To Kataragama - 4 :
Morning in Kataragama (Kataragama, Sri Lanka)

At 6:00 a.m., as day breaks, I went to the precincts. Since many of those who came to the pilgrims slept in the forest, I wanted to see curiously how they looked like. But, even though the morning just dawned, streams of people who came back from the forest already appeared. Everyone gets up early.

People, who were in the forest yet, dried the blankets, prepared for breakfast and went to the temples. They were enough active. Even so, it was common for all countries to have someone to be a late riser. They slept like a log comfortably beside everyone passed by.

Most of the temporary sheets to sleep last night were laid at the root of big trees. The place where the trees protrude like a roof and the thick trunk becomes the pillar is the prototype of the house with a sense of security.

On the Manic River, everyone was in the middle of bathing as soon as they get up. From the bridge, the riverbed was seen. So, the river water must be enough to bath. But, I was surprised that there were those who draw it and gargled. A Sri Lankan driver also said that it was unbelievable. They would have stomachaches ?

In the temples, those stand in line to participate in the morning Puja ceremony. On the front approach were some groups who were practicing dances in an ordinary dress. They danced at a slow tempo and their movement was restrained. That must be the final adjustment for the night's performance. The elephants of last night also stood to collect donation and their food. Thank you for their hard work. A long line beside the gate was for the service of milk tea. Sri Lanka is not the country of tea for nothing.

I passed by a lot of people who just shaved their head clean. Shaving head seems to be religiously pointless for Hindu. So they must be Buddhist Sinhalese. On the banks of the Manic River, barbershop stalls were lined up, and everywhere was filled.

At 7:00 a.m., it got completely bright. Buses arrived one after another and new believers with baggage came down. It was the beginning of a lively day.

To Japanese Version

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Within the walking distance of downtown Kataragama




2008.01 Photos in English version, and photos and text in Japanese version

2018.01 Change of photos and English text

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Morning in Kataragama

Photo by Daigo Ishii