Rama Setu: want to see Ramayana sites? Come to Srilanka !

Rama Setu: want to see Ramayana sites? Come to Srilanka !

Sri Lanka uses Ramayana to woo Indian tourists

By IANS

Wednesday December 19, 12:05 PM

Colombo, Dec 19 (IANS) Sri Lanka is going to use the Hindu epic Ramayana to attract Indian tourists in a big way.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has formed a committee to work out an ambitious scheme to develop and promote as many as 34 sites in the island associated with the Ramayana,’ SLTDA chief S. Kalaiselvam said.

‘We want to get started on this soon,’ Kalaiselvam told IANS.

According to the Ramayana, Ravana brought Sita to Sri Lanka in a flying machine called ‘Pushpaka Vimanam’ by the Hindus and ‘Dandu Monara Yanthraya’ by the Sinhalese Buddhists.

This reportedly landed at Werangatota, about 10 km from Mahiyangana, east of the hill station of Nuwara Eliya in central Sri Lanka.

Sita was then taken to Goorulupota, now known as Sitakotuwa, where Ravana’s wife Mandodari lived. Seetakotuwa is about 10 km from Mahiyangana on the road to Kandy.

Sita was housed in a cave at Sita Eliya on a highway that links Colombo with Nuwara Eliya, another exotic hill station. A temple dedicated to her exists there.

Sita is believed to have bathed in the mountain stream flowing beside the temple.

These are not the only sites in Sri Lanka associated with the Ramayana.

North of Nuwara Eliya, in Matale district, is Yudhaganapitiya, where the Rama-Ravana battle reportedly took place.

According to a Sinhalese legend, Dunuwila is the place from where Rama shot the ‘Bramshira’ arrow (Brahmastra) that killed Ravana. Ravana was making battle plans in a place called Lakgala when the killer arrow struck him.

Lakgala is a rock from the top of which Ravana could see northern Sri Lanka clearly. It served as a watchtower following the expectation that Rama would invade the island to rescue his consort.

Ravana’s body was placed on the rock at Yahangala for his subjects to pay their last respects.

Since Ravana was a Brahmin, it was considered a sin to kill him, even in battle. To wash off the sin, Rama prayed at the Munneswaram temple in Chilaw, 80 km north of Colombo. At Manaweri, north of Chilaw, is a temple Rama is said to have gifted.

Rumassala and Ramboda, also in the tea-growing central highlands, are associated with Hanuman.

It is believed that Hanuman dropped the Dronagiri mountain, which he brought from the Himalayas, at Rumassala. At Ramboda, known for its massive waterfalls, a temple for Hanuman has now sprung up.

Legend has it that the Koneswaram temple, in the eastern district of Trincomalee, was a gift to Ravana from Lord Shiva because the former was an ardent devotee.

At the Buddha Vihara at Kelani, near Colombo, there is a representation of Rama handing over the ‘captured’ Sri Lanka to Ravana’s brother Vibheeshana, who sided with him in his conflict with Ravana.

The idea of using sites associated with the Ramayana was first mooted by a Kolkata-based businessman in the late 1990s. But the Sri Lankan press was not for it saying the country would be ‘invaded’ by Indians, spoiling the serene atmosphere of the Nuwara Eliya hills.

At that time, Sri Lanka was cultivating the high spending and sophisticated Western markets and not budget tourists from India. But very soon it was clear that Sri Lanka could not do without Indian tourists.

The preferred traffic from Britain and Germany tended to peter out with the escalation of the war in the island and terror bombings in Colombo. But Indian tourists came undeterred.

Soon, arrivals from India outstripped those from Britain and Germany, which were in the top slot.

Several Indian and Sri Lankan airlines now fly between the two countries. The official carrier Sri Lankan alone carried 1.1 million passengers to and from India during April 2006-March 2007. This was 32 percent of its global traffic.

