Kataragama, Kataragama in Sri Lanka
There are lots of beautiful as well as historically important places to visit in the wonderful island called Pearl of the Ocean, Sri Lanka. The Kataragama has huge importance when it considering the historical facts. This is a place we can see the people who are owing to different religions in one place. Therefore, do not forget to visit Kataragama ones you visit Sri Lanka. This city is situated in the Uva province which is a most beautiful area in this country with two districts known as Badulla and Monaragala. This ancient city is situated in the Monaragala district among those two. However, travelling to this area is a little bit longer journey. You will need to travel around two hundred and thirty kilometres from Colombo to reach this area. There are lots of peaceful placed to spend your leisure time after watching important places and traditional ceremonies here.
Kataragama is the best local and tourist destination in Sri Lanka
Even though it is situated in the that much of far place, most of the locals, as well as foreigners, are visiting here throughout the year. The availability of the number of hotels and rest houses are giving excellent facilities to overcome their tiredness at the end of the journey.
The Kataragama temple is historically important for Buddhists, Hindus as well as Sri Lankan wedda people. Therefore, all of them are visiting this area at least a once each year. The south Indian Hindus also do not forget to visit it yearly. You may see thousands of visitors who came to worship Kataragama deviyo in this small city. Especially, it is more crowded in the perahara season.
The main transportation system for Kataragama is the public services, such as busses or train. But, most probably, the locals, as well as foreigners, are using their own or rented vehicles to travel there without spending much time. There are taxi services such s Uber, Pick Me or travel sites which offer packages to worship the area from Colombo. The reasonable prices with a guide, as well as the driver, will save your time in Sri Lanka.
However, most of the Tamil people, as well as Hindu’s, prefer to walk by foot to worship the Kataragama temple. This is a seasonal thing and they are doing it as a Pooja.
Well! After you visit this wonderful area, there are lots of things to do. It is not only about worshipping the temples. But, you can do so many fun activities as well as Yala safari programmes. Here, I am trying to introduce you a few such amazing things to do in Kataragama.
3 best things to do at Kataragama with your loved ones
- Worship the Kataragama temple and Sella Kataragama
As I told earlier, this is a most popular temple among all the religions including Buddhists, Hindus as well as Islamic people. They have different beliefs about this temple. Even though there is no such specific believe as other religions, the presence of an Islamic Mosque has attracted the Muslim people for this place.
The Kataragama, as well as the Sella Kataragama, is a very important place for Hindu people all over the world. They are calling this place as Katirkamam. They believe it is the place that is owing to Senka Murugan while Sella Kataragama is owing to God called Ganesh who is having the face silimar to an elephant. The Ganesh Deviyo is known as the elder brother of Lord Murugan. There is a traditional habit among Tamil people to take a bath from the well popular river called Menik Ganga to wash out all the dirties in order to purify their bodies as well as souls before going to worship this sacred place. Nowadays, this has become a common practice among most of the Sinhala people as well.
The Buddhists people believe in this place by considering two significant facts. Those include their beliefs on Kataragama Deviyo as well as the history related to Lord Buddha.
- King Mahasen’s wonderful creature Kiriwehera
This is believed as a historically important place for Sinhala Buddhist people. The king Mahasen is the one who made this great place after the third visit of Sri Lanka around 580 BC. A thousand locals are visiting here in every year to worship the Kiriwehera Dagaba. Actually, if you visit it at night, it will be an amazing sight you ever wish to enjoy by your eyes and the slowly flowing wind will ease off all the pain and sorrows in your mind. It will be a nice feeling to spend a few hours at the Kiriwehera premises by remembering the Lord Budda’s lessons on life and the world.
- Yala Safari programs will be another wonderful experience in this ancient city
This is a most wonderful thing to do at Katharagama other than worshipping the religious places. The Yala is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Most of the foreigners are visiting this park by purchase based safari packages to see the beauty of Sri Lankan animal world. There are a number of firms who are providing these facilities around the Yala area. Therefore, your guider will direct you to select the best suit packages according to your budget to get the maximum enjoyment of yourself through it.
There are much more places to visit around Kataragama in addition to these mentioned places. However, I hope to move into the best residential locations you can stay your holiday in this area of Monaragala District. This guide will ease your doubts about staying unknown place before visiting it. And also it will help you to plan your budget throughout the vacation period.
