Kebiliththa Devalaya- Amazing Off-Road Adventure in Sri Lanka 2021
Lord Kataragama came down from Okada and struck shot with a golden arrow. It is also said that the first arrow fell to Mademathota and was known as little Kebiliththa. The second arrow shot from there fell at Big Kebiliththa. It is said that the god of Kataragama stopped at every place where this day fell. But there is also a great belief that Lord Kataragama is working as a meditation yogi in Maha Kebilitte.
So we are ready to dedicate this big Kebiliththa temple. We used to go together which way we could pass through the national park. There is about 68 km to go from Kuman to Big Kebiliththa, so 4-wheel vehicles were prepared. If there is any trouble in the middle of the forest, it would be good to have another vehicle to get something back.
It is not without reason that we choose the beginning of September to dedicate the Kebiliththa devalaya. Because last time I went to Kebiliththa on a Vesak day in May and it took 15 hours to go to Big Kebiliththa from there. That day, the road was full of mud as well as the water in the streams inside the forest. Because of the experience I had that day, I never used to go to Kebiliththa again in the rainy season. That’s why we used the beginning of September to travel.
Currently, Kumana Sanctuary has a dry climate, so it is not difficult to travel on the roads inside the forest. So we have reached the Little Kebiliththa. Little Kebiliththa is a small chapel near Kubukkan Oya after entering the forest about 23 km from the entrance. Actually, This small chapel is a place where the devotees who go on a pilgrimage spend the night. It is said that the place which was used for worship by the devotees on the pada yatra later became a small devalaya.
As soon as we came to the small village, we all gathered together to clean the place grounds and did not forget to hang a green branch to worship God. Any vehicle can travel the 23 km to Little Kebiliththa from any entrance, so anyone can come to Little Kebiliththa without difficulty. The 33 km from Little Kebiliththa to Big Kebiliththa is a really difficult road. When we said goodbye to the little Kebiliththa and were ready to leave, a friend came from the forest. He is not a guest, he is a person who is used to eating the fruits of people who come here to the devalaya. Even though I was in the forest, I took two or three photos, so I left for the trip.
It is said that the sanctuary area is 35664 hectares and 255 species of birds can be seen here. Also, 05 camping grounds are located in Kubukan cannel, which consists of 20 lagoons, so those who camp can get a wonderful experience. After reaching 6 km from Little Kebiliththa, we first come across Weli cannel and then Karukunjhan cannel and Weli cannel and Karukunjhan because there is no water and there was no problem crossing both of them.
Then we find the Alakola cannel. The Alakola cannel is the most difficult to cross on this journey, if there is water, even a 4-wheel vehicle cannot go, so you must have a winch. By the time we reached Alakola cannel, the Alakola had completely collapsed, so we were able to climb the Alakola without any problem. After traveling a few more kilometers from Alakola cannel, we reached Kumbuka with the intention of taking a little break and having our lunch. Kumbuka is a beautiful place on the banks of Kubukkan Oya. Kubukkan Oya is a very beautiful sight, and the reason is that the river has had the opportunity to flow without human activities. Our Team had completely handed over the work of cooking to Chyampathi Bandara, so we ate the food that was distributed and got back into the vehicles because the journey was not over yet.
After traveling a few more kilometers from Kumbuka, we reached the last road on this journey. That is Rock cannel, this is a bit difficult place, if you don’t take care, you can even damage the vehicles. After passing Rock cannel, it is about 04 km to Kebiliththa Devalaya. The road from Kotiyagala is connected to the other road after about a kilometer from Rock cannel.
Since the road was dug by tractors coming from Kotiyagala, it took us a long time to travel this short distance. By the time we arrived at Big Kabiliththa, it was past three in the evening and a large number of jeeps and tractors had already arrived. We also went down to Kubukkan Oya and got ready for Bodhi Puja in the evening. Before performing sacrifice at Kabiliththa, almost everyone used to go to offer worship to Lord Buddha.
We also performed the Bodhi Puja at the Bodhisathana in the evening and the next morning we took the Murathan sacrifice and Fruits sacrifice and walked on the ground of Big Kabiliththa with great devotion. We performed sacrifices for the Kataragama Deity and prayed for God’s blessings. It is amazing that the two wild elephants, Maddu and Dagaya, roaming around the devalaya grounds, waited like little elephants for us to perform puja. After that, we said goodbye to the devalaya after offering great sacrifices.
It is said that the jewels of the Kataragama temple were buried in the middle of the forest to protect them from the white men who invaded our country. Also, it is believed by many that God Kataragama meditated in this place. You can still see the seat made of clay for God Kataragama, who was in the forest at that time to meditate. Also, you can even see how the place where the clay was taken from has not been washed away in the middle of the river. Even if the clay can be broken by hand, it is still very curious to see that it is not moving with the flowing water in the river.