Ruhunu maha Kataragama Devalaya has become a worshipping temple of all religions including Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims. It is one of the largest Hindu temples in Sri Lanka.
Known History of Kataragama Devalaya
The origin of Devalaya goes to King Dutugamunu’s era. In 160 BC King Dutugamunu built the main shrine room to fulfill a vow to defeat King Elara.
There is no change in the main shrine room from the beginning. Therefore today, you can see the same architecture which was built by King Dutugamunu.
Myths about Kataragama
Same as the Mythical story of King Ravana, this one is also very interesting.
The worshipping of Kataragama God started by Veddas in Sri Lanka. According to the story, the god Kataragama once married to the daughter of the Veddas leader “Walli”. And they settled in Wadihiti Kanda.
There is also a story about the vow make by King Dutugamunu to build Kataragama Devalaya.
When he was going for war with King Elara, King Dutugamunu and his army stop at the Manik river. At that time the river was flooding and these people waiting for reducing the water level.
Then suddenly a beggar carrying a bow and arrows appears from nowhere. The King asks a route to Vijithapura were King Elara was ruling. The beggar takes the bow and shoots an arrow across the river. Suddenly a walking path appears in between the river and the beggar disappears.
The king Dutugamunu recognize the beggar, and that is were King Dutugamunu meets God Kataragama.
However, after the victory of King Dutugamunu, he searches for a place to build a shrine for God Kataragama. The myth says that God shows him a place. Located in between Kiriwehara and Manik river. That is where Kataragama Devalaya build by King Dutugamunu.
Other Places Related To Kataragama Devalaya
There are some other places related to Kataragama Devalaya.
“Wadahiti Kanda” mountain is another place related to God Kataragama. The myth says this is the place where God Kataragama fight with the asura. The weapons he used to fight with “asura” hidden in this mountain.
Cultural Events at the Kataragama Devalaya
This is a famous event happening once a year at Kataragama Devalaya. It is a beautiful event that anyone can see. There are several dancing groups and elephants with beautiful clothes are walking in this Perahera.
This Perahera season falls in July every year with the full moon Poya Day.
However, this Perahera is not much famous than Kandyan Perahera. But there are a lot of people visit Kataragama Devalaya to see this colorful event.