Hey everyone, hope you are doing good. Followed by our trip to the very famous and beautiful tea garden we headed back to our hotels. Followed by dinner we had a great night’s rest. The next day we had actually not planned for anything and were sitting on the breakfast table when we suddenly googled and realized we were missing one of the most sacred things in Sri Lanka.
HISTORY OF THE PLACE
For us Indians, we do believe a lot in Hinduism and especially Lord Rama. For us, Sri Lanka was known for the very famous Ravana and Ramayana. This was the place where Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman along with everyone built a very famous Ram Setu and crossed the Indian ocean to defeat Ravana and meet with his wife Sita.
The Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, is one of the most popular deities worshipped in the Hindu religion. Most of us are very much aware of the story that revolved but for those who will be interested, The story follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest urged by his father King Dasharatha, on the request of Rama’s stepmother Kaikeyi; his travels across forests in the Indian subcontinent with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana – the king of Lanka, that resulted in war; and Rama’s eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king amidst jubilation and celebration.
Ashok Vatika was a garden in Lanka located in the kingdom of evil king Ravana. This was the place where Sita, wife of Rama was held by evil Ravana after the kidnap. She spends lots of years waiting for her husband to sit under the tree famous as The Ashoka Tree. She refused to stay in Ravana’s palace and preferred to stay under the Shimshapa tree in Ashok Vatika.
The Vatika is famous for this and even Lord Hanuman traveled across the ocean came to Lanka looking for Sita and met her the first time and identified himself with the finger ring of Lord Rama. Sita stayed here until the end of the epic battle between Rama and Ravana, which resulted in the destruction of Ravana himself and most of this clan. Much of the Ashoka Vatika was destroyed by Hanuman when he first visited Lanka searching for Sita.
Currently, this place is located very close to the city of Nuwara Eliya and is believed to be the Hakgala Botanical Garden located in the village of Seetha Eliya. In case you are planning to visit the Ashok Vatika do plan to stay in Nuwara Eliya as it’s very close to this place. This was located at a distance of around 80 km from Kandy around two and half hour drive while it’s just 5 km from Nuwara Eliya.
The place has a temple known as Seetha Amman Temple. As you walk through the temple you will see the famous tree and alongside on the rocks are circular depressions or footmarks said to be the footprints of Lord Hanuman. Apart from that, there is a stream where Sita bathed while she lived here and is famously known as Sita Jharna. This temple attracts a lot of tourists and even media for its connection to Hindu Mythology. Few idols were found from the river century ago proving this connection and the place was worshipped in ancient times.
We were very overwhelmed to visit this amazing sacred place and it was like a dream coming true. This was like heaven for us as if we are so near to our god. Blessing comes true. We were stunned by the beauty of this place with hills, trees, streams of water adding up to its beauty. This is a must-visit for the Hindu believers and even for others its very fascinating to known about the famous Hindu Mythology and understand the rulers of those eras.
The temple holds a historical value to it. You can even offer prayers and Pooja in case you are interested. The temple is unique as it is one of the few temples to be dedicated to Sita. The main temple has idols of Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana. Apart from that, the temple has idols of Lord Hanuman and Jetau. The temple is built in modern south Indian style and built at the exact same site where Sita was held captive. The dome of the temple is multi-colored filled with various mythological figures.
The temple made us feel a deep connection and we got very emotional. Though we wanted to stay here for long we had to leave the place and get back to the hotel.
TIMINGS OF THE TEMPLE
- MORNING: 8 AM – 1 PM
- AFTERNOON: 2 PM – 6:30 PM
As we started our journey back to the hotel we stopped by for lunch at a local place. The food was a bit costly but worth eating. Lots of options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. As we drove a little further we stopped at a beautiful lake – Lake Gregory. The view was stunning. The place was full of beautiful hills, trees, greenery all around us. Surrounded by beautiful houses, cottages built in the British style. Some of the people were enjoying a boat ride in the lake. We had to get back and so didn’t try out the boating experience. If you had enough time do enjoy this boat ride. Even you could enjoy amazing coconut water. What is interesting about the coconut is its color which is yellowish in color instead of the commonly seen greenish.
You will even get to buy some very amazing and beautiful handicraft décor items like handbags, belts, shoes, showpieces made up of pure leather along the route.
THINGS TO CARRY:
- COMFY CLOTHES
- COMFY SHOES/SLIPPERS
- SOME PACKED FOOD/ SNACKS: As it’s a long drive going and coming back.
THINGS TO BUY:
- SILK CLOTHING
- HANDICRAFT ITEMS
THANKS, EVERYONE FOR READING OUR BLOG. HOPE YOU LIKED IT. DO COMMENT BELOW AND SHARE YOUR FEEDBACKS.