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Home > Heritage > Seenigama Devale

Seenigama Devale

Seenigama is a small village on the south-west coast on the main Colombo-Matara road way. Located just before Hikkaduwa. The devale (shrine) is on a small island short way from the beach.

The devale dedicated to the Devol Deviyo, or God Devol, is a popular destination for people coming from all parts of the country make offering at the shrine. Devol is a local god, who protect the fisherman and their boats and from more recently busses 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 behaviour. 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 is also coin boxes at the road for the convenience of the traveler who wants a make a quick offering. But the popularity of Seenigama 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 for this reason. The people who place curses do this at the small island away from the main land. 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 through grinding chilies on a special stone on the island while the curse is made.

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Home > Heritage > Sinigama Devale

Added April 14, 2007
Updated April 14, 2007
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