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Kataragama

The mystical temple town of Kataragama has been a centre of worship and pilgrimage for over 2000 years, significant for Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians alike. Hindus worship at the Katirkamam Temple, dedicated to Murugan, and bathe in the Manika river. Buddhist pilgrims make for the huge, gleaming white dagoba of the Kiri Vehera Temple and believe that the Buddha came here on his second [third?] visit to Lanka. Muslims believe that Moses taught here and pray at the Khizr Takya mosque. The series of temples and dagobas are linked by manicured paths where holy animals wander freely. What fascinates at Kataragama is not so much the architecture as the rhythm of pilgrim life, and the colourful, elaborate religious ceremonies and rituals taking place.

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