Kataragama Pada Yatra in Yala 2015
Vel, Murugan's weaponKataragama Devotees Trust logo in English, Sinhala and Tamil
Pilgrims arrive (above) and rest (below) at Okanda Devale grounds before continuing the Pada Yatra to Kataragama
Pilgrims resting at Okanda Devale before continuing the Pada Yatra to Kataragama in 2011

Pilgrims from Northeast on 2011 Pada Yatra

Pilgrims from Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Vavuniya who make their traditional journey or ‘Pada Yatra' of more than 75 miles on foot through Panama to attend the Esala festival in Kataragama on July 1 set off this week from the Okanda Devale.

They will make the long trek through hard terrain through thick jungle, breaking journey at resting places on the banks of the Kumbukkan Oya, and at Punchi Kebilitta and Babure.

Okanda Devale Basnayake Nilame R.M. Muttubanda said more than 2,000 pilgrims set off on the journey from the Devala grounds on Wednesday. The Wildlife Conservation Department has taken step to prevent the use of polythene and other material causing environmental damage. Meanwhile a team of doctors will provide medical facilities to the pilgrims. Army and police will provide them adequate security through out the journey.

Courtesy: The Daily Mirror (Colombo) of 25 June 2011