Kataragama is a small town surrounded by a forest and located in the Southern province of Sri Lanka. This town is 228 km away from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka and 15 km northeast of Tissamaharama. This area is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Sri Lanka apart from Adam’s Peak. It’s considered to be a multi religious sacred city which is visited by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims as it has well known religious buildings of all three religions within its area.
Menik Ganga is the river running around the Kataragama temple, which is considered to be divine by the devotees. The term Menik Ganga refers to a river that has gems. The Hindu Kataragama festival is held during the month of July or August, stretching out for a period of more than two weeks with devotees from all over the world arriving to take part. Apart from the festival time the temple and its surroundings are busy during the weekends and full moon days which are called as Poya days by Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
Regardless of the caste and religion, all Sri Lankans worship God Kataragama to overcome their personal worries and business related issues as he’s considered to be very powerful and sacred. The history of this temple is unknown and it is believed to be built by King Dutugemunu during the second century BC.