Ramayana Tour in Sri Lanka 2022: Exploring the Religious Trail in the Island Nation

Introduction

Stories of the epic Ramayana have been popular in India and other countries in South East Asia till today, even though these nations are majority Buddhist or Muslim. The Ramayana is appraised as one of the most influential scriptures of mankind which continues to inspire Hindu devotees and other Asians. Apart from the ancient Indian city of Ayodhya, Sri Lanka is identified as a very significant nation in the setting of the Ramayana Tale.

What is the significance of the Ramayana Tour?

Since of late, Sri Lanka tourism has been focusing on the Ramayana tradition as a means of development and promotion towards the Indian market. Sri Lanka has realized that Indians are presently a big proportion of all tourists and will continue to play a big role in the tourism sector of the country.

Many of these Indian tourists come with great enthusiasm for Rama, Sita, Lakhshmana and Hanuman. As a result, Sita Eliya became a respectable pilgrimage location and new temples were devoted to Lord Hanuman, not just by international Hindu societies, but also by the Hindu/Tamil community in Sri Lanka.

Thanks to the increase in number of Hindu visitors, the Ramayana tradition has become an integral part of Sri Lankan religious traditions. Hence in addition to the Ramayana Tour of Sri Lanka, this paradise island has much more to offer as a holiday destination for relaxing, adventures, wildlife thrills and absorbing the beauty of Mother Nature, all within relatively short travel distances.

Places to see during the Ramayana Tour

The Ramayana tour is a spiritual journey that takes you to places connected to Ramayana episodes – places that were honored by the presence of Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman, and Sita Devi.

Nuwara Eliya

Seetha Amman Temple in Sri Lanka
  • Gayathri Pitam
    The first ever temple built for Gayathri Amman in Sri Lanka. This temple is also where King Ravana’s son Meghanath propitiated Lord Shiva with penance and worship and in turn was granted super natural powers by the mighty god.
  • Seetha Amman Temple
    Believed to be the place where Sita spent most of her captive time on Lanka island, after she refused to stay in Ravana’s magnificent palace. This is also where Lord Hanuman met Sita for the first time. This garden area where Sita sat under the Shimshapa Tree was known as Ashok Vatika, better known as the Hakgala Botanical Gardens today. Remarkable holes in rocks at the nearby river bank are believed to be footprints of Lord Hanuman, and the river has been named after Sita.
  • Divurumpola Temple
    This is where Sita underwent Agni Pariksha – the famous fire ordeal that proved her chastity.
  • Gavagala
    King Ravana had his dairy farm here and milk was transported using aircrafts. There are stone pillars here that prove marks as a result of constant tying of ropes for the movement of milk.
  • Mani Katthuter at Labookellie tea estate
    After Lord Hanuman met and reconciled with Sita Devi, he rested on this hill top when He was on the way back to Lord Rama with the good news.
  • Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple
    A temple built by a branch of the Chinmaya mission trust, aiming to promote the Ramayana philosophy in Sri Lanka.
  • Sita Pokuna (Pussellawa)
    There’s a mountain next to Pussallawa which is where Lord Hanuman set his first foot in Lanka.
  • Ravana Ella Falls and Cave
    Sita bathed in a pool that was part of this waterfall. The Ravana Ella Cave is where King Ravana used to hide Princess Sita.

Other tourist attractions

Apart from the many links to the Ramayana Trail in Nuwara Eliya, there are also several other activities and attractions that you can include in your itinerary. Just to name a few popular ones – there’s Lake Gregory, Victoria Park, Moon Plains, Lover’s Leap Waterfall, St. Claire’s waterfall, Ramboda Falls, Tea factory visit and strawberry farms.

Kataragama

Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya

The Kataragama temple (Maha Viharaya) is a popular pilgrimage site which has a shrine for Lord Murugan and is linked to the Ramayana Trail. Lord Indra had given orders to Lord Murugan to join the battle on the last day of war to protect Lord Rama from the power of Lanka’s King Ravana.

Apart from the Temple, stop by the Tissa Lake – a man-made reservoir constructed in the 3rd century BC, offers stunning views of silent water reflecting the greenery on the other side of the lake. It is a nice place to relax or to arrange a picnic.

Colombo

Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya
  • The Vibhishana shrine in Kelaniya is devoted to the King of Lanka appointed by Lord Rama after King Ravana’s death. The Sinhalese believe Vibhishana as one of the main protectors of the western part of the island.
  • Panchamuga Anjaneyar Temple in Kalubowila, Dehiwala is the only one on the island dedicated to Lord Hanuman’s Panchamuga form (five faces), and is the only temple in the world to have a chariot for Anjaneyar.

