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St. Anne's Shrine – Talawila

West Coast, Sri Lanka.
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Overview
The famous sanctuary of St. Anne stands in Talawila, on the narrow tongue of land known as the Kalpitiya peninsula.
Around the shrine is a waste of bleak sand, dotted over with copses of low growth and topes of tall palmyrahs, which with their erect, sturdy trunks terminating in a tuft of broad fan shaped leaves, stand challenging the drought and the monsoon blasts.
Around the church, however, there is a fair acreage of fully grown coconut palms, like an oasis in a desert, to gladden the pilgrim. Nature has no charms to offer here; in spite of the deep blue sea, which is hardly 100 meters from the church; the climate is hot and enervating.
But, year after year, for the last 15 decades and more, vast crowds of devout pilgrims, drawn from every strata of life and from every corner of the island, have flocked here.
An old fashioned church and in it a rough image of a Saint, who had loved and died even before the birth of Christianity; these have been the attractions.
They have come animated by a sense of an unseen, yet real, power; they have come to worship God and honour His saint, to invoke divine assistance and offer thanks for favours received.

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