Among the oldest living traditions of Sri Lanka, the Kataragama Pada Yathra, or the foot pilgrimage of the devotees of Lord Kataramaga is one of the most well-known and observed traditions that has stood the test of time. The pilgrimage begins from Sri Sella Shanthi Temple of the northern premises and ends at the Kataragama shrine in the remote southeastern jungle as the pilgrimage is a tradition inherited from the island’s indigenous forest dwellers, known as the ‘Veddas’.

This pilgrimage which covers several hundred kilometers, and the pilgrims must leave behind everything except a bundle of essentials until the end of the pilgrimage to experience the homeless life of a beggar or homeless recluse, whilst simultaneously teaching the pilgrims about the paradoxes of life. This pilgrimage has played a major role in propagating the local traditions of Kataragama throughout the country and ever predates the arrival of the island’s four major religions.  

Our guests travelling with us during this period will be able to witness and experience this beautiful spiritual event and attend a ceremony of blessings at the Kataragama Temple.



Our policy in discouraging Animal Cruelty, Tourist Traps and Staged Tourist Shows

Animals Are Friends Too: Discouraging Animal Cruelty, Tourist Traps and Staged Tourist Shows

We at ExJ stay away from tourism experiences that are staged and involve animal cruelty and shopping traps that are contrived to exploit and deceive clients.

Even though some of the popular ‘attractions’ are not included in our programmes due to the above reasons, we have no objections in our clients making their own arrangements with our Drivers to visit these places.


Why we do not promote following attractions


Turtle Hatcheries

As this concept has serious negative aspects in terms of conservation, we do not encourage our visitors to patronize the turtle hatcheries, as not all of them are really turtle-friendly. We instead encourage them to observe turtles in their natural habitats.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

When we became aware that the animal welfare standards there were questionable, we stopped encouraging our clients to visit the orphanage. We are pleased to observe that the Born Free Foundation has now adopted similar measures.

Elephant back rides – Habarana

There’s uncertainty surrounding the attitude of this place towards animal welfare. There may be a few ethical operators, but in general, we are not in agreement with how the place is run. We all would love a photo of us riding an elephant, but is a lifetime of pain caused to these magnificent mammals really worth a few fleeting likes on social media?

Traditional Village Tour with a Canoe Trip and Bullock-Carts – Habarana

This is a tourist trap where a lot of the trip is ‘staged’ for commercial purposes. Such fake touristic experiences will not give our visitors an idea of what life in the country is really like, so join us as we show you the real side of Sri Lanka. And at the end of every vacation, always ask yourself, “Did you feel that your holiday was ethical, eco-friendly, and reduced environmental impacts?”

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Address: No: 20/68, Fairfield Garden, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka