Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being Mahabharat. Ramanyana was written by the Maharishi Valmiki, which dates back to the 5th century BCE. The poem narrates the life of Rama, the divine prince of Kosala Kingdom who is believed to be the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Ramayana depicts the duties of relationships such as the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal husband, the ideal wife and the ideal king.
Ramayana has a tremendous impact on later Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture.
The characters that appear in the Ramayana—Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman, and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of the countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
In the story, Kaikeyi, Rama’s stepmother betrays Rama by conspiring and sending him on 14 years of exile into the forest. He embraces this setback, leaves his kingdom and lives in the forest with his beloved wife Sita and loyal brother Lakshmana. In the forest, Sita gets kidnapped by Ravana, the powerful demon king of Sri Lanka, and kept as a captive in Sri Lanka. Rama invades Sri Lanka, kills Ravana and returns to Ayodhya to be crowned as the King again.
The Ramayana is considered to be one of the largest ancient epics in world literature consisting of nearly 24,000 verses.
Ramayana Trail Tour/Ramayana Related Sites in Sri Lanka:
Sri Lanka is the place where the majority of the events of Ramanyana took place. All the Ramanyana related places are found in different parts of Sri Lanka. So if you are someone who has read the story and feel the urge to visit and experience those places the following are the places you should not miss. Our Ramayana Trail Tour will cover all the places listed below.
Seetha Amman Temple:
Seetha Eliya is the place where Sitha was held captive by the king Ravana. A temple named Seetha Amman temple is situated here, a small beautiful village, five kilometers away from Nuwara Eliya. In a river adjacent to the temple , on the rocks across the river one can notice large footprints believed to be of Hanuman’s.
This is the palace of queen Mandodari where Seetha Devi was kept until she was moved to Ashoka Vatika. Seetha Kotuwa means Seetha’s fort.
It is said that Ravana after kidnapping princess Sita, had hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall, now simply known as the Ravana Ella Cave.
Munneswaram Temple in Halawatha:
It is believed that Munneswaram predates the Ramayana and a temple dedicated to lord Shiva is located here.
Manavari Temple in Chilaw:
THis is the first place where Rama installed the first Siva lingam on Lord Shiva’s request.
Dolukanda Sanjeevani Mountain:
Dolukanda is one of the 5 places where parts from the herbal hill carried by Hanuman fell.
Divurumpola means a ‘place of oath’. This is the place where Sita underwent the “Agni” test.
Rama Temple at Rattota:
Located about 9.5 Km from Matale this is where a Ram temple is located.
The hilltop where Hanuman is believed to have rested after meeting Sitadevi is known as Mani Kattuther.
This was one of the places where King Ravana hid Sitadevi from Hanuman’s knowledge.
Weragantota means ‘a place of aircraft landing’ in Sinhala. Weragantota is believed to have been the the Capital of King Ravana and the place where Ravana’s aircraft landed in Sri Lanka with Sitadevi.
A Murugan temple (Lord Karthikeyan) is situated here in Kataragama. In the story, Lord Karthikeya was requested to go to the battlefield by Lord Indra on the last day of war to protect Lord Rama.
Laggala is derived from the Sinhala term Elakke Gala, which in English means ‘Target Rock’. Laggala served as an entry point to King Ravana’s army.
Dunuwila in Matale
Dhunu means arrow and Vila Means Lake. Dunuwila is the place from where Lord Rama fired the Brahmasthiram (Superior divine weapon) at King Ravana, and killed him.
Yahangala is situated along the Mahiyanganaya – Wasgamuwa road.Yahangala means the ‘rock of rest’ in Sinhala. It is here upon this rock King Ravana’s body was kept after his death.
This is where King Ravana had his dairy farm.
There was an aircraft repair center in the capital city. This place is known as Gurulupotha. In Ramayana, Ravana’s aircraft resembled a huge peacock. Dhandu Monara in Sinhala language means ‘flying peacock’, and hence the place is called, which means ‘parts of birds’.
Bhaktha Hanuman Temple in Ramboda
Ramboda is a place where Hanuman was searching for Sita Devi. The term ‘Romboda’ was derived from ‘Ram Padai’ which means ‘Ram’s forces’.
Panchamuga Anjaneyar Temple, Kalubowila:
This is the first Anjaneyar temple in Sri Lanka and also the only Panchamuga (five faced) Anjaneyar temple in Sri Lanka
Rama Temple at Rattotta:
This is the only Rama temple in this area. Rattota is located about 9.5 Km from Matale.
It is here King Ravana’s son Meghanath pleased Lord Shiva with penance and pooja’s to obtain supernatural powers by Lord Shiva.
This is where Sita Devi’s hair got disarranged when King Ravana took her in a chariot to Ashoka Vatika due to the speed of the chariot. ‘Konda Kalai’ in tamil means ‘deranged hair’. It is believed that Sitadevi dropped the rice balls provided by Ravana along the way to help Rama discover her and even today rice balls can be found along the chariot route.
Chariot Path and Sita’s Tear Pond in Pussellawa:
On the top of the mountain range overlooking Frotoft Estate in Pussallawa there is a barren land which is believed to be the route in which King Ravana carried Sitadevi from his capital city Lankapura to Ashoka Vatika. The Sita tear pond is found in the chariot route, and the belief is that it was formed by the tears shed by Sitadevi and has not dried up since, even when the nearby rivers dry up during severe droughts.
Ravana Cave and Tunnel Network:
King Ravana’s architectural expertise is evident from Ravana Cave and Tunnel Network which inter-connected all important cities. Existing tunnel mouths are situated at Wariyapola/Matale, Sita Kotuwa/Hasalaka, Isthripur at Welimada, Ravana cave at Bandarawela, Senapitiya at Halagala, Ramboda, Kalutara, and Labookelle,.
Kelaniya Buddhist Temple in Colombo.
After King Ravana’s death, Vibeeshana was crowned as King of Lanka by Lakshmana at Kelaniya. The large paintings outside the Buddhist temple depict the crowning of Vibhishana. The Kelani River is mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana and Vibeeshana palace was said to be on the banks of this river.