kataragama cover

Written by

Sri Lanka has emerged into a global tourism hub since the last couple of decades. This country welcomes tourists from global locations today to enjoy customized touring options. One city that attracts tourists here is Kataragama or Katirkāmam as pronounced in the Tamil language. It is a globally recognized city in Sri Lanka due to its unique identity. This comparatively small yet ancient city welcomes the tourists in an entirely different connotation. It is one of the select few cities in the country that remains a pilgrimage center for the major religions Buddhism and Hinduism besides the indigenous and lesser known local Vedda faith. Being a sacred place, this Sri Lankan city seeks the attention of religious travelers from worldwide locations. Listed below are the things to do in Kataragama.

Located in the Uri Province of Sri Lanka, the holy city of Kataragama keeps one engaged after the arrival. The distance between this city and the country’s capital city Colombo is 228 kilometers. Kataragama is visited by the local worshipers, a large chunk of Indians from the southern states and of course a large number of Hindus and Buddhists from worldwide locations. Due to the presence of the famous Kataragama Temple where Skanda Kumara is worshipped, this city is always rushed by religious tourists and devotees. The sacred temple is also denoted with the name of Kataragama Deviyo.

8 Things To Do In Kataragama

Sri Lanka is known to offer to the visitors many avenues to explore this region. Let’s bring for you a list of top nine notable things to do in Kataragama city which equally happens to be a popular name in the country. Although Kataragama used to be a small village in the ancient era in the medieval period, it has become a fast-growing urban establishment nowadays. Hundreds of thousands of worshippers keep flocking into the sacred temples here every day and throughout the year. It also provides you with the best avenues to explore Sri Lanka through involving in the multiple fruitful activities, including the following:

  • Maha Devale Shrine
  • Kataragama Festival
  • Chill Restaurant
  • Kiri Vehera Buddhist Stupa
  • Ul-Khizr Mosque
  • Kataragama Museum
  • Bodhi Tree
  • Ranminithenna Tele-Cinema Village

1. Maha Devale Shrine

Maha Devale Shrine

Image Source

Considered as one of the most important shrines in Kataragama, Sri Lanka, the popular Maha Devale Shrine is visited by Hindus from South India to locals and also those from worldwide locations. The beauty of this temple lies in its six-faced lance and the idol of a 12-armed Hindu war god namely Murugan. This deity is also known as Skanda in the regional language. Although this temple usually seems very much similar to the Kataragama Deviyo both have big differences. The scene outside this shrine looks impressive due to the presence of two large boulders. All pilgrims come against those boulders to smash the burning coconuts. They keep doing so while chanting special prayers there.

Location: Ruhunu Maha Katharagama Devalaya, Katharagama, Kataragama 91400, Sri Lanka

Must Read: Top 10 Restaurants In Anuradhapura For An Unforgettable Food Tour In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Holiday Packages On TravelTriangle

Book your Sri Lanka trip from TravelTriangle: Inclusive of Hotels, Sightseeing, Transfers, & Meals. Best Prices Guaranteed. Get Customizable Package & Free Guidance From Destination Experts. Book Now!

2. Kataragama Festival

Kataragama Festival

A predominantly Hindu festival but the annual Kataragama Festival held in July and August months welcome the participation of people of all faiths. Majority of participants are Hindus though. The gathering of thousands of devotees joins hands in this festival which is also a type of pilgrimage for two weeks. Being a traditional festival, participants plan a long walk to Kataragama to re-impose faith in their religious values. Are you ready to try one of the most charming things to do in Kataragama, Sri Lanka on your next trip-

Location: Kataragama

3. Chill Restaurant

Chill Restaurant

Image Source

Although there is no dearth of restaurants and eateries in Sri Lanka, Chill eatery in Kataragama is famous for its unique attributes. Considered as one of the most sought after and best eatery in this holy city, this eatery offers ample variety of dishes which include yummy recipes from the local cuisines as well as a good chunk of Chinese recipes too. Its rates are reasonably cheaper.

Location: Abhaya Mawatha, Kataragama, Sri Lanka

Suggested Read: The Definitive Guide To National Museum Of Colombo In Sri Lanka

4. Kiri Vehera Buddhist Stupa

Kiri Vehera Buddhist Stupa

Being a religious center with its good diversity of several religious practitioners, Kataragama has the religious sites of all major religions. Kiri Vehera Buddhist Stupa is a famous Buddhist Stupa cum shrine here. It looks amazing to view in its splendid 29-meter height. The sacred compound appeals to the visitors with its white Jetavanarama Dagoba in the northern side. The stupa was built by King Mahasena. It still remains a popular site to visit by the worshippers of Buddhism religion.

Location: Kataragama, Sri Lanka

Suggested Read: Sri Lanka In January: Places To Visit And Things To Do On Your Vacay

5. Ul-Khizr Mosque

Muslim offering Prayer

The 2nd popular holy site in Kataragama is the famous Ul-Khizr Mosque where Muslims worship. This mosque looks beautiful due to its architectural richness and amazing features. Its unique and convolutedly colored tile works, appeal to the visitors. Likewise, this mosque seeks the attention of the visitors through its typical wooden lintels besides the tombs of the two unknown holy men who were believed to have brought Islam in this region.

Location: Kataragama, Sri Lanka

6. Kataragama Museum

Kataragama Museum

Image Source

Besides religious identity as a sacred city, Kataragama is equally famous for its rich archaeological identity. Famous Kataragama Museum is one such popular archaeological museum here that has a huge collection of the archaeological pieces of stuff that represent Hinduism and Buddhism religions. Other worth admiring kinds of stuff as special collections include the huge fiberglass replicas of various statues which Sri Lanka has in different locations throughout the country.

Location: Kataragama, Sri Lanka

Suggested Read: Viharamahadevi Park: A Handy Guide To Explore This Nature’s Paradise In Sri Lanka!

7. Bodhi Tree

Bodhi Tree

Image Source

Perhaps the biggest of the Buddhist sites in Kataragama, Sri Lanka, the Bodhi Tree is an ancient tree denoted with the Wisdom Tree as well. It is the most sacred place amongst the Buddhists and they believe that Gautam Buddha had sat beneath it to attain enlightenment. This location remains a sacred one for the Buddhists in Sri Lanka where travelers from around the world keep flocking.

Location: Kataragama, Sri Lanka

Location: Kataragama, Sri Lanka

8. Ranminithenna Tele-Cinema Village

Cinema Village in Sri Lanka

Image Source

The unique presentation of the cinema art in the island nation, Ranminithenna Tele-Cinema Village in Kataragama is a perfect cinema location. This cinema studio always fascinates the visitors located in the midst of the cities of Tissa and Kataragama. It is a popular name where art lovers arrive for great exploration. So, while youre out and about in this scenic land, make sure you check out this place for an amazing experience!

Further Read: 7 Best Hostels In Weligama For A Budget-Friendly Stay In Sri Lanka

Now that you know of all these things to do in Kataragama, no way can your Sri Lankan tour be complete without a visit to the city of Kataragama. Do include these places into the itinerary. They’ll keep you engaged and help make the best of a tour through complete involvement in the related activities that make your trip a mega success.

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Looking To Book An International Holiday?

Book memorable holidays on TravelTriangle with 650+ verified travel agents for 65+ domestic and international destinations.

Category: Sri Lanka, Things To Do

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month