Wedihiti Kanda


Wedihiti Kanda (Wedahiti Kanda) is a rocky mountain located about 3.5 km from the famous Kataragama Devalaya. Except for Kataragama Devalaya and Sella Kataragama, Wedihiti Kanda is one of the most popular destinations for the pilgrims to Kataragama. Although not much of its history is known, this mountain is buried deep in folklore all connected to deity of Kataragama.

It is said that the prince Dutugemunu made a wow to the Deity Kataragama to make grandeur devale once he wins over the invador Elara who was ruling from Anuradhapura. After the war, the king came to Kataragama and on his way met the Daity Kataragama at the top of the Wadihiti Kanda.

The king inquired where he would like the new shrine to be built. He then took the bow and a arrow and asked that the shrine to built on the place the arrow falls and shot a arrow to the air. The arrow fell on the ground where the Kataragama Devalaya lies today where the first devalaya was built by King Dutugemunu.

Some legends consider the Katragama Deviyo (deity) as the powerful regional warrior king Mahasena who ruled the area when the Buddha made his 3rd visit to Sri Lanka in the 8th year of his enlightenment (580 BC) . This warrior king took to Buddhism after meeting the Buddha and was elevated to a deity by the community after his death.

It is also believed that King Mahasena retreated to the Wedahiti Kanda mountain top at old age after handing over the throne to this eldest son. He lived a life of a hermit meditating at the top of this mountain.

Even today, there are remains of a ancient shrine at the top. But newer shrine rooms has come up and antiquity of this mountain has totally disappeared. Still, the climb to top of this mountain is a unique spiritual experience and even for a non believer, the panoramic view and the peaceful atmosphere from the top will make the climb worthwhile.