Kebiliththa is said to be the spiritual residence of God Kataragama. As such it is believed that Kebiliththa is a site of great divine power. Kataragama Devalaya, is the more well known abode of Kataragama Deviyo (God Kataragama) where crowds throng in thousands everyday to pay their respects. However, it is believed that Kataragama Deviyo resides there only on festival days or poya days and on all other days he resides at his modest abode in Kebiliththa.
According to the ancient story, on a rainy day God Kataragama (Skanda Kumara) had met his future wife Walli Amma at this place near a tamarind tree (“siyambala” tree in Sinhalese) from which it derives its name “Siyambalawa devalaya”. Devotees believe that God Kataragama resides and meditates at this sacred land. Therefore it is highly advised that you must not visit Kebilithta for fun and it is strictly a religious journey. If you are planning to visit this sacred place, you should become a pure vegetarian and must not consume alcohol for a minimum of seven days prior to the journey. Because of the mystic powers of Kabiliththa, people who had disobeyed these practices have faced many obstacles on their way back home.
Kebiliththa is situated in the heart of Yala National Park, Block IV and there are three main routes to visit Siyambalawa devalaya. However all of these routes are placed along the Yala jungle so it is not an easy ride for anyone. This extremely difficult drive not only requires a four-wheel drive vehicle with accessories such as winch, snatch belt, high lift jack, extra fuel etc., but also an experienced driver with four-wheel drive and mechanical skills. As you will be in the middle of a jungle, there won’t be any resting places to accommodate, so don’t forget to take your camping equipment and plenty of drinking water with you.
Routes to Kebaliththa Devalaya
Route 1 – Kumana-> Kuda Kabaliththa->Ada Kumbuka->Gal amuna->Maha siyabalawa devalaya(Kebaliththa)
Route 2 – Yala->Block 2-> cross Kumbukkan Oya->Kuda Kabaliththa->Ada Kumbuka->Gal amuna ->Maha siyabalawa devalaya
Route 3 – Monaragala->Kodayana-> 5 Kanuwa (5th Post)->Kotiyagala->Bogas hanidiya road or Kammal yaya road->Maha siyabalawa devalaya (31Km from Kotiyagala to devalaya)
These routes are very difficult for traveling and at least two 4×4 vehicles are advisable.And 4X4 recovery accessories are needed(reliable winch + snatch belt + Hi-lift Jacks + extra fuel) with 4×4 driving skills.There are big tractors you can hire from Kotiyagala (for a tour about 12,000 LKR)
Before you visit the place you need the faith of Katharagama God and need to prevent from “Kili” (meat, alcohol, etc) at least for 7 days.