Kathiresan Kovil situated in Bambalapitiya, Sri lanka is a Hindu shrine of God Skanda. . Rather than it is a hindu temple a place to travel for everyone. In fact the tourists never chuck up the Kovil reckoning the Tourism spots in Colombo, Sri Lanka. You have to take the galle road from Pettah and get down at Bambalapitiya town. Travelers visit the Kovil and earn merits from God Skanda.
There are 2 kathiresan Kovils namely New kathiresan Kovil and Old Kathiresan Kovil . Both are dedicated to the War God , Skanda (Murugan). In Deepawali season it gets crowded with light decorations.
During the Tamil month of ‘Aadi’ (similarly months of July / August) ‘vel festival’ is started from the New Kathiresan Kovil (Sri Manikkavinayagar Kovil). The huge vel chariot (trident) proceeds from pettah to the New Kathiresan Kovil surrounded with a kawadi perahera. In fact the Kavadi chariot is gain ground with Nada swaram (Flute) musicians. But this Kavadi chariot proceeds a day before the Vel chariot. Parentally the chariots travel from Pettah to the temple at kataragama.
Consequently the Kawadi bearers have to stage several occasions attached with the Vela festival. Even the bearers are chosen in a special manner considering celibacy, purity and aspiration of God Skanda. Some devotees show their consecration by spear penetrated through their tongue, skin or cheeks. It is evident that they must be powerful in both physical and mind backgrounds to make such a sacrifice. They believes greater the pain, gives more protection.
It would take several days to complete the Vel festival journey. With arrival of the south Indians in 19th century to Sri Lanka, they initiated to built this shrine at Pettah . At that time it was called Sammangoda Sri kathirvelayutha swamy Kovil. It was also dedicated to tha God Skanda. But with the increased population and Hindu pilgrims in Colombo, Kathiresan Kovil was constructed.
A skilled artist from Tamilnadu came to Sri lanka to complete the construction process and decorations. The main shrine is a dedication to God ganesh. There are shrines for Gods Murugan, Amman, Ganapathi and Indumpan. Hence there is another Kovil dedicated to God Ganeshon Sea St.Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam. You can visit numerous Kovils situated in Colombo. This Kovil is an crown to the Hindu culture, tradition and rituals. You can watch the frescoes and statues made whole over the temple.