sought for worldly gains. The history of the shrine dates back to 2 century BC and an annual procession is held in July or August which is the main event of the shrine with fire walkers and Kawadi dancers. Offering to the god are made at 4.30am 10.30am and 6.30pm daily.

Kataragama Sri Lanka is considered one of the 16 principal places of Buddhist Pilgrimage to be visited. According to the Sri Lankan history, when the Bo-sapling (Bodhi tree under which Gotama Buddha attained enlightenment in Buddha Gaya in North India 2500 years ago) was brought to Anuradhapura from India 2300 years ago, the warriors from Katharagama were present on the occasion to pay homage and respect. Katharagama is famous for the Hindu Shrine (Devale) and Dageba (Buddhist Pagoda - Kirivehera). Lord Buddha in his third and the last visit to Sri Lanka were believed to have met the King Mahasena who ruled over the Katharagama area in B.C.580. Thus the Sri Lankans believe that Katharagama was blessed by Lord Buddha. Katharagama God is indigenous and long-celebrated in Sri Lankan lore and legend, and originally resides on the top of mountain called Waedahiti Kanda just outside of the Katharagama town. Since ancient times an inseparable connection between the God and his domain has existed.

Kataragama Sri Lanka today it is a fast developing township in the deep south of Sri Lanka. But in medieval times it was only a small village. It is situated 228km south of Colombo, with a network of hotels, guest houses as well as free pilgrim rests.

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