COVID-19 pandemic affects Kataragama pilgrim season | Daily News

COVID-19 pandemic affects Kataragama pilgrim season

The people of Kataragama and a number of surrounding areas who depend only on the arrival of pilgrims are suffering from a severe economic crisis due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

The Sella Kataragama and Buttala towns are desolate due to the lack of pilgrims. There are around 3,000 families living in and around the Kataragama Sacred Area who make a living by selling and offering various services to pilgrims.

The daily poojas at the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya are held regularly sans the large number of devotees as a result of the prevailing situation in the country. It was also reported that most safari jeep drivers who made a living out of tourism are also going through hard times unable to pay their lease installments for their vehicles. People of Kataragama say that their problems are confounded by the large number of monkeys and parrots invading their home gardens and destroying the crops and vegetables.