The Ramayana is an ancient Hindu literary epic of India. This famous narrative poem speaks of the life of the divine prince Rama, the reincarnation of God Vishnu.
The story starts with Rama’s miraculous birth and shows his rise to become the crown prince and his betrothal to the beautiful princess Sita. However, Prince Rama is betrayed by his stepmother and leaves to enter the forest for 14 years of exile with his wife and loyal younger brother. But his wife, Sita, is kidnapped by the evil demonic (Asura) king, Ravana, and the poem continues in typical epic high fantasy fashion. With evil, war, magic, and romance.
Sounds like a any other piece of literature, right? Well here’s the thing. The legends say that it was not a story but complete truth, a recounting of history – even the fantastic parts with all the magic, demons, and wielding of power.
Ramayana states that King Ravana abducted Sita and flew with her on his Pushpaka Vimanam to a little island close to South India. Sri Lanka is the only such island, and here evidence of Ravana’s home base has been found. A strange bald, almost burnt, piece of land where nothing grows that is said to have been the landing pad of his Pushpaka Vimanam. A strange little hillock with a variety of unidentified and medicinal plants that don’t fit into the surrounding landscape, said to be piece of the legendary Meru mountain dropped off by Hanuman. The Ravana Ella waterfalls with the nearby hidden cave with ancient evidence of a prisoner having been held there. And much more.
Highlights – Ashok Vatika, Dolukanda, Cobra Hooded Cave, Ishtripura, Manavari Temple, Muneshwaram, Panchamuga Anjaneyar Temple, Pulasthi Statue, Ram Sethu, Ravana Cave, Ravana Falls, Seetha Kotuwa, Shankari Devi Temple, Sri Muthumariamman Temple, The Chariot Path and Seetha Tear Pond, Thiruketheeswaram Temple, Divurumpola, Ella, Botanical Gardens Hakgala, Kanniya Hot Springs, Kataragama, Ramboda Falls, Ritigala Mountain, Rumasalla Mountain, Seetha Amman Temple, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Temple of the Tooth Relic, Ussangoda, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Koneswaram Temple, Pigeon Island National Park, Nilaveli, Spice Gardens, Yala National Park, Galle, Dambulla Cave Temple, Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Millennium Elephant Foundation