These amazing locations will serve you better as your home in Katharagama
- Mandara Rosen
This hotel is a fantastic place to spend your leisure time after visiting the city. You can have a rest at the most comfortable rooms available in it. If you really need a swim to relax your mind and body before starting your next journey after a few hours, there are facilities to do it’s with underwater music. However, you will need to spend a little more cost to enjoy all these. If you are planning to have your lunch and dinner as well, you will need to pay an additional cost. However, this is the best place to stay the nights by a foreigner. Since this is a highly demanded place, it is better to make a booking prior to visiting the place.
- Lavendish Okrin Hotel
This is a three-star hotel situated in very close proximity to most of the important places in Kataragama. The half board basis cost is also less when compared to similar locations around this property. However, it does not influence the quality of the services as well as the facilities.
- Camp Leopard – Yala Safari Glamping
Even though this is a bit expensive place to spend your leisure time, it will be a fantastic experience to stay at least a night in there. It is not wrong to state this as the best place to stay prior to starting your safari at Yala. It is situated more closely to the national park. The place will give you a totally different experience from a traditional hotel. It moreover similar to the camping experience under the tents. This is the best place to have fun with barbeque chicken and night party with your loving friends.
Which is the best period to visit Kataragama?
As we all know, there are various religious as well as national ceremonies all around Sri Lanka in different seasons. If you would visit a particular area during that period, you will be able to double the enjoyment you are gaining through it. The July and August months are such a seasonal ceremonial time period for the multiracial visitors who are waiting to visit Kataragama in each year.
The Perahara season begins in these months with a number of other traditional events. If you visit there at least once in your life during this season, you will realize the amount of crowd who are visiting there to see the events. There are a number of dancers along with a line of well-decorated elephants as in the Kandy Asala Perahara. It is an amazing sight seen to get the magical pictures from your camera lens. The beauty is not the one and only important thing in here. The belief states its wishes for the individuals will last forever to get a successful life story.
What are the things you have to bring when visiting Katharagama?
People usually bring flowers and other necessary things when visiting a temple. You will need a piece of white cloth to worship by laying it down. In addition to that, make sure to wear simple and covered clothes before entry into the temple premises to protect the religious importance of that place. Usually, you will need to take off your shoes and hats before entering the premises to worship. But, if you planning to visit the Kiriwehera as well, you have some distance to walk by your foot. Since the heavy sunshine can disturb your walk, it is better to keep them in your bags without leaving it’s at the entrance.
Since you are visiting a Devalaya, you may also need to bring a basket of fruits with you to use it’s at the Pooja. There are small boutiques who are preparing these for you. However, it is not a necessary thing to bring. It depends on personal beliefs.
What are the nearby important places in Kataragama?
There are some of the important places that you cannot forget to visit after watching and experiencing places around Kataragama temple. Most of the local, as well as foreign visitors, are visiting those areas during their tours.
- Sithulpawwa temple
This is located around 18 kilometres away from the Kataragama temple. But, it is not situated in the Moneragala and it is owing to the district called Hambanthota in the southern province. The temple was built by the King Kawanthissa during the ancient period of Sri Lanka. When you drive from Kataragama to Yala you will find the place.
- Thissamaharama Viharaya
This is another important temple situated in the Hambantota District. This also an amazing creature by the King Kawanthissa during the second century of BC.
- Yatala Vehera
This Stupa is owing to the third century and it was made by King Yattala Thissa. This is not a much popular place when compared to the above-mentioned temples. But, it has a wonderful history.
The lifestyle of the peoples in Kataragama area
Basically, this area is not an urban area when compared to Colombo and nearby places. And also it is not a rural area as well. The people are spending a normal lifestyle as other areas of Sri Lanka. Majority of them are doing agriculture as their main occupation, while the minority are engaging in government and private sector job opportunities.
As the people are very friendly and flexible, it will be easy to spend a few days in here without facing any trouble. They usually fluent in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages with the background of tourism in the area.
In addition to agriculture and permanent employment, they are engaging in small businesses in relation to tourism. There are well-trained guiders, drivers as well as living space and food providers. They are doing these for long period by ensuring trust towards them. Therefore, you will no need to keep any doubts on its.
The last lines for your mind The Kataragama is a most important city for Sri Lankans without any religious or racial difference. You have to make sure to protect it when you are visiting all around the place. It is better to take adequate precautions as guided by your advisors to keep the place clean and clear. At last, you all are welcome to Sri Lanka as well as Kataragama to enjoy the traditional events and beauty of the area.