“Nineteen kilometres further inland from Tissa lies the small and remote town of KATARAGAMA, one of the three most venerated religious sites in Sri Lanka (along with Adam’s Peak and the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy), held sacred by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims alike – even Christians sometimes visit in search of divine assistance. The most important of the town’s various shrines is dedicated to the god Kataragama, a Buddhist-cum-Hindu deity who is believed to reside here.” – Rough Guides

We drove to Kataragama in the late afternoon, crossed the Menik River and walked along the treelined avenue that leads to Kiri Vehera.

Bathing and ritual purification in the Menik River (River of Gems) is a long standing  tradition no longer seemed to be observed by many.

P1050581 Bathers in Menik River

Fruit and colourful garlands for the Hindu gods and flowers and incense sticks for the Buddhist…

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