Sri lanka, the land with significant history and diverse culture will always leave you amazed with its beauty, mystery and history.
Vijaya was the first man to land and rule Sri Lanka, with 700 followers, from 543 BC – 505 BC.
Then, Buddhism appeared in the 3rd century B.C. Buddhism was founded by a man named “Mahinda”. It soon integrated into Sinhalese culture. In the ancient period, Sri Lanka was ruled by the Anuradhapura kingdom.
In the 13th century, Sri Lanka underwent invasion by the Indians. It got divided into three parts, one for Tamils and two for sinhalese.
Ramayana has fascinated many generations, and has had a great impact on the south east and indian continent. Sri Lanka shares a special bond with India geographically, historically, culturally and spiritually – The Ramayana is one such link.
The ones who have read or heard ramayana would tend to give away their last dollar to visit the places of interest, where different incidents from the ramayana took place.
The kidnapping of Sita by Ravana
We are going to write down the whole ramayana here, but are surely going to remind you of it with tiny snippets.
Ravana, the king of Lanka and another 9 Kingdoms was allured by the beauty of Sita and wanted to have her and therefore he visited her when she was alone and brought her to Weragantota in Lanka in his plane, the ‘Pushpaka Vimana’. Sita Devi was kept at queen Mandodari’s palace at Lankapura. The place Sita was held captive is called Sita Kotuwa, which means Sita fort.
Sita’s journey from Kotuwa to Ashok Watika
Ravana moved Sita Devi from kotuwa to ashok vatika (a beneficial garden) and he wanted to show devi sita, the beauty of his kingdom. The Chariot Path atop the mountain range is still visible. There is a sita tear pond and it is believed that it is created by sita’s tears.
Sita stayed at Ashok Vatika until the end of the epic battle between Rama and Ravana. When Hanuman went to ashok vatika in search of Sita for the first time, he destroyed most of that place.
At present, the place is called “Hakgala Botanical Garden” . tourists and visitors are always attracted to this place as it also connects to “SITA JHARNA” where devi Sita would bathe.
A small temple dedicated to Sita and Rama, is the place where Sita was lodged by Ravana. It is a forest at the back of the temple with the tree under which Seetha was lodged as per the locals. It also has the footsteps of Hanuman. Has a nice stream running past the tree and the temple. The tree is small and it does not have a seating area. You’ve got to believe the locals!
Forage for Sita
Having shrunk to the size of a mouse, Hanuman ran through Lanka, looking for Sita. Hanuman was the only one who could cross the ocean and reach lanka. He crossed the ocean and found Sita who was held captive at Ashoka vanam.
After listening to Hanuman’s capabilities and threats, King Ravana decided to hide Sita. Hauman already knew where she was kept.
During the height of the battle Indrajit, elder son of Rāvana beheaded a lookalike of Sita Devi in front of Hanuman to break his spirit. This place is known as Sitawaka in the Avissawella area.
Yudhaganawa, battlefield in Sinhala is a place in Wasgamuwa where the major battles took place.
Aftermath of the war
Sita met Rama after the war, and Divurumpola is the place she underwent the “Agni” test of fire where she proved her innocence and purity to Rama. Divurumpola means the Place of Oath in Sinhala.
Places of interest (for Ramayana lovers)
If you are a history lover or a religious person, visiting places related to ramayana, would certainly be a great treat for you.
Here’s the list of all the spots of interest from the Ramayana –
Sita aliya – this is the place where the king ravana held devi sita captive and she prayed day and night for rama to rescue her.
Chariot path – Chariot Path of King Rawana is a Grassland (Plain) on a top of a mountain range that is surrounded by a pygmy forest, which looks like a pathway. It is a remarkably beautiful place, which has breathtaking views and an unspoilt extraordinary environment. This is located near Frotoft Tea Estate in Pussallawa, Sri Lanka. This is believed to be the route, which King Ravana took Seetha from his capital
Dolukanda – sanjeevani drops – Get a local guide from Doluwa village and climb the beautiful mountain that is called Dolukanda. It’s worth the hike. Hanuman carried out the whole Himalayan mountain range to Sri Lanka. Then it is believed that parts from the Himalayas fell on five places in Sri Lanka and those five places declared as “Sanjeevani drops” in Sri Lanka namely Dolukanda Sanjeewani mountain is one of those places which is now considered as one Ramayana tour place in Sri Lanka .
