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|Year and Month||2016 February 20th and 21st|
|Number of Days||Two days|
|Crew||02-Amila and My self|
|Accommodation||Our own tent|
|Transport||Bus and boat|
|Activities||Photography and just visiting|
|Route||Polonnaruwa->Jaffna->KKT jetty->Katchatheevu->Back to KKT->Jaffna->Colombo|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
***Special thanks to Amila. Some photographs belong to him.
|Related Resources||Wikipedia article of Katchatheevu Island|
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
Though Sri Lanka is an island of Indian Ocean, it also has few islands. Most of them are situated closer to Jaffna Peninsula. Delft is the largest of them but Katchatheevu is the farthest out of them.
The area of Katchatheevu Island is 285 acres and it was a debatable island between Sri Lanka and India as it was situated along the border. With the agreement of 1974, it was declared as an island of Sri Lanka but devotees of India can participate for the annual festival without visa.
Where is Katchatheevu situated
History of Katchatheevu Island
1. This island was originated from a volcanic eruption that occurred in 14th century.
2. This was owned by Ramanad kingdom of Ramanathapuram district (Tamil Nadu)
3. Since 1921 Sri Lanka started calming territorial rights over the island.
4. Till 1974 this island was administered by both governments.
5. In 1974 Indian government has identified the ownership of Sri Lanka.
6. There is a catholic shrine built for St.Anthony by Srinivasa Padaiyachi. This was declared as holy place by both governments
Earlier this was a rest point of fishermen of both countries but nowadays it is a pure navy base.
We have reached Kuraikattuwan (KKT) jetty by 5.30am and Wada Tharakai boat was ready to board passengers. It was reserved to transport policemen who were on duty at festival and few government workers. It’s departure happened sharp at 6am. As it was difficult to stay at down compartment of the cruise we came to the deck soon it left. Even with a mechanical error Wada Tharakai reached Katchatheevu Island jetty by 9am. Jetty was a temporary one built by the Navy.
At the entrance all devotees were registered as group wise and issued a token to get food issued by Navy. It was around 8000 people from both countries registered here.
There was a well paved jeep trek from the jetty to the church and Navy camp. On the way we have noticed different shops selling food items, toys and clothes. There was a bank as well.
We have unloaded our things first at the tent. There was a VIP premises just next to the church area. We camped at the border of VIP premises. Then we walked around the Island.
This island mainly has a catholic church for St.Anthony and small Navy camp. Island was covered with thickly grown bushes with few large trees. There were number of coral reefs closer to the shore.
Devotees have camped around the church as well as along the shore.
There were two masses for Holy St.Anthony. The evening mass was done by south Indian fathers after flagging ceremony. That day night they have blessed the sea by bringing the holy shrine around the sea. The morning mass was done by our fathers and it ended up the Katchatheevu festival 2016.
It should appreciate the service done by Sri Lanka Navy. They have arranged everything since one month time and it was a successful festival.
We didn’t wait for morning mass and left the island by a normal boat around 8.30 am. It was a nice journey to the farthest island of Sri Lanka.
Thanks for reading