Other tourist attractions

Colombo is fast becoming a tourist hub of south east Asia. When in Colombo, be sure to visit the Fort area, Colombo Port City, Galle Face Green, Lotus Tower, Independence Square, Gangaramaya Temple on Beira Lake, Dehiwala Zoo, Vihara Mahadevi Park, and the Royal Colombo Golf Club.

Chilaw

  • Munneshwaram Kovil
    One of the 5 important Shiva temples of Sri Lanka in Munneswaram Temple. Tamil legends believe that King Rama prayed to Shiva at this temple after committing the worst crime in Hindu religion – the killing of a priest.
  • Manavari Temple, also known as Ramalingam
    This is where Lord Rama installed a Lingam after committing the crime – as a remedy to Lord Shiva.

Other tourist attractions

Chilaw is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, a little north of Negombo. The beaches are a must visit, along with other destinations in Negombo such as the Fishing village, Dutch Fort and the Hamilton canal.

Trincomalee

  • Thiru Koneswaram Temple
    A unique concept where a Lord (Shiva) built this temple for his devotee (King Ravana) in reward for his devotion. Lord Rama sought blessings from this Temple to get rid of the guilt of killing Ravana.
  • Kanniyai Hot Springs
    King Ravana wanted to carry out the last rites for his mother and couldn’t find water anywhere. In anger, he pierced his sword into the ground seven times at the spot of Kanniyai Hot Springs and hot water started gushing out from there. There are seven wells here, each with different temperatures of water.

Other tourist attractions

The east coast beaches of Sri Lanka are amongst Asia’s best and Trincomalee is located right there! So don’t forget to keep an entire day to spend at the Trincomalee/Nilaveli beach, and from there you can visit the Pigeon Island National Park for unforgettable snorkeling and diving experiences. The Maritime Museum and Fort Federick are a couple of other attractions to visit when in Trincomalee.

Anuradhapura

Cultural Tour in Anuradhapura

Isurumuniya Viharaya is a rock temple popularly known for its artistic stone carvings – one of which is that of a man believed to be Ravana’s father with his white horse. The Ramayana Tour depicts that the Isurumuniya in Anuradhapura was built by Ravana in memory of his loving parents.

Other tourist attractions

Anuradhapura is one of the most ancient civilizations of Sri Lanka and the historical ruins have been preserved till date, making it a popular destination for those who want to learn about the country’s history. The Ruwanwelisaya, Sri Maha Bodhi, Abhayagiri Vihara and Jetavanaramaya Monastery are a few places to visit in Anuradhapura.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka

The Pulastya statue is most likely believed to be of Rishi Pulastya, who is the name giving patron of the city of Polonnaruwa, previously known as Pulatthinagara. This statue has a sacred thread running from the left shoulder across the body and also has an Ola leaf book being held in the hands – an image typical for Brahmin scholars such as Pulastya, who was also King Ravana’s grandfather.

Other tourist attractions

Another royal ancient city – Polonnaruwa is home to historical remnants such as the Gal Viharaya, Stupa, Hetadage, and Vatadage. The Minneriya National Park is close by from Polonnaruwa; schedule a jeep safari if you want to add a touch of wildlife excitement to your holiday.

Sigiriya

Sigiriya in Sri Lanka

Naguliya cave is in the rock garden areas of Sigiriya and is overpowered by a boulder in the form of a cobra hood, hence also known as the Cobra Hooded Cave. This is one of the many spots where Sita was held captive in Lanka. Also, the Sigiriya Rock, according to the Ramayana Trail is believed to be the palace of King Ravana.

In addition to the Sigiriya Rock, the Pidurangala Rock is a must climb as it gives you a gorgeous view of the surrounding areas as well as the beautiful Sigiriya Rock.

What is the best time in the year for the Ramayana Tour?

Because the Ramayana Trail covers several locations in Sri Lanka, it is safe to say that you can do this tour at any time of the year. Also, since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, it boasts bright and shiny, holiday-friendly weather for the most party of the year. There are a couple of monsoons that effect coastal areas, but apart from Trincomalee and Colombo, the other locations are good to visit. Also, the monsoons affect different coasts at different times of the year. So, if it is raining in one part of the island, you can be sure to find some great weather in other parts of the island.

Best accommodation for the duration of this tour

From budget friendly hotels to environmentally friendly accommodation options to five-star hotels, and small luxury boutiques, Sri Lanka has it all. Being a tourist-oriented country, these accommodation varieties are scattered across different parts of the island. So, wherever you wish to stay for a few nights, you will undoubtedly have a wide range of accommodation options to choose from.

Conclusion

It is best to schedule at least 10 days to cover this epic Sri Lanka Ramayana Tour Package, including other tourist attractions at those destinations. If you have more time, we can stretch it to 14 days and if you are short on time, we can restrict it to about a week and customize the itinerary for you according to your preferences. All you have to do is get in touch with us and our friendly team of travel consultants will be at your service.

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Dinesh N Perera
CEO

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