This story is written so far in Colombo. That distance is more than 300 kilometers. We came to Pottuvil via Ratnapura, Monaragala and Panama. The last settlement we had in this journey was Panama. We passed Panama and came forward. From Panama, on the muddy clay road, over 20 kilometers from Panama, Okanda is found. On one side, it boarders to the shoreline and from the other side to the Kumana national park.
If you are staying the night, there is only one place suitable for that. That’s Okanda kovil. We stayed there for the night. That means in the Okanda kovil ground. When we arrived at the Okanda, it is evening. We were welcomed by a herd of wild pigs. The herd of 10-15 pigs, they perambulated in the kovil ground during the whole night. Only during a special ceremony, Okanda became a haven for a large crowd. Therefore, the animals perambulate in the surrounding of the Okanda frequently. Also we said early, that Okanda is bordered to Kumana National park. So how do the animals know the boundaries?
When we came to the temple, firstly we received a scary advice.
“There is not only an elephant but also a Tiger near the kovil,” he said. “That’s why you should have a fire burning at night.” So, we were ready to spend the most dreadful night in our life.
The only way to get water to Okanda kovil is the jack Well. It is not easy to draw water from the well. Earlier days, people had drawn water using a bucket made of palm leaf. But now there is a metal bucket for it. Pulling a couple of water with difficulty and treading it down, you’ll end up feeling exhausted. But this is not like campingping elsewhere, because we are in a kovil ground. This is a strange experience.
We started to sleep in the night watching the stars of the sky and watching for a long time in the deep sea. But once in a while we were awaken by the wild elephant who walked around us, they did not allow us to sleep a lot on the ground of the kovil. But we did not have any trouble for the gods sake.
We’re in the East. That is the area that shakes hands with the sun before everyone. By the time 5 am, we were awaken to look beautiful of the first dawn. But we were unlucky. Because of the heavy rainfall, the sky was battered by the heavily black clouds. Okanda beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. The main reason for it is that it has been alienated from people. In the early morning, we were very touched by the Okanda beach and we went to Okanda kovil, which is a sacred place for the Lord Kataragama.
Story behind Okanda Kovil
Now the story of Okanda kovil is being discussed. The Prince who came from India comes to Sri Lanka from the coast. Prince Skanda came to Okanda on the shoreline. The ship which he came said to be the rock on the Okanda beach called Orugala. However, the legends have been pushing the devotees from all over Sri Lanka to prove their vows. There are many Sinhalese devotees among themWritten By – Jeewana Pahan Thilina & Chandana Ponnamperuma Translated by – Umesha Sewwandi