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Temple

Sella Kataragama Temple

  Province Southern
  District Hambanthota
  Nearest Town Kataragama
  Period -
  Ruler -

Introduction

Sella Kataragama is a very important place in Kataragama. About 4 mile from Sella to Kataragama. At the long distance fast a love seen was between Skanda Kumar and Valliamma at here.

One mile short tunnel of Sella Kataragma is Valli’s cave. There is a small shrine to Ganesh, which s visited by the pilgrims. There is the place tradition says walliamma met the elephant when she was escorting Kataragma to the well.

Sella Kataragma has many Kovils. Those are Ganapathi Kovil, Siva Kovil, Kataragama Kovil, Valliamma Kovil, Lakshmi Kovil and Saman Devalaya.

History

According to the Hindu mythology this area is supposed to be the abode of God Skanda and his Goddess Valli. God Skanda had come to Sri Lanka from S. India where he was known as Subramania. The people of India were not paying homage to him since he was rather playful. Therefore, he had decided to take up his abode in Kalutara (Chelapura) in Sri Lanka.

Where God Skanda’s brother God Ganesha wanted to scare Valli it was Skanda who rescued her, at Sella Kataragama which is also known as Small Kataragama Sella Kataragama is a beautiful spot situated about 6 km’s away from Kataragama on the banks of the Menik Ganga.

Many newly married couples go to visit Sella Kataragama. Some devotees do the pilgrimage on foot walking about 200 km’s. God Skanda had taken Valli and gone with her to the hill called Wedisiti Kanda.

The ritual of planting KAP

Kap situweema can be mentioned as the first ritual of the annual Kataragama Esala Festival

This is a ritual of the by gone days of King Dutu Gemunu and it is conducted in a perahera (Procession) by the Kapu Ralas (the custodians of the Devalaya) and planted at a place situated in the Kataragama Dewala premises.The Maha Perahera is started 45 days after Kap Situweema

Fire Walking

The fire walking ceremony place on the 13th day of the annual Kataragama festival Devotees abstain from eating meats to participate in the perahera and walk on the fire to see whether they have received the blessings of the God.

Paying homage by indigenous people to God Kataragama

It is said that goddess Valli Amma has descended from the Vedda generations. To symbolize this fact they come armed with bows and arrows and participate in the perahera giving protection to it.