It, therefore, makes sense to the Sri Lankan tourism authorities to build on the bonanza. And what would attract Indians to Sri Lanka more than the sites associated with the Ramayana?

http://in.news.yahoo.com/071219/43/6ome1.html

Sri Lanka to promote ‘Ramayana’ sites to attract tourists

Colombo (PTI): Tourists visiting Sri Lanka can now have a feel of the ‘Ramayana’ as the government has decided to develop the sites associated with the epic for which it has sought India’s assistance.

Hindu devout and those interested in mythology would get an opportunity to visit the sites in the island nation which the epic suggests was ruled by the great demon-king Ravana.

A team of Sri Lankan tourism department is now in India to resurrect and sequence with impeccable accuracy the revered epic.

“Our team is currently in India to study the project. We have sent our experts to seek assistance in India for developing the sites in Sri Lanka which once witnessed (events of) the historic Ramayana,” Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTD) chief S Kalaiselvam told PTI.

The tourism authorities are planning sound and light show, proper logistic facilities and other amenities at the sites to attract Indians and other tourists from world over but, Kalaiselvam said, nothing has been finalised yet.

“We have not yet decided on the knitty-gritty of the Ramayana site package,” he said.

According to the Ramayana, Ravana abducted Sita to Sri Lanka in a flying machine called “Pushpaka Vimanam” by the Hindus and “Dandu Monara Yanthraya” by the Sinhalese Buddhists.

Detailed documents prepared by the Sri Lankan Tourism Ministry said the “Pushpaka Vimanam” could have landed at Werangatota, about 10 km from Mahiyangana, east of the hill station of Nuwara Eliya in central Sri Lanka.

Sita was then taken to Goorulupota, now known as Sitakotuwa, where Ravana’s wife Mandodari lived. Seetakotuwa is about 10 km from Mahiyangana on the road to Kandy.

Sita was housed in a cave at Sita Eliya on a highway that links Colombo with Nuwara Eliya, another exotic hill station.

A temple dedicated to her exists there. According to the document, Sita is believed to have taken bath in the mountain stream flowing beside the temple.

These are not the only sites in Sri Lanka associated with the Ramayana, the Tourism Ministry document said.

North of Nuwara Eliya, in Matale district, is Yudhaganapitiya, where the Rama-Ravana battle took place.

According to a Sinhalese legend, Dunuwila is the place from where Rama shot the “Bramshira” arrow (Brahmastra) that killed Ravana. Ravana was making battle plans in a place called Lakgala when the killer arrow struck him.

Since Ravana was a Brahmin, it was considered a sin to kill him, even in battle. To wash off the sin, Rama prayed at the Munneswaram temple in Chilaw, 80 km north of Colombo.

Rumassala and Ramboda, also in the tea-growing central highlands, are associated with Hanuman. Believers say that Hanuman dropped the Dronagiri mountain, which he brought from the Himalayas, at Rumassala. At Ramboda, known for its massive waterfalls, a temple for Hanuman has now sprung up.

The documents state that at the Buddha Vihara at Kelani, near Colombo, there is a representation of Rama handing over the “captured” Sri Lanka to Ravana’s brother Vibheeshana, who sided with him in his conflict with Ravana.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200712251540.htm

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2 Responses to “Rama Setu: want to see Ramayana sites? Come to Srilanka !”

  1. dayl kirn Says:

    Here are some more places/names for further researh.

    Rawana Ella – This is a place between Kalap[ita and Belton Estate in Central sri lanka.

    Rawanagoda – In the same area. I wonder if there is a mailing address to Rawanagoda. It is a real place between Kalapitiya and Belton Estate.

    Sita-keta /Sita guli – These are supposed to be balls of food ( petrified perhaps) found in Sita eliya area. I haven’t seen them but have heard of them often in my childhood.

  2. neeraj Says:

    I think this is only the way to collect money through tourirm by Shrilanka GOVERNMENT

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