The Sri Pada pilgrimage season begins today (18) the Unduwap Poya.
The statue of God Saman and relics were unveiled at the Galpottawela Temple in Pelmadulla yesterday (17).
The procession (perahera) will reach the Sri Padasthana via the four roads of Palabaddara, Hatton, Kuruwita and Balangoda. From today onwards, devotees will have the opportunity to pay homage to Sri Pada after the religious rites following the arrival of the Saman Deva statue and the relics and jewels at Sri Padasthana.
According to Buddhist history, Unduwap full moon poya is considered to be the most important poya day for Sri Lankan Buddhists.
At the invitation of King Devanam Piyatissa, Gangamitta Theraniya had brought the right branch of the Sri Maha Bodhiya on a day like today.
Buddhist history states that the beginning of Meheni Sasana in this country also took place on the Unduwap Poya day.
The six month long Sri Pada pilgrimage season is scheduled to end next year on the full moon day of Vesak.
Vaccination card mandatory for pilgrims
Ratnapura District Secretary Malani Lokupothagama has issued a special gazette notification for the Siripa pilgrimage season which commenced today (18).
The health department has also taken steps to implement the Covid Health Guidelines as a large number of people are expected to attend the Siripada pilgrimage this year.
According to the special gazette notification mentioned above, devotees attending the Siripada pilgrimage should keep their vaccination card or a photocopy of it to prove they have been fully vaccinated.
The Gazette also states that the pilgrims should wear masks and maintain distance while abiding by the health guidelines. It further states that pilgrims should pay their respects and leave the Sri Pada Maluwa thereafter without remaining there to rest.