Discover the Fascinating Story of Ravana

Discover the Fascinating Story of Ravana

රාවණාගේ චමත්කාරජනක කතාව සොයා යන්න.

In Asian mythology, Ravana is often depicted as a tyrant who held the gods at ransom and kidnapped Sita, the wife of Rama, to seek revenge. However, Sri Lankan lore portrays him as a devout follower of the god Shiva, a great scholar, and a capable ruler. It is said that Ravana ruled Lanka for several hundred years prior to the times of Ramayana, when he was killed by prince Rama for kidnapping his wife Sita.

Ravana was born to a great sage Vishrava and his wife, princess Kaikesi. He was born in the Devagana and his siblings include Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna, and Ahiravana, and a step brother Kubera, from whom he usurped the Kingdom of Lanka. Lanka was an idyllic city, created by the celestial architect Vishwakarma himself and was the home of Kuwera, the treasurer of the gods, when Ravana demanded Lanka wholly from him, threatening to take it by force. Although Ravana usurped Lanka, he had been a benevolent and effective ruler. Lanka flourished under his rule and Ravana had proceeded on a series of campaigns conquering humans, celestials, and demons.

Sri Lankan lore has it that Sri Lanka under the scholarly Ravana saw great advancements in science and medicine. The pushpaka vimana or the aeroplane which he flew is held as an example of great scientific achievements made during his regime. Ravana also holds a high position as a physician and there exists, to this day, seven books on Ayurveda in his name. He is also believed to have authored Ravana Sanhita, an anthology of Hindu astrology.

Ramayana is believed to be a semi-fictional story woven around a real King who ruled over Sri Lanka from 2554 to 2517 BC. His Kingdom had mainly concentrated around the Eastern and Southern corners of the country and is believed to have been lost to the sea with the years.

Sri Lanka is filled with locations that are linked to the Ravana legend like SitaElisa in NumaraElisa, which is believed to be a prison of Princess Sita while Wariyapola and Horton Plains are considered to be the landing sites of his flying machine. The mountain peak of Rumassala by the Southern oceans of Sri Lanka is too linked to the Ravana legend and is held to be a part of the Himalaya Mountain. The mountain filled with medicinal plants was allegedly brought to Sri Lanka to treat the injured of the Rama-Ravana war and was left in the country and is still filled with herbs of rare medicinal value. Adam’s Bridge, a chain of limestone shoals between Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka too is connected to the legend of Ravana. According to Sri Lankan historians, the bridge was built by Ravana and was a floating structure connecting Lanka with lands in India.

It is widely recognized that Ramayana holds significant cultural value in India, and the conflict between Ram and Ravan in Lanka is a well-known event. Present-day Sri Lanka is believed to be the location where these events took place, and there is substantial evidence to support this claim.

Over 50 locations in Sri Lanka are mentioned in Ramayana as being connected to its characters. We have compiled a list of ten such places, which have strong folklore and concrete evidence linking them to the Ramayana.

Seetha Amman Temple 

Seetha Amman Temple

The Amman Temple is situated in Seetha Eliya or Nuwara Eliya, the alleged location where Ravana held Sita captive in accordance with legend. As per the story, Sita is said to have bathed in the river adjacent to the temple. On the rock beside the river, one can observe footprints attributed to Lord Hanuman. These footprints vary in size, with some being small and others being large, indicating the remarkable ability of Lord Hanuman to transform himself into any form.

Seetha Kotuwa

Ashok Vatika

Sita Kotuwa is one of the main places to visit while having a Ramayana Tour in SriLanka, it was this place where Sita was held captive after kidnapping by Ravana. The place is surrounded by a waterfall and beautiful stream and the place was named ‘Seetha Kotuwa’ or ‘Sitha fort’ as Sita stayed here.

3. Munneswaram Temple and Manavari Temple

munneswaram temple

According to the legend, Lord Rama after winning war with Ravana started his journey back to Ayodhya. But he killed Ravana and acquired Brahmana Hatya Dosham for killing a Brahman. So Lord Rama at Munneswaram prayed to Lord Siva for a solution it was then Lord Shiv advised him to install four Shivling to get rid of the Dosha. So Lord Rama install Manavari, Thirukoneswaram, Thiruketheeswaram, and Rameshwaram shivling and prayed them.

Ram Sethu

Ram Sethu

Located in the northwestern region of Sri Lanka, Mannar is an island where Adam’s Bridge, also known as Rama Sethu, can be found in Talaimannar. This bridge holds great significance in Ramayana as it is believed to have been constructed by Rama and his army to reach Lanka.

Pushpaka Vimana

Pushpaka Vimana

King Ravana brings Sita Devi in a Pushpak Vimana which is widely known in Sri Lanka as the “Dandu Monara Yanthranaya,” or Large Peacock Machine in Sinhala, This is also called Gavagala.

Sanjeevani Mountain Dolukanda

Dolukanda

Dolukanda is yet another prominent location in Sri Lanka that has a strong association with Ramayana. The story goes that Rama had requested Hanuman to procure medicinal herbs to heal the wounded Lakshman after the battle. Unable to discern the correct herb, Hanuman brought back the entire Sanjeevani Mountain. During his flight, the mountain accidentally dropped in five locations in Lanka, which were named Dolukanda, Rumassala, Ritigala, Thalladi, and Kachchativu.

Hanuman Temple in Ramboda

anjaneyar temple

The Tamils often refer to Lord Hanuman as Anjaneyar since his name is derived from his mother’s name, Anjan. A temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman can be found on the Ramboda hills, where he is believed to have searched for Sita. Additionally, the area is renowned for the Ramboda Falls, and adjacent to it lies the ‘Sita Tear Pond,’ which is believed to be the spot where a tear from Sita Devi fell.

Ravana Temple & Caves

Ravana Temple & Caves

The Ravana Temple and Caves, located near Ella, were built by Ravana to connect different locations of his empire through secret passages that served as a quick mode of transportation across the hills. Other tunnel entrances can be found at Ishtripura in Welimada, Senapitiya in Halagala, Ramboda, Labookelle, Wariyapola in Matale, and Seetha Kotuwa in Hasalaka. Nearby the Ravana Ella Falls and Ravana Ella Cave is situated near Wellawaya, and the surrounding valley is called Ella Gap.

9. Divurumpola

divurumpola

Divurumpola is a place where Sita did ‘Agni Pariksha‘ to prove her innocence. When Sita plunges into the fire, Agni the lord of fire prevented any harm to Sita proving her innocence.

10. Sigiriya

Sigiriya

Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, according to legend Sigiriya is one of the places where Ravana kept Sita captive in Sri Lanka.

Keywords: Ravana, Hindu mythology, Sri Lanka, Ramayana, mythology, King, science, medicine, Ayurveda, astrology, legend, Adam’s Bridge.

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