If you visit Sri Lanka in July, be sure to visit Kataragama to witness the Kataragama Grand Perahera, a legendary procession in the south of the country. Kataragama Shrine is dedicated to the god Skanda, who is believed to have miraculous powers to heal diseases and many other divine abilities. Kataragama is a major place of worship in Sri Lanka and is famous for three annual events, of which the Kataragama Esala Festival is best known for its “perahera”, or the festive procession that takes place on a grand scale. It is rich in rituals, traditions and vibrant colors, which are reflected in the clothing of the administrators of the main shrine, the drapery of the elephants and the costumes of the dancers. You can also witness the many customs associated with this festival, such as devotees bathing for purification purposes in Menik Ganga and offering fruits and other offerings to the deity in the shrine complex.