Human religious and cultural practices tend to flow far outside neat ethnic demarcations. Often in ways that are taken for granted to the point of invisibility. For me, the most prominent manifestation of this tendency is the undercurrent of Hindu beliefs in Sinhalese and Buddhist cultural practices. Given the complex layers of histories in Sri Lankan culture, bi-cultural flows are particularly hard to spot or to explain. Shrines like the Hindu temple (Kovil) in the photograph below and of local deities are to me the most visible sign of these hidden complexities.
This particular kovil (- Sri maha Bathrakali (Bhadrakali) Amman Kovil) is dedicated to Bhadrakali a form of the Hindu goddess Kali. The kovil is located in Warakapola, a small town in the Sabaragamuwa Province situated half way along the A1 highway to Kurunegala (before the A1 branches off into the A6). The Google map below will make things clearer.