Kataragama is an important pilgrimage location for Hindus and Buddhists. Up until 1950, the place was only reachable via narrow trails through the jungle, today ist well connected to the road network.
Thousands of pilgrims from the northern parts of Sri Lanka gather here every year to celebrate the Kataragama-Esala-Perahera, which takes place on the new moon in Juli/August (Esala). Then the city vibrates with music, and the rituals and festivities of the pilgrims. There are different targets of the pilgrimage, Hindus go towards Mahadevalaya. while Buddhists go to Kiri-Vihera, the Milk-Dagoba.
Not too far away from here you will find the Lunugamvehera National Park, a insider tip among Sri Lanka’s national parks with unaltered original Fauna and Flora. The well-known Yala National Park is also very close.