Foot Print Holidays
Kataragama, one of the holiest & mystic locations in Sri Lanka, contains shrines and temples to all three main religions. During the festival time, July / August, self mortification is the password. There is scorching sand to roll naked on and searing hot coals to walk barefoot over. Some participants prefer to poke a spear through one cheek, skewering the tongue in the process as it passes through the other side, or butchers hooks penetrating their skin.

The chanting of the pilgrims, the writhing bodies, the gruesome sounds of the blowing on conch shells, the frenzied beating of drums, the myriad shrines and deities all decked out in profuse garlands and the gaudiest offerings combine to make this place an unforgettable experience. It brings together Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and even Veddahas [people of the forest] to worship here and be part of the throng. “Maha Devala”, the most important shrine in the complex, is worshipped by all religions, with three daily services or “Pujas”.
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