The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic (500 BCE - 100 BCE) which narrates Prince Rama's attempts to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana. The Ramayana, the great Hindu epic plays a key role in the celebrations of Diwali (festival of lights) as well, symbolising the triumph of good over evil. In this epic story King Ravana makes Sri Lanka his home while in exile prompting Rama’s army to build a bridge across the sea to cross over to Sri Lanka. The story ends depicting Rama defeating Ravana to take his wife Sita home. During this Ramayana tour you will visit the Munneswaram Hindu Temple, Vishnu Kovil in Halawatha,Sita Kotuwa, Bhaktha Hanuman Temple in Ramboda, Sita's Tea Pond and Chariot Path in Pusswellawa, Sita Amman Kovil in Nuwara Eliya, Asoka Vatika in Nuwara Eliya, Agni Pareeksha place in Divurumpola in Welimada, Sthreepura Cave Galigamuwa, Ravana Waterfall, Ravana Cave and Kelaniya Temple in Colombo.
Overnight Accommodation Budget:Miridiya Lake/Alakamanda Standard:Heritage/Forest Rock Luxury: Meals: breakfast/lunch/dinner
Munneswaram Hindu Kovil. Munneswaram Hindu Temple has gained prominence in the Ramayana legend. This temple has its origins dating back to 1000 CE, Munneswaram Kovil is one of five ancient temples dedicated to Shiva. This temple is located in the district of Chilaw, on the Wariyapola road.
MUNNESWARAM HINDU TEMPLE CHILAW
MANAVARI HINDU TEMPLE CHILAW
RAMESWARAM HINDU TEMPLE INDIA
Manavari Hindu temple is also located in Chilaw. This hindu temple too has a direct link to the Ramayana epic where lord Rama installed the Shiva lingam and prayed after defeating king Ravana and liberating Sita. The Ramayana epic describes Rama as an incarnation of Vishnu and the Lingam is a representation of Shiva. Ramalingam is considered an object of worship in Hinduism. There are only two lingams in the whole world named after Lord Rama. The Ramalingam is at the Manavari Temple and Rameswaram is in Tamil Nadu. Both lingams are considered sacred.
Remnants of Watadage
Anuradhapura is the most renowned of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. This historic City's dome shaped dagabas constructed of small sun-dried bricks are still reminiscent of its past glory. The Ruvanveli dagaba which dates back to the 2nd Century BC is 300ft in diameter is the most prominent. The Jetawanarama is 370ft and the Thuparama enshrines the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’smost revered relic is the sacred Bo-Tree which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. This Bo-tree is the oldest historic tree in the world dating back 2500 years. Overnight stay and dinner at hotel in Anuradhapura.
DAY 03 : SIGIRIYA
Proceed to Sigiriya
Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Lunch at a local restaurant
Check into your hotel and relax
Overnight Accommodation Budget: Sigiriya Village/Saunter Paradise Standard: Amaya Lake/Habarana Village Luxury: Heritance Kandalama/Jetwing Lake Meals: breakfast/lunch/dinner
Sigiriya - The 5th century rock fortress is a world heritage listed site, built by King Kashyapa in(477-495 AD). The 'Lion Rock' as it is called, is a citadel of great beauty rising 200meters from amidst the scrubs. Sigiriya was once a 70-hectare established town. Amoat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardenssurround the base of this rock. You will see the world-renowned frescoes of theHeavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, sheltered along the rock wall which is approachable viaa spiral stairway. These frescoes are believed to be painted in earth pigments plastered on the wall. After descent from the fortress, continue your journey to Polonnaruwa.
Dambulla stands as an isolated rock mass 500ft high and a mile around the base. This rock temple dates back to the First Century BC. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built a magnificent rock temple at this site, which is now heritage listed. Proceed to Kandy to visit the historic sacred temple (Dalada Maligawa), which houses the tooth relic of the Buddha.
HISTORIC ROCK TEMPLE CARVINGS AT DAMBULLA
Kandy - Sri Lanka's hill capital. Once a stronghold of the Sinhala Kings, is a very beautiful and picturesque town. It is 488 meters above sea level and next to Colombo, is Sri Lanka's most visited city. The main attraction of this town is without doubt the golden roofed Sacred Temple where the Tooth Relic of the Buddha is enshrined. There are many shrines and temples in and around Kandy, showcasing rare paintings, frescoes, wood and stone carvings.
After breakfast travel to Hasalak, ( 2 ½ hours drive away) to where Seetha Kotuwa is situated. This place is appropriately named Sita Kotuwa as the legend describes Sita Kotuwa as the temporary abode for Sita, after King Ravana abducted her from India by plane. This is the place where a beautiful palace was built for queen Mandothari who lived here. It was known at the time as the city of Lankapura. This palace (Kotuwa) was surrounded by waterfalls, streams and many varieties of flora and fauna. Seetha Devi was kept in this palace until she was moved to Ashoka Vatika. Ashoka vatic is now the place where the Sita Amman Temple is located. You will see the gigantic footsteps of Hanuman nearby, after he destroyed the Ashoka Vatika temple. It was the location where Sita, the wife of Rama, while being held captive refused to stay in Ravana's palace and preferred to stay under the Ashoka tree.
Shri Bhaktha Hanuman Temple in Ramboda. According to the legend, this is the location where Hanuman searched for Sita in the jungles surrounding the temple. There is a stretch ofbarren land known as the 'Chariot Path" at Pussellawa. This is the route that Ravana used to take Sita to Ashoka Vatika (Beautiful Gardens) to impress her with the beauty of kingdom. There is also a pond - the 'Sita Tear Pond' – believed to be formed from Sita's tear drops. The Chariot Pathway is situated in a remote location. A moderate 3 hour trek to this pathway reachable on a bumpy road by trishaw. (Tuk Tuk)). Optional tours are available for those wanting to visit Sita' Tear pond and the Chariot path.
DAY 07 - KATARAGAMA
Visit Sita Amman Temple
Visit Ashoka Vatika (The Ashoka tree where Sita sat)
Before heading to Ella, visit Seetha Amman Temple of Nuwara Eliya, the place where Sita was held captive by the demon-king Ravana in the Ashoka forests of this region. The temple trustees believe that Sita was imprisoned at this location. Asoka Vatika, now known as Hakgala Botanical Gardens,is the place where King Ravana built Haggala as a pleasure garden for Sita It is well noted that the Haggala Garden is mentioned in the Ramayana as Ashok Vatika. The area was also called "Sita Eliya" and the "Sita Amman Temple" was built here in memory of the legend.