Cobra Hooded Cave in Sigiriya – It is believed to be one of the places associated with the captivity of Goddess Sita.
Ussangoda – It is one of the places that Lord Hanuman is believed to have set to fire with his tail.
And there are many more places for you to explore.
Sri Lankan cuisine has been shaped by historical, cultural and other factors. Contact with foreign traders who brought new food items, cultural influences from neighbouring countries, as well as the local traditions of the country’s ethnic groups among other things, have all helped shape Sri Lankan cuisine. Every country or region has some speciality of its own and so does sri lanka. Sri lanka papadam, curry powder and mango chutney are world famous. These are available in all the local markets there.
Though Sri Lankan food has parallels to South Indian food, it still distinctly has its own cuisine.
Sri lanka being an island, coconuts and fish are the most influential components of sri lankan cuisine.
So, here are the dishes you MUST try when in Sri Lanka –
Fish curry and mixed rice
Chilly fish curry
Kukul mas curry
Polos ( green jackfruit curry)
Lamprais (“lump rice”)
South fish curry
I am a foodie, are you one too? When on a vacation, you must try out the preferred cuisine of that locality.
I am going to make it easier for you by listing down a few restaurants where you can find the Sri Lankan cuisine.
Bedspace kitchen, unawatuna
Ministry of crab
Helga’s folly – kandy
These restaurants not only serve you mouthwatering food but also serve you aesthetic ambience for your IG feed.
National parks in Sri Lanka
There are 22 national parks in Sri Lanka at present. But we understand that it is not possible to visit them all when on a vacation so we are going to tell you about the top 5 national parks that you must visit.
Yala national park, Udawalawe National Park, Horton Plain National Park, Wilpattu National Park, Kumana National Park. Udawalawe national park safari is one of the best safaris offered. These national parks will bring you close and personal with the untamed wildlife. Looking at all the greenery around you, the noise of birds singing and just looking at animals sleeping peacefully, will surely be a life changing experience for you. Horton plain national park will give you some breathtaking views. It’s a large preserve on a plateau featuring cloud forests & mountain grasslands, plus rivers & waterfalls. Even if you are not a wildlife lover, visiting these parks will surely bring you closer to yourself.
People from different religions stay in Sri Lanka and they all have their own festivals. The christians and catholics celebrate easter and christmas, the sinhalese and tamil people celebrate their new year on the 13th of April every year. Tamil people also celebrate pongal. Esala Perahera is the grand festival of Esala in Sri lanka. It is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants. If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka, please do not forget to check the dates of this festival. It is a once in a lifetime experience. You cannot miss it.
Turquoise blue water, white sand, beach hair and salty air. No vacation is complete without visiting beaches. You cannot miss these beaches in Sri lanka – Unawatuna, Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Weligama and Hiriketiya Beach and Dickwella Beach. There are many beaches in Sri Lanka but why not choose the best!?
These beautiful beaches also have accomodations available in the nearby area which are very cheap in price. You can also enjoy surfing, boating and other watersports.
What would you prefer, Country or city? Well, Sri Lanka’s hill stations have a bit of both. Nuwara Eliya is a city which offers mesmerising views, peaceful atmosphere and delectable food. It is known for Victoria Park, Gregory Lake and Pedro Tea Estate. Then comes Ella – Natural facet of beauty! Ella is famous for Ravana falls and nine arch bridges. It has stupendous valleys, waterfalls and cafes which gives you superb views throughout the year. Adam’s peak is a religious place visited by all the major religions like christisans, Hindus, Buddhist and Muslims.
Trains and journeys on rail
The train routes run through local villages bustling with people, along endless hillsides of tea plantations, and even along Sri Lanka’s sandy beaches! Here are some scenic train routes which you must take – colombo to kandy, Negombo to Pinnawala, North to Anuradhapura and many more. You can stop at places while on your train journey and witness waterfalls, cultural places, tea gardens, temples etc. Nothing compares to the cold air that comes in through the windows and the endless rolling hills of tea plantations and lush forests.