Seenigama is a small village on the southwest coast on the main Colombo-Matara roadway. Located just before Hikkaduwa. The Seenigama Devalaya (shrine) is on a small island a short way from the beach.
The Seenigama Devalaya dedicated to the Devol Deviyo, or deity Devol, is a popular destination for people coming from all parts of the country to make offerings at the shrine. Devol is a local god, who protects the fisherman and their boats and from more recently buses and lorries. According to a research article by E.J. Brill.
“The mythology around Devol one sees his magical power too. He is a son of the king Rajasinghe of the town Kudupura, as the myth tells. The king banishes him together with six of his brothers because of their dissolute behavior. The seven brothers in vain try to land from their ship at different places in Sri Lanka. At last they are shipwrecked near Seenigama. With the help of the god Sakra and a raft they reach the coast safely. However the goddess Pattini, who was in charge of that area then, puts seven ‘mountains’ of fire in front of them.(2) The brothers throw their ornaments into the fire, trying to change fire into water in order to help at least Devol survive. Pattini allows him to stay. It is unclear what happened to the six brothers. Devol receives the consent of Pattini – the god Skanda helped him with that to ask offerings from the people in exchange for healing sick people at seven places: Seenigama, Unawatuna, Udulgapitiya (Dodanduwa), Weeragoda, Gintota, Ambalangoda and Panadura. The Weeragoda myth is also an illustration of Devol’s magical power.
Weeragoda is about 6 miles from Seenigama. Devol goes there to live at the house of his concubine. Every morning he walks to Seenigama and comes back with rice, fish and a few coconuts. The woman wonders how he manages to do this. They have a son. When he is old enough, she asks him to follow his father and find out what is going on. The boy tells her after coming back, that his father is making rice from beach sand and fish with his walking-stick and gets coconuts by commanding a few coconut trees in Seenigama to bend down to him.
Devol sees this as a betrayal of his secret, flies into a rage, kills his son and departs. He leaves his walking stick behind, which grows into an imposing and very rare tree for that country…………..”
The people who make “Bara” or “Puja” (offerings) worship the god at the beach. There are also coin boxes on the road for the convenience of the traveler who wants a make a quick offering. However, the popularity of Seenigama Devalaya is due to a more sinister reason.
Devol Deviyo (like Suniyam Deviyo and Gatabaru Deviyo) is highly capable of placing curses on adversaries and people all over the country are drawn to Seenigama Devalaya for this reason. The people who place curses do this on the small island away from the mainland. In general, people tell what kind of injustice someone has done to them and that they therefore request the god to invoke a punishment on them. This is done by grinding chilies on a special stone on the island while the curse is made.
- The Cursing Practice in Sri Lanka as a Religious Channel for Keeping Physical Violence in Control: The Case of Seenigama
Map of Seenigama Devalaya
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Travel Directions to Seenigama Devalaya
|Route from Colombo to Seenigama Devale
|Route from Hikkaduwa to Seenigama Devale
|Through : Panadura – Kalutara – Beruwala – Ambalangoda
Distance : 96 km
Travel time : 2.5 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
|Distance : 2 km
Travel time : 10 mins
Driving directions : see on google map