Sin: කතරගම kataragama – Tam: கதிர்காமம் katirkāmam
‘Desert Village’ UP, Sri Lanka
From Sin: katara, ‘desert’; and gama, ‘village’.
Kataragama is an important pilgrimage town, sacred to Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims alike.
The Kataragama temple has a shrine dedicated to Murugan or Skanda who is here worshipped as Kataragama Deviyo. The temple has its own ancient mystical traditions and a pada yatra foot pligrimage arrives here every year from Jaffna in time for the Kataragama Perahera Festival in July.
The Mahavamsa, a 6thC Pali chronicle, calls it Kajaragama. Some suggest that this is a corrupted or shortened form of Karthikeya Grama, village of Kartikeya (also known as Katirkamam or Kataragama Deivyo), the local deity identified with Skanda-Kumara or Murugan.
For related place names see Sri Lanka Place names.