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Whilst at "Pitisara", you could watch the dancing Peacocks in the early hours of the day, relax in a hammock or take a bath at a native fresh water well and let nature wash around you.

 

It is a convenient hub to visit Kataragama, Wedihiti Kanda, Sella-Kataragama, Kiri Vehera, ancient Sithulpawwa, Tissamaharamaya, Kirinda, Bundala Bird Sanctuary, Yala National Park and Kabiliththa (Kebiliththa, Kebaliththa).


Kataragama

Kataragama is one of the oldest and certainly the most venerated variety of religious sites of pilgrimage devoted to various deities of Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim worship in Sri Lanka. It attracts a large number of local tourists throughout the year and particularly during weekends. According to Mahawamsa, one of the first eight saplings sprung from the seeds of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree of Anuradhapura was planted in Kataragama behind the Kataragama Devale. It is said that King Mahasena who ruled Kataragama during the 3rd visit of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka became a follower of Buddhism after meeting Lord Buddha, was worshipped as God Kataragama (Kataragama Deviyo), by the people after his death. Hindus believe that God Skanda also known as Murugan, Arumugam, Kandasami and Subrahmanya, arrived in Sri Lanka after row with his wife, Thevani, in India, who later married beautiful Valli, a daughter of a Vedda chieftain lived in the jungles of Kataragama with the help of Ganesh, God Skanda's elephant headed brother. Jealous and angry Thevani came to Kataragama and persuaded the couple to live with her. Kataragama reaches its peak from July to August and November to March. The annual festival is held in August where Kataragama Esala Perahera (Pageant) takes place and ends up with a fire-walking ceremony.


Wedihiti Kanda

According to legends God Kataragama is believed to have lived on the mountain called and known as Wedihiti Kanda, sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus. A walk of 2 hours will make you reach the summit of this holy mountain. It is also said that the Veddhas were assigned to function as Kapuralas and the name of the hill that God Kataragama lived with Valli, was known as Vadda-siti-kanda which later became Wedihiti Kanda.


Sella-Kataragama

Sella-Kataragama is 5km away from the Kataragama town. When Valli, a daughter of a Vedda chieftain refused to marry God Skanda, suddenly an elephant appeared out of the jungle frightening her. Valli agreed to marry God Skanda in return for rescuing her from the elephant. It is God Ganesh, the brother of God Skanda, who appeared as an elephant to make Valli marry God Skanda. A temple was erected by the side of the Menik Ganga where the incident is said to have happened at what is today known as Sella-Kataragama.


Kiri Vehera

Kiri Vehera is 95 ft. in height and has a circumference of 280 feet. It is believed that King Mahasena, who ruled over Kataragama area, became a follower of Buddhism during Lord Buddha's third and final visit to Sri Lanka, who in return, built the Kiri Vehera Dageba enshrining Kesha Dathu (hair of lord Buddha), on the place where the Buddha meditated.


Sithulpawwa

Sithulpawwa rock temple is located within the Yala National Park where over 12,000 Arhats or monks were supposed to have meditated during the 1st century BC. A wild elephant nick-named "Sithulpawwa Tasker" who even comes within touching distance to accept hand-held food, is a frequent visitor among the other wild animals visiting the scared Sithulpawwa. There are two tempels known as "Maha Sithulpawwa and Kuda Sithulpawwa".


Tissamaharamaya

Tissamaharamaya sthupa or dageba, enshrining sacred tooth relic & forehead bone relic of Buddha was built by King Kavantissa in the 3rd century BC and is considered to be one of the 16 places that are sacred to Buddhists. It's 170 feet in height and has a circumference of 528 feet.


Kirinda

It is believed that King Kelanitissa, who ruled Kalaniya and the father of Queen Vihara maha devi, punished a monk by boiling him alive in a cauldron of oil and threw the dead monk to the sea which angered the gods who in return created a tsunami. The astrologers informed the King that the only way to placate the gods is to sacrifice the most beautiful virgin in the land. Having heard the astrologers, Queen Vihara maha devi volunteered to sacrifice on behalf of the people as well as the country and was sent out alone on a boat which later landed at Kirinda.


Bundala Bird Sanctuary

Bundala Bird Sanctuary, covering an area of 6216 hectares, is one of Sri Lanka's foremost destinations for birdwatchers, protecting an important area of coastal wetland famous for its abundant aquatic birdlife. The Lagoons of the park are internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka regularly accommodation over 15,000 shore birds at any one time.


Yala National Park

Yala, Sri Lanka's most popular wild life safari destination is situated in the kingdom of Ruhuna, and covers an area of 97880 hectares, was declared as a National Park in1938. It is divided into five Blocks, out of which only Block one is opened to public whereas Block two and three could be entered with special permission of the Department of Wild Life. Archaeological sites such as Situlpahuwa, Magul Mahavihara and Akasa Chetiya have been identified as Buddhist monasteries belonging to the 1st and 2nd century are located within the Park. It is well known for the range of its wild life and the beach.


Kabiliththa (Kebiliththa, Kebaliththa)

Kabiliththa (Kebiliththa, Kebaliththa) also known as Siyambalawa devalaya is located within the Block iv of the Yala National Park and considered a very sacred place by the devotees. It is believed that God Kataragama or Skanda Kumara meditates and occupies this ancient sacred land of Kabiliththa Devala. There are four main routes to visit Kabiliththa. The first route through Kumana, the second through Yala Block ii, the third through Monaragala-Kotiyagala and the last through Galge. If you are planning to visit the sacred place of Kabiliththa it is important that you become a pure vegetarian, should not consume alcohol and be a spiritual person, at least 7 days before the trip since it is a place with mystic power. People who had violated the practices have faced many obstacles while returning home.


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