Ashoka Vatika in Sri Lanka: On A Ramayana Trail

Ashok Vatika 1

Table of Contents

Since we are devout followers of the Ramayana, we know everything there is to know about Ashoka Vatika. We have also explored additional locales associated to the Hindu epic Ramayana in this post.

Even if you don’t have time to visit all of the significant sites along the Ramayana path in Sri Lanka, you should still include the Seetha Amman Kovil in Sita Eliya and the Bhaktha Hanuman temple in Ramboda on your agenda if you are planning a trip there.

Because the Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka includes two of the most picturesque and holy locations, Sita Eliya and Rambodha.

In search of Ashok Vatika in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a beautiful but mostly uncharted island nation not far from Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, was called the Serendib by the Arabs and Ceylon by the colonisers.

It is well-known that Ravana formerly governed Sri Lanka, the setting of a significant portion of the Hindu epic Ramayana.  we recently drove across this ancient island and hiked into the foggy hills of its Central Province in quest of Ashok Vatika and other holy places linked to the epic Ramayana.

As we (Luxury Tours) was doing our research, we came upon the Central Highlands, a place well-known for its kovils, Ceylon tea, and lush, varied rainforests. The claimed location of Ashoka Vatika lies in this area, close to the popular hill station of Nuwara Eliya, which is home to a large Tamil community.

Bhaktha Hanuman Temple at Ramboda

Ashok Vatika 2

In the village of Rambodha or Ramboda, we visited the Bhaktha Hanuman Kovil, the first destination on our spiritual journey. From Kandy, you can reach this village on the way to Ashoka Vatika, which is on the outskirts of Nuwara Eliya.

The Bhaktha Hanuman temple, situated at an elevation of 3200 feet within the Ramboda campus of the Chinmaya Mission, houses a 16-foot-tall granite Hanuman statue that the locals hold in high esteem. We were informed by Shiva Lingam, an office holder of Chinmaya Mission, “This is the place where Hanuman first set foot in Sri Lanka” during our visit to the office enclosure.

Also, he mentioned that the temple was constructed on the exact place.

The village of Ramboda

Ashok Vatika 3

Located in Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands, a small village called Ramboda is surrounded by tea plantations. It’s only 35 kilometres from Nuwara Eliya, a hill city that was popular during colonial times and has a substantial Tamil community that has worked on the plantations for many years.

In the epic Ramayana, the local Tamil population holds the belief that Hanuman initially landed in Ramboda during his visit to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita devi. Reportedly, he took some time to reflect and relax here.

In the name of Shree Ramachandra, we can understand why Hanuman ji would have chosen to meditate in the peaceful environs of Ramboda, since they are the ideal location to pursue divinity. However, this small town isn’t the sole location in the area that has any connection to Hanuman or the Ramayana.

Ravana Boda

Ashok Vatika 4

The entire Central Highlands region is rich with Ramayana our thology and legend, thanks to its abundance of mist-kissed mountains, gurgling streams, gushing waterfalls, lush vegetation, and colourful kovils.
Shivalingam pointed out a mountain range across from the Kovil as he gave me a tour of the Chinmaya Mission grounds.

He referred to it as Ravana Boda. “Ravana Boda is where Ravana’s arour  was stationed during the war in Ramayana, while Rama’s arour  along with the Vanara sena was on Ramboda”.

The Mahaweli Ganga, a magnificent river that flows majestically in the valley below, was visible to me as a natural boundary between the two mountain ranges. Here, with the help of Hanuman and Vanara Sena, the great fight between Ravana and Rama took place, and dharma triumphed over adharma.

The curious case of a sleeping Hanuman

Ashok Vatika 5

The locals have the belief that these mountains are haunted by Hanuman’s spirit. They call the peak line of Ravana Boda “Sleeping Hanuman” because it looks so much like Hanuman when he’s lying down. After giving it some serious thought, we came to the same conclusion: it did resemble a sleeping guy with his hands resting on his breast.

From the inanimate to the living, every rock, tree, and stream in this environment looked poised to tell its own story connected to the epic. The energetically-clothed mountains brought to life the Hindu gods and goddesses that we held in the highest esteem.

Despite our inability to visit the other sites linked to the epic, we faithfully followed ShivaLingam’s instructions and paid our respects at the Seetha Amman temple on the outskirts of Nuwara Eliya, close to Ashoka Vatika.
So, allow me to explain. Before that, though, we should provide a little background on the Sita Eliya village, which is close to Nuwara Eliya town.

