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

Old photo of Kataragama Devalaya
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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

God Kataragama
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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

Kataragama Perahera

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.

Perahera of Kataragama Devalaya
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Kataragama Perahera
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Hello, I'm Shamal and I am a freelance writer who is passionate about Sri Lanka's culture, food, history, and travel locations. Having grown up in Sri Lanka, I have a deep appreciation for its rich heritage, diverse cuisine, and stunning landscapes. As a writer, my goal is to share my love for Sri Lanka with others and inspire them to explore the country's many wonders. Whether it's ancient temples, vibrant markets, or breathtaking beaches, I believe there's something for everyone in Sri Lanka. Through my blog, I provide insights into Sri Lankan culture and history, sharing stories and traditions that have been passed down for generations. I also highlight the country's culinary delights, from spicy curries to sweet desserts, and provide recommendations for the best places to try them. Of course, travel is a big part of experiencing Sri Lanka's beauty and charm, and I love sharing my favorite travel locations and hidden gems with readers. From the hill country of Ella to the historic city of Galle, I aim to showcase the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer. Thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery, and I hope my writing inspires you to explore the wonders of Sri Lanka for yourself.