Kataragama | Sri Lankan Guides
Kataragama City is home to renowned attractions such as Kataragama Temple, Kiriwehera, and Sella Kataragama. The Kataragama Temple holds special significance for both Hindus and Buddhists, dedicated to the revered divinity Skanda-Murukan or Subrahmanya, known for its six faces and twelve hands in Hindu tradition. Sinhalese Buddhists revere Kataragama Deviyo as a protective deity, providing assistance to those in need.
Flowing near the Kataragama Temple is the Manik River, adding a natural charm to the sacred surroundings. The vibrant Kataragama Perahera, a colorful festival in July, showcases various cultural dances and rituals, including the renowned fire-walking event aimed at purifying the body.
Kiriwehera, part of the Solosmasthana, stands as one of the 16 sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in ancient Sri Lanka. Located near the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya, this stupa is a towering structure, 95 feet in height with a circumference of 280 feet.
Sella Kataragama, situated about 4 miles from Kataragama, holds historical significance as the backdrop for the love story between Skanda Kumar and Valliamma. The area features numerous Kovils, including Ganapathi Kovil, Siva Kovil, Kataragama Kovil, Valliamma Kovil, Lakshmi Kovil, and Saman Devalaya.
The annual procession in July or August, featuring fire-walkers and Kawadi dancers, is a highlight, making offerings to the gods at specific times daily. Kataragama, located 19 km inland from Tissamaharama, stands as a sacred pilgrimage site embraced not only by Sinhalese Buddhists and Hindu Tamils but also by Muslims and Christians. Much like Adam’s Peak, Kataragama is a melting pot of diverse religious communities, inviting all to partake in its spiritual and cultural richness. Plan your visit to Kataragama, where traditions and sanctity converge, creating an unforgettable pilgrimage experience for all.