Legendary Ramayana Trail Highlights in Sri Lanka
· Munneswaram Kovil : After his victorious battle, Lord Rama left for Ayodhya, in one of King Ravana’s vimanas (flying carriages). He felt that he was being followed by the Brahmana Hatya Dosham as he killed King Ravana who was a Brahmin. According to the Legend, when he came to this place (where Munneswaram temple located) he felt the Brahmana Hatya Dosham is not following him, so he stopped the vimana and asked God Shiva for a remedy. God Shiva blessed Lord Rama and advised him to install four lingams in different locations and pray to them to get rid of the Dosham.
· Manavari Sivan Kovil : According to the legend, Manavari is the first lingam installed and prayed by Lord Rama to get rid of the Brahmana Hatya Dosham. This lingam is called as Ramalinga Shivan.
· Thiruketheeswaram Kovil : It is said that the second Siva lingam was installed here. This temple was built by Mayan, the father-in-law of King Ravana.
· Sigiriya - Cobra Hooded Cave: Due to the unique shape, this cave rock formation is called Cobra Hooded. Many believe that Sita Devi was held in captivity in this cave.
· Koneshwaram Temple : The Koneshwaram Temple believed to be the last site where Lord Rama offered tribute (Pooja) to get rid of the Brahmana Hatya Dosham. Many believe that this Temple was built by Sage (Rishi) Agastya and was referred as the ‘Kailash of the South’ (Dakshina Kailasam).
· Bhakta Hanuman Temple, Ramboda : Legend says that this is one of the locations where Lord Hanuman searched for Sita devi. The ‘Sita Tear Pond’ which is located nearby is said to be formed from Sita devi’s tears. Sri Bhaktha Hanuman temple was built by the Chinmaya mission with Lord Hanuman as the presiding deity.
· Sita Amman Temple, Sita Eliya : Situated close proximity to the Hakgala Gardens. According to the legend, Sita devi bathed in the stream near the temple, during her stay at Ashoka Vatika. There are also several footprints (small and large) in the stones by the stream which are said to be Lord Hanuman’s. There is a temple erected for Lord Rama, Sita devi, Luxshmana and Lord Hanuman by the side of this stream.
· Ashoka Vatika : Believed to be the Hakgala Gardens - the garden where legend describes that King Ravana held in prison the Princess Sita Devi. As it says, Lord Hanuman first met Sita Devi at Ashoka Vatika to pass her the ring belonged to Lord Rama and later destroyed much of the Ashoka Vatika.
· Divurumpola Temple : or the ‘Place of Oath’ as legend says this is the place where Sita Devi performed “Agni Pariksha” in order to prove her chastity. Sita devi invoked Lord Agni (the deity for fire) who appeared from the fire flames presented Sita devi (who was unharmed from the flames) and to Lord Rama.
· Karatagama or Kathirkamam (Lord Karthikeya Temple) : This is the temple of Lord Karthikeya (Lord Subramaniam or Murugan or Skandha) situated at deep south of Sri Lanka adjoining the River Menik (Menik Ganga) and famous Ruhuna Yala National Wild Life Park. As per the legend, Lord Karthikeya was linked to Ramayana as he was requested to go to the battlefield by Lord Indra on the last day of war to protect Lord Rama from the destruction of Brahmastra (powerful weapon created by Brahma) used by King Ravana. Due to the presence of Lord Karthikeya, the weapon Brahmastra did not bring harm to Lord Rama.
· Rawana Falls (Ella) : A spectacular waterfall of approximately 25 m in Hight, situated in Ella. It is believed that King Rawana had hidden Sita devi in the caves behind the waterfall which is known as Ravana Ella Cave.
· Ussanggoda : According to the legend, after meeting Sita devi, Lord Hunuman decided to test the strength of the King Ravana and his army. So he allowed himself to be captured by Indrajit, the most valiant of Ravana’s sons. During the events that unfolded, Lord Hanuman’s tail was set on fire by the Rawana’s Army. With his burning tail, Lord Hanuman in turn set fire to parts of King Ravana’s empire. Ussanggoda is one of the torched areas, which is said to have been an airport used by King Ravana’s Vimanas
· Rumassala in Galle : Legend says that during the war, Lord Lakshmana was hit by powerful arrows, and had fallen unconscious. Lord Hanuman had been instructed to fetch the lifesaving herbs from the jungles of Himalaya to cure him. Mighty Hanuman had gone to the Himalayan hills and lifted the whole hill and brought it back, as he was unable to identify the lifesaving herbs by himself. Parts of the hill is said to have fallen in five places in Sri Lanka, including at Rumassala (which is a mountain) in Galle.
· Seenigama Temple in Hikkaduwa : Seenigama Temple is situated in a small island in Hikkaduwa. This is said to be the place from where Sugreeva, king of the Vanaras landed with his Vanara (monkey) army and started the assault on King Ravana’s forces.