Location, Katharagama Sacred Precinct is situated in the northern part of the town and is shaded by lush tropical trees. It is accessible via a bridge that spans the Menik Ganga, also known as the Gem River. The natural surroundings add to the spiritual atmosphere of the place.
Historical legend says that this temple was dedicated to Queen Viharamahadevi. During that time, the sea level had risen in Kelaniya and flooded the area; making people of the time believe that it was an act of punishment by God due to a sin committed by the king when he had arranged for a monk to be killed. Queen Viharamahadevi was the daughter of King Kelanitissa who ruled Kelaniya. The King once punished an innocent monk by boiling him alive in a cauldron of oil. It is said that the gods, angered over this cruel deed, made the ocean rush inland and flood the land. Soothsayers said that if a princess was sacrificed to the sea, the raging waves would stop. The young princess sacrificed herself for the sins of her father and for the safety of her motherland. She was placed inside a beautifully decorated boat which bore the letters Daughter of a King and set adrift on the sea
The ancient temple builds in 2nd century BC attracts many pilgrims. There is a legend around this place on “Princess Vihara Maha Devi” who is the mother of “King Dutugemunu” a very famous king who saved his country, nation and the religion from its enemies. A magnificent view of the sea with its long stretch of beach can be seen on top of the rock. The sea at the bottom of the rock boulders is very rough though very beautiful.
katharagama, the domain of the Hindu god Skanda, held sacred by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and even Christians of Sri Lanka, attracts pilgrims and general public as well as foreign tourists & last, but not least, the wilderness-bound “Veddha” community, the indigenous Aborigines of Sri Lanka.katharagama Sacred Precinct located in the north of the city shaded by the huge tropical trees, reached by the bridge over the Menik Ganga (Sinhala: Gem river) is home to the shrines of all four religions of Sri Lanka. Laid-back isolated village, a multi-religious center of worship situated close to the ancient Sinhalese. shrine dedicated to Skanda Kumara also known as Kataragama deviyo. The ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa, which is believed to be built by the regional king Mahasena in the 6th century BC is also a major attraction in Kataragama area Katharagama is a major pilgrimage site for people of various faiths. It is primarily associated with the Hindu god Skanda, who is considered the deity of war and victory. However, it’s not limited to Hindu worship; it’s a multi-religious center where Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians come to pay their respects and seek blessings.