|Copyright Notice: Please obtain permission from the author before duplicating, re-publishing or adapting content of a trip report|
|Be a responsible traveler! Watch this video before you hit the road! Download Video: MP4|3gp|
|Do you like to contribute a Trip Report? learn how to or download template and start straight away!|
|Year and Month||October 2007|
|Number of Days||Four days (3 night)|
28 (20-55 years of age)
|Accommodation||Rest house near Kataragama and Camping
|Transport||5 Land Rover Defenders, 1 Mitshubishi jeep, 1 Nissan Patrol Jeep, 1 Nissan Pickup|
|Activities||Adventure Drive, Pilgrimage|
|Route||Colombo -> Ratnapura -> Thanamalwila -> Thissamaharama -> Kataragama -> Yala blocks 1,2,3 and 4( Kebiliththa) -> kotiyagala -> Monaragala -> Buttala -> Kataragama -> Thissamaharama -> Thanamalwila -> Ratnapura -> Colombo.|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread
I was lucky to get invited by my BIL Rohan to go to Kebilitta in the last week of September 2007.I was very excited as I had heard about this place from my BIL as he had gone there the previous year as well. His cousin Mohan had gone 3-4 times before and was the tour leader who had to approve the people joining the pilgrimage as lot of rituals had to be observed and carried out before embarking on the tour as every one who makes this trip go with outmost faith and belief.
The story is that the God Kataragama had met his future wife Walli amma on a rainy day near a tamarind tree at this place which is also called Siyambalawa devalaya (මහ සියඹලාව දේවාලය).We were asked to be refrained from consuming all kinds of meat and alcohol for one week before the date and we bought fruits and other stuff which are needed for the pujawa (පූජාව) the day before.Mohan been a veteran organized a couple of cooks with all the dry rations needed. A කපු මහත්තයා also joined as there were no people living around this place . Two mechanichs were also taken as the terrain is very difficult having to cross about 4 steep casueways.
Though the rest of the party came to Kataragama from Kandy I went with a friend in his Defender from Colombo .
We arrived at the guest house (cant remember the name) around 5.30 pm and showered and joined the others at Sella kataragama for the evening pujawa. Later we went to Kataragama devalaya and to Kiri wehera as well and prayed for a safe and fruitful pilgrimage. As this time of the year was not safe even to go to yala due to LTTE activities, special approval was obtained to go through Yala.
After early dinner we retired to our rooms as we were planning to start the day as early as 5. By 5.45 we were near the situlpawwa turnoff and after crossing the river had breakfast and continued.
We passed the flat terrain in block 2 which consist of vast baraon land like play grounds and after few hours arrived at the kumana saman devalaya which can be accessed from kumana as well. After a pujawa we resumed crossing kumbukkan oya going through thick jungle cutting branches of fallen trees on many occasions as we were equipped for that as well. A tyre was punctured in one jeep and we attended to that as well.
We had lunch packets which we made in the morning near the oya and crossed the aras ( causeways) where we had to tow a couple of jeeps with the help of electric whinches , cables and tapes. We finaly arrived at the camping site around 5 pm and started to erect our tents.
Later all of us bathed in the river dressed in new clothes and crossed the river armed with mamoties and brooms etc to clean the place. Also we took kodi wel to put around the old bo tree which is situated before the devalaya land.Most of us took something to be installed at the place: a stainless steel platform to keep fruits, kiribath etc, a cement irrection to light pahan, thrishulas to tie panduru etc.
THE FIRST THING WE NOTICED WAS THE AREA THAT HOLDS THE TAMARIND TREE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA WHICH IS A SQUAR OF AROUND 400SQ.FT WAS VERY CLEAN AS IF SOMEONE HAD SWEPT THE AREA THOUGH RIGHT AROUND LOTS OF TREES , SOME TAMARIND TREES WHICH SHED MANY A LEAVES AT ALL TIMES WERE THERE. WE WERE REALLY TAKEN ABACK AS THIS UNUSUAL SCENE WAS VERY PROMINENTLY SEEN.
But we swept anyway and made it cleaner and lighted the pahans and chanted pirith and went back to the other side afterwards. Had dinner which was cooked by our guys and went to sleep around 11pm.
We got up around 5 in the morning and with torch lights found our own places to do the routine job on the river bank and coverd with the help of shovels we took and then could hear the sound of water flowing fast and we knew the water levels have risen in the night.
When it dawned we could see that the water level was up. We bathed and holding on to a rope we put across the river tightening on to 2 trees from either side, went to the other side. Some of the crew had already gone ealy to the rituals. To cook muluthenge kiribath they had taken fresh water strained from 7 holes near the bank and a fire was made under “udu viyan “and cooks had worn” mukawadan”. Afterwards the pujawa was taken under udu viyan and placed on the platform and the කපු මහත්තයා started chanting and we prayed. Afterwards we ate kiribath and came back to the camping site.
We cleaned the place and started the journey back at 10.30 or so and took the monaragala route and arrived through kotiyagala and had lunch at a known place in the village at around 4.30pm.We stayed the night in kataragama at the same place and departed in the morning with ever lasting memories.This was one pilgrimage that we will cherish for a long time.