The famous Katharagama Temple is located in the southern province of Sri Lanka, bordering the well renowned Yala National Park. The sacred premises of Kathragama comprises of multi-religious monuments belonging to Buddhists, Hindu and Islamic origin. According to the belief of Buddhist the Katharagama temple is one of the 16 principal sites of Buddhist pilgrimage. The temple which was built during the reign of King Dutugamunu is believed to be the sacred dwelling of God Skanda. Tourists and lovals visiting the region and in search of a place to stay could consider seeking accommodation at one of the popular Yala Hotels such as WildTrails Yala. A sacred place that is visited by thousands of devotees throughout the year, however the perfect time to visit Katharagama is during the months of July to August which is when the annual Katharagama festival is held.
The journey to Katharagama begins from Tissamaharama, and devotees usually enter the temple premises after bathing in the Menik Ganga. The festival is an amazing sight to see if it’s the first time you are visiting Katharagama you are bound to be mesmerized with the vibrant attire and the active Kavadi dancers. Some of the devotees suspend themselves from hooks suspended from air and swing back & forth. The dancers and the elephants move in rhythm to the drummers & trumpeters. A joyous act loved by all who have the privilege of witnessing it. Another spectacular entity of the festival is the fire walking act. Only devotees of highest faith step on the glowing bed of red hot embers, leaving the audience bewildered. The festival ends with a water cutting ceremony during the full moon poya and is a symbol of separating pure from impure.
The religious site visited by devotees and the non believers, the Katharagama temple is a place of worship and a must visit site during your travel expeditions in the Southern province.