This holiest of cities is a compelling blend of pomp and procession, piety, and religious extravagance. Kataragama is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka; a sacred place for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Veddah peoples.
Kataragama, a laid-back, isolated village, multi-religious place of worship near the ancient Sinhala city of Tissamaharama (20 minutes by public transport) has a network of well-laid roads – neat and straight, shaded by huge, arid-zone evergreen trees. Transportation to and from Kataragama is still limited to the highways. The southern railway line, which runs from Colombo to Matara, is planned to be extended to Kataragama in 2014.
Kataragama, the domain of the Hindu god Skanda, considered sacred by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and even Christians in Sri Lanka, attracts pilgrims and the general public as well as foreign tourists & not least the wilderness living “Veddha”- Community, the indigenous peoples of Sri Lanka. The Sacred Precinct Kataragama is located in the north of the city in the shade of huge tropical trees, accessed via the bridge over the Menik Ganga (Sinhale: Gem River), and houses the shrines of all four religions of Sri Lanka.
Behind the main Hindu shrine of Kataragama, a 500-meter-long paved and sheltered road with stalls selling beautiful lotus flowers leads in a tranquil setting to the large Buddhist stupa called Kiri Vehera (Sinhala: milk-colored stupa)
Sigiriya & Dambulla
Sigiriya, an ancient palace, was once nominated as the 8th wonder of the world. Dambulla is an ancient rock temple from the time of the kings. Today, Sigiriya and Dambulla are UNESCO-recognized cultural heritage sites and a major tourist attractions.
Kandy is located in the middle of Sri Lanka. Considered the cultural capital of the country, it is perfect for a nice stroll. Kandy is famous for its sacred Buddhist sites, including the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa), which is honored with the annual Esala Perahera procession.
Kitulgala is on the heights of Colombo and is the starting point for whitewater rafting on the Kelani River. It is the main attraction in this humid area surrounded by jungle and rainforest. Many rare and endemic birds live in this region.
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