Weather :

Timings : 24 hours, all days

Time Required : 2:00 pm

Entry Fee : Each Entrance, Trucks and Buses -1000 SLR; Jeeps - 2500 SLR.

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Kebiliththa Dewalaya, Kataragama, Kataragama Overview

Kebiliththa Dewalaya is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Kataragama, which is supposed to be a divine power of changing spiritual powers. The Kebiliththa Dewalaya is amid the jungle in the Yala National Park which makes it quite difficult to access, yet many devotees head there to seek the blessing of the Lord. The journey to Kebiliththa Dewalaya requires prior preparation where you need to abstain from the consumption of any meat or alcohol for seven days before the trip. Along with this, it is crucial for one to have control over your anger, refrain from using harsh words and foul language, and not talk about the pending travel.

The shrine is considered to be very sacred by the devotees, and they believe that Lord Kataragama resides there. The temple is in the central area of the national park, and there are four different routes which are each equally difficult to access. Before embarking on the journey, the lighting of a lamp where every a pilgrim that crosses through it requests for protection and a safe journey. An offering is also made, which consists of fruits, rice, beverage, and flowers before proceeding to the shrine.

On the journey, one will reach a small sapling cum tree behind which is the shrine of the Lord Kataragama. At the back of the tamarind tree and on the surface of the bark is a sketch of Lord Kataragama as a deity with six faces and twelve arms in a state of deep meditation. The only thing which is missing is his weaponry and finery.

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History and Legend of Kebiliththa Dewalaya

An ancient story says that on a rainy day Lord Kataragama (Skanda Kumara), had met his future wife Walli Amma at this place near a tamarind tree (Siyambala means tree in Sinhalese), thus the name Siyambalawa Devalaya. The devotees believe that this is the place where Lord Kataragama resides and meditates. Therefore, it is advisable that you do not visit Kebiliththa Dewalaya for fun, but strictly for a religious purpose. Also, the place has mystical powers for which the people who have disobeyed these practices have faced some problems and obstacles on their way back.

Tips and Precautions while Visiting Kebiliththa Dewalaya

  • Before you visit Kebiliththa Dewalaya, you need to place your faith in the Kataragama god and abstain from 'Kili'. Kili includes not indulging in any meat or non-vegetarian food and alcohol) for seven days before the journey. Along with this is the method of doing the puja and process of worshipping is also quite strict.
  • Use of polythene is banned in the area and access is given to only tractors and jeeps and is banned to all heavy vehicles. Also, the shrine will remain closed in September due to heavy rains.
  • Also, you will be in the middle of the jungle, so that means that there won't be much of a resting place to accommodate so carry plenty of drinking water and some camping equipment with you.

How To Reach Kebiliththa Dewalaya

Kebiliththa Dewalaya is small shrine deep inside the Block IV of the Yala National Park.  There are three different routes which will take you to the shrine, and you also need to board a sturdy four-wheeler or a jeep since the roads are difficult for travelling.

Route 1: You start the journey from Kumana which will take you across from Kuda Kabaliththa. The next point is Ada Kumbuka from where you will have to cross Gal Amuna, to finally reach Maha Siyabalawa Devalaya (Kebaliththa).

Route 2: If you are entering Yala National Park from Block II, you need to cross over to Kumbukkan Oya which will later take you to Kuda Kabaliththa. The next point is Ada Kumbuka from where you will have to pass Gal Amuna, to finally reach Maha Siyabalawa Devalaya(Kebaliththa).

Route 3: You can start from Monaragala, after which you will reach Kodayana which will take you to the 5th post. Upon crossing through Kotiyagala, you will reach Bogas Hanidiya road or Kammal Yaya road. From there the Devalaya is at a distance of 31 km.

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