On 29th July, 2016; Friday we came to Kathragama and stayed at Ceybank .
Early morning we went to Buttala via Sella-katharagama road & meat the following giants on road.
Then we went to Kebiliththa [ or Kabiliththa ] via Monaragala, Dombawela and Ethimale since previous route via Yala block 2 is now closed. There were 23 people in total but our group consisted Horacius aiya, Thilaka akka, Salinda aiya, Malkanthi akka and yours’ truly. We hired 4 Land Rover Defender jeeps and 1 Mahendra with over sized tires.’Ranil’ was the jeep organizer, a pleasant guy who is in late thirties or early forties.
These jeeps were needed to go thru difficult terrains like broken granite slabs, mud holes with slippery surfaces and many more obstacles.
Most of the road was deeply eroded because almost all village devotees use farm tractors to scale this journey. Some young guns came in motor bikes and amply rewarded by broken mud-guards, broken brake systems and immovable machines.
We joined the group lead by Keneth at Monaragala and left Salinda aiya’s car at HNB car park and got in to a Defender with all our goods. The group traveled via Dombawela, Ethimale and then a jungle road to the destination; Kebiliththa. We had our lunch around 4.00 pm and rested inside Army camp on southern bank of river . Then had a bath at Kumbukkan Oya [river] where water was around 1 ft deep. After initial cleansing we crossed the river & went to northern bank of Kumbukkan Oya where sacred places were situated, bo tree, tamarind tree and the general worshiping area. While we took part in ‘bodhi pooja’, a wild elephant came to vicinity and village sorcerer [kapu mahattaya] tried his best to keep the elephant at bay by aiming battery torch at him , blocking his entry in to our worshiping place physically and lastly waving a lighted torch [pandama] at him. Fire and burned smell finally drove him away. Nearly everybody was exited due to this matter.
We were fortunate to got camping & bedding inside army camp but hundreds of villagers slept on the banks of the river erecting their own tents. The elephant came again to tent area and a woman got scared and screamed in the middle of the night.
We got-up around 4 am in the morning and had a bath and went to the bed of the river to prepare pooja or offering. Pooja usually consist of mung dhal milk rice with honey and large plates of fruits. For making rice we had to dig the river bed and make fresh well and get fresh water.
While the sun came in from eastern side, sky was lit up with deep blue colors with moon just hanging there and number of ‘nade’s were busy preparing milk rice. People who involved in cooking in any form [strictly men in this matter] covered their mouths and noses with new pieces of cloth.
Then it was time to go to ‘the sacred place’ to offer our ‘pooja’.
Following banners display exactly why people come to Kebiliththa Devalaya.
There were several other ‘nade’s were lead by different ‘Kapu mahattayas’