Sri Pada season begins on December 26

By Franklin R. Satyapalan

The Sri Pada season for 2012/13 will begin on Wednesday, December 26 with the procession carrying the statue and sacred relics departing from the Sri Pada Raja Maha Vihare Pelmadulla, Gallpothawela, said Basnayake Nilame of the Ratnapura Saman Devalaya Suni Shantha Weerasekera.

With cries of "Karunavai, karunavai Saman Devindu Karunavai‘ thousands of devotees, mainly Buddhists make their annual pilgrimage to the sacred mountain abode during the annual season which ends in April 2013.

Following the Anusasana of the Chief Trustee of the Sri Pada Vihare, Ven. Bengamuwe Dammmadinna Thera, the route now taken by devotees is the traditional path taken by Kings during ancient times. From the Ratnapura Palabaddera Raja Mawatha, the route cut across the jungles to reach the sacred Udamaluwa, which pilgrims reach at dawn on Uduwap Poya day (December 27), the Basnayake Nilame said.

He said that another procession consisting mainly of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims and also those from Muslim community travel along the Hatton Nallathanniya road to reach the sacred Udamaluwa.

All arrangements for touching up the roads and paths and the provision of health, water, sanitary and other facilities for the wellbeing of the pilgrims were being implemented by the Districts Secretaryis of Nuwara Eliya D. P. G. Kumarasiri and Ratnapura Sunil Kannangara.

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