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Kataragama in Sri Lanka is a famous pilgrimage site.

Many people of different religions from both Sri Lanka and southern India visit.

This site is commonly sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and some Vedda indigenous people residing in Sri Lanka.

South Indian Hindus visit here in large numbers.

Although Kataragama was a small village surrounded by jungle during the ancient and medieval period, it slowly developed into a small town after becoming a popular pilgrimage site.

kataragama una via

This gives you a great feeling to try visiting this Sri Lankan city which is far from the limelight.


Since he is a Hindu god also worshiped by Buddhists, Veddas and Muslims, we are going to mention his etymology and relationship to all these ethnic and religious groups.

The literal Sinhalese meaning of Kataragama is “village in the desert.” Katara which means desert and range which means village.

Keep in mind that this place is located in one of the dry areas of the country.

According to a popular etymology, the Tamil name Kathirkāmam developed from the combination of two words Kathir, -which means glory of light- and kāmam -which means love-.

According to legend this is “where the light of Murugan mingled with the love of Valli”.

The aboriginal Vedda community used to refer to this deity as O ‘Vedda or Oya Vedda, which means  -river hunter-.

The Sri Lankan Moors who visit this place pay homage to a Muslim saint known as al-Khidir.

According to the Muslims, al-Khidir gave its name to the Islamic shrine of this place, thus attributing its etymology to it.



In the surroundings of Kataragama there is evidence of human habitation for about 125,000 years.

There also appears to be evidence of Mesolithic and Neolithic dwellings.

At that time, human activity was characterised by the construction of small reserves for the conservation of water and the associated rice cultivation.

The first form of proof of the temple dates back to the 15th century, where they mention the devotional poems of Arunagirinathar.

The verse reveals that the Kataragama deity “deviyo” in the Khattugama form, resided on the top of the mountain as the guardian deity of Sri Lanka and Buddhist deities.

The city was also an essential part during Ashoka Maurya’s reign when vital dignitaries came to receive the sacred sapling somewhere in 288 B.C.E.

The medieval history of the place dates back to the 16th or 17th century when Kalyanagiri Swamy arrived from Northern India.

He restored the shrines and built it as a place of worship for Indian and Sri Lankan devotees.

Kataragama in Sri Lanka

Another major attraction of Kataragama is the Buddhist stupa Kiri Vehera, which was built around 6 BC.

This is believed to have been built by a regional king Mahasena.

So if you believe these ancient works, this city is more of a historical city, full of pilgrimage sites.

Unlike many pilgrimage sites, Kataragama in Sri Lanka promotes secularism.

The Kataragama temple has an Islamic mosque as a whole.

This temple is sacred for various religions, castes and creeds, for Hindus and Tamils, the divinity is Kartikamam and for the Buddhas, the divinity is Kataragama Deviyo.

It is known that this divinity has six faces, twelve hands and a peacock as a vehicle.

People visiting the temple find their beloved elephant god, Lord Ganesha, nearby, also known as Lord Kartikamam’s older brother.

Water Ceremony

People who visit this holy place dive into the nearby river, also known as local Ganga, and its name is Manik Ganga.

Kataragama menik ganga

Surprisingly, this deity is linked to the pre-Hinduism and Buddhism era.

This deity was said to originally reside on the top of Mount Waedahiti Kanda.

This mountain is known to be the residence of the Vedda natives.

Even today, indigenous Veddas come from the forest to visit this temple.

Kataragama Indoors

This temple is known for organizing an annual festival to celebrate the glory of the god and the wedding of Princess Vedda usually between July and August.

This festival is known as Eshele Perehera.

In addition, the area offers various accommodations for all hotel categories and services according to your budget.


Hindu legends

The main temple sanctuary is dedicated to Kartikeya who is also known as Murugan in Tamil texts as the main warrior of the heavenly gods.

The mention of Lord Murugan is in Sangam literature that dates back to the 2nd century BC. to the 6th century BC

The deity was known to be the protector or guardian deity of Sri Lanka.

Buddhist legends

One of the legends speaks of the holy Skanda-Kumara who moved to Sri Lanka to seek refuge from the Tamils.

Kataragama Festival

Refusing this aid, he inflicted a punishment.

The deity forced the Tamils to penance, which included the piercing and fire on which they walked during the annual festival.

The place was also a place for secretly practiced witchcraft.

Muslim legends

Muslim or Islamic legends are relatively more recent than Hindu and Buddhist legends.

These people settled nearby where they built a mosque for their worship.

Kataragama Mosque

The nearby water was said to provide immortality to anyone who drank it.

  Today you will find graves of historical figures such as Jabbar Ali Shah (died in 1872) and Meer Syed Mohamed Alisha Bawa (died in 1945).

Sri Lanka is indeed the perfect place for children and for people who like animals and nature.

This country is incredibly green.

It is impossible not to find elephant herds on safari or even on the same road traveling.
It is also very easy to see leopards, macaques and other types of monkeys, giant squirrels, jackals, etc. etc

Furthermore, walking with children and adults through the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a delight. Along with the giant trees and millions of plants, we will also find monkeys and other animals in this immense place.

We use all the available and easy-to-use technologies to stay in touch with our customers.

Besides the email, the most used method, we are always available by phone and WhatsApp.

It is also possible to communicate via Skype or FaceTime or any other application available to the customer, but only with prior appointment.

We pay a lot of attention in being able to communicate to the customer all the necessary information to offer all the tranquility to you even while you are on Tour.

Living and working in Kandy, facilitates access to privileged information to create new routes and itineraries to Sri Lanka.

This allows us to design exclusive and unique journeys, reaching some places that only we know.

This is why we receive an excellent score in everything related to the design of customised and on-demand trips.

Moreover, we pay a lot of attention to everything related to the management of the booking and assistance, always in English, Spanish and Italian, of your trip to Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, those who love exotic beaches, full of palm trees and coconut trees, offer beaches in the west of the country such as Bentota, Ambalangoda, Chilaw and Negambo.

You can also swim in the Indian Ocean in the east of the country on the beaches of Trincomalee, Pasikudah, Nilaveli …

If you like surfing you can practice at Arugam Bay, Weligama or Mirissa. 

And of course, we have the beaches of southern Sri Lanka such as Tangalle, Unawatuna, Galle, Ahangama, etc. etc

If you like cities, we have Kandy, Jaffna, Galle Fort and Colombo where you can walk and shop among the wonderful shops and restaurants.

In a nutshell, we have a country with a wide variety of climates, places, cultures, religions, etc. 

Where we will always find Sinhalese smiling and waiting for us with open arms.

Coming to Sri Lanka and not being surprised is absolutely impossible.