Jungle shrines of God Skanda | Sunday Observer

Jungle shrines of God Skanda

GOD FOR ALL SEASONS: Kataragama is a unique place of worship. Chanting “Haro, Hara, Haro, Hara” Hindu devotees in their hundreds throng the precincts of the Kataragama Devale – the abode dedicated to God Skanda (also known as Murugan among Hindu devotees, and Kataragama Deviyo among Buddhists), who is often associated with Kataragama in the deep South of Sri Lanka. In fact, many consider God Skanda as Sri Lanka’s guardian deity, having a strong sway over the southern part of the country. God Skanda has been
GOD FOR ALL SEASONS: Kataragama is a unique place of worship. Chanting “Haro, Hara, Haro, Hara” Hindu devotees in their hundreds throng the precincts of the Kataragama Devale – the abode dedicated to God Skanda (also known as Murugan among Hindu devotees, and Kataragama Deviyo among Buddhists), who is often associated with Kataragama in the deep South of Sri Lanka. In fact, many consider God Skanda as Sri Lanka’s guardian deity, having a strong sway over the southern part of the country. God Skanda has been described in eulogies as a God with six faces and twelve arms. His assistance is sought for prosperity and protection by Buddhists and Hindus and vows are made daily across the country seeking the deity’s help. I photographed this painting of God Skanda at a small jungle shrine, bordering the Yala National Park in Kotiyagala, on the way to the Kebilitta shrine.

The Kataragama festival in July, which pays homage to the Hindu God Skanda, brings together Sri Lankans of all faiths. Mahil Wijesinghe took time to explore a few shrines of God Skanda in the jungles of the southernmost corner of the island.

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