Sita Eliya, near Ashoka Vatika

Ashok Vatika 6

Before saying goodbye to Ramboda, we had the ‘prasadam’ meal given inside the Chinmaya Mission premises, which had been properly reserved in advance by our friend Jude. Shivalingam had reminded me that Sita Eliya is home to Sri Lanka’s only temple dedicated to Sita ma.

It was a stunningly lovely visit, too!

This village, which was formerly known as Ashok Vatika and is now called Sita Eliya after Sitai amman, is home to the Seetha Amman Kovil, the Hakgala Botanical Garden, and a forest reserve.

Seetha Amman Kovil at Sita Eliya

Sita Eliya village’s Seethai Amman kovil brings the bygone Ramayana to life, as it is built abutting the outskirts of the beautiful forests of the historical Ashoka Vatika, near a burbling creek that winds its way through the woods.

Legend has it that Sita devi would take a dip in this creek on her way down from the our sterious Ashoka Vatika, the place where Ravana held her captive. Lord Hanuman is claimed to have introduced himself to Sita Devi at this precise site on their first ever meeting, just adjacent to the stream, on the boulders. Huge footprints of him may be seen here.

At the historical site, there is a sculpture of Sita Devi bestowing her blessings on Hanuman, immortalising this event from the Ramayana. The plaque also contains the specifics of the event.

The water of the creek supposedly tastes bad around here, but tastes good again a short distance downstream.

A trio of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana statues made of black granite were discovered in the Ashoka Vatika some time ago and have since been housed at the Seetha Amman kovil.

The kovil that the locals constructed is brightly painted and reminiscent of the Dravidian temples found in Tamil Nadu. On the banks of the neighbouring stream sits an ancient temple devoted to Lord Hanuman.

Now that we have traced Hanuman’s journey to Lanka and his meeting with Sita maiyya, let us also concentrate on the Ashoka Vatika, which Valmiki describes in illustrious terms in his Ramayana.

Ashoka Vatika in Lanka

Ashok Vatika 7

The Hakgala Botanical Garden, which borders the Hakgala Wildlife Reserve, is located just one kilometre from the Seetha Amman shrine in Sita Eliya.

As a vulnerable bio-reserve, the Hakgala reserve is off-limits to the public, although the Hakgala Botanical Garden is.

The legend goes that after Ravan, king of Lanka, captured Sita—the wife of Rama of Ayodhya, India—he supposedly held her captive in a garden within his expansive castle, the Ashoka Vatika.

Supposedly, the legendary Ashoka Vatika from the Ramayana lives at Sita Eliya, not far from Nuwara Eliya, at the same spot where the Hakgala Botanical Garden and the Hakgala forest reserve meet.

According to popular belief, Hanuman discovered Sita maiyya on the island and promptly set fire to and destroyed a large portion of Ashok Vatika.

According to local belief, the soil surrounding Sita Eliya is black in colour because of the legend of Hanuman destroying Ravana’s dwelling and part of Ashok Vatika.

Planning a Trip!

Get best Deals, Offers, Itineraries, and more… Get in Touch Now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The capital city of Azerbaijan is Baku. Imagine a beautiful city by the sea with tall buildings and historic landmarks. Baku is like the heart of Azerbaijan where many people live, work, and enjoy life. It’s a place where old traditions meet modern vibes. In Baku, you can find delicious food, interesting museums, and exciting events. It’s a city full of culture, history, and energy. So, when you think of Azerbaijan, remember Baku as its lively and vibrant capital!

No. Azerbaijan is a country that’s often considered to be at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. While a small part of Azerbaijan is located in Europe, most of it is in Asia. Imagine a line dividing the country into two parts: one part is in Europe, and the bigger part is in Asia. So, Azerbaijan is a bit like a bridge connecting these two continents. It has a mix of cultures from both Europe and Asia because of its unique location. So, to answer your question simply, Azerbaijan is partly in Europe and partly in Asia.

Azerbaijan is located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and West Asia, making it a transcontinental country situated in the South Caucasus region. It is bordered by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia (Republic of Dagestan) to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the west, and Iran to the south.

Yes, Azerbaijan is generally considered safe for travel. However, like any destination, travelers should exercise normal precautions to ensure their safety and well-being. It’s always a good idea to stay updated on local news and advisories and to follow any travel advisories issued by your home country or relevant international organizations.

Fill this form to Send Query Now!

Selected Value: 0

Book Your Dream Stay Now!

Please fill out the form to get a best pricing & deals for your hotel!

Planning a Trip!

Get best Deals, Offers, Itineraries, and more… Get in Touch Now!