Ramayana Related Sites in Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka is home to several places associated with the Hindu epic Ramayana. Lanka was the kingdom of Ravana, the demon king. Lanka witnessed some of the most awe inspiring incidents in the Ramayana after Ravana kidnapped Mata Sita and brought her to Lanka. The search for Sita brought, Lord Ram, Lakshman and the Vanara Sena (Monkey Army) led by Sugriva and Hanuman to Lanka.

In Hinduism, Ramayana and Mahabharata are ‘ithihasas’ (history). So it is only natural to stumble upon places mentioned in the Ramayana. In the modern day Sri Lanka, there are several sites which aptly fit into the descriptions found in the Ramayana.

After Kidnapping Sita, Ravana took her to Seetakotuwa or Sitakotuwa. The place was then known as Goorulupota. It is believed that Mandodari, the wife of Ravana and the Queen of Lanka lived here. Seetakotuwa is about 10 km from Mahiyangana and ruins of a prosperous city can be found here.

In the Ramayana, Sita was held captive in the Ashoka Vana (forest) and this place is the present Sita Eliya in Sri Lanka. There are a large number of Ashoka trees at Sita Eliya and around 100 years ago three idols including that of Sita was excavated from here and it can be found in a small temple on the riverbank here. Some of the other interesting finds here are the stream used by Sita and a rock on which Sita sat and meditated. Today, there are two modern temples here one dedicated to Sita and another dedicated to Hanuman.

It is believed that Hanuman after finding Mata Sita at the Ashoka Vana, used the Ritigala Mountain as a launching pad to jump to the Southern tip of India. Even today Ritigala is the highest prominence between Sri Lanka and South India. It is also believed that a part of the mountain from the Himalayas with herb carried by Hanuman fell at Ritigala. A particular area in Ritigala, even today possess vegetation which is remarkably different from the surrounding areas and the area contains many herbs.

Hakagala Gardens, which is 10 km south of Nuwara Eliya, is yet another piece of chunk that fell from the mountain brought by Hanuman. This place too has a remarkably different soil and vegetation from surrounding areas and is noted for its herbs.

The rest of the mountain brought by Hanuman is found at Rumassala which is situated in the southern coast overlooking the Galle Harbor. Rumassala has numerous herbs and is different from the surrounding areas in soil and vegetation.

Other places of interest include, Ravana Kotte in the south eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Sea has devoured Ravana Kotte but when the waves are silent dilapidated structures can be seen here.

Another interesting place is the Ravana Ella cave. It is said that on hearing Lord Ram and his army approaching, Ravana moved Sita deep into the jungle to the place known as Ravana Ella Cave. There is a waterfall nearby.

Sculptures, stone works and granite slabs can be found at Maligawa Tenna near Welimada and it is believed that it was an important place associated with Ravana’s Kingdom.

It is now believed and advertised that the legendary Pushpaka Vimanam (flying machine of Ravana) could have landed at Werangatota, about 10 km from Mahiyangana, east of Nuwara Eliya.

Yudhaganapitiya, north of Nuwara Eliya, is believed to be the spot where the Rama-Ravana battle took place. There are boulders scattered here and many have dents from the result of the epic battle.

Apart from this there are numerous other places associated with the epic Ramayana.

(The post will be updated with the new findings.)