Home » My visit to Shri Lanka: The Great Kingdom of Legendary Ravana of Ramayana epic of India (Bharat) – (Part-2)

My visit to Shri Lanka: The Great Kingdom of Legendary Ravana of Ramayana epic of India (Bharat) – (Part-2)

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By. N. Mangi Devi
On the second day we drove to Kandy the central District Shri Lanka Visit Dambulla Cave Temple. It is the Golden Temple the Dome is made of Gold the Buddha Statue is also of Gold. Raw of Buddhist monks standing above the beautiful rock facing the Golden Temple is very attractive. There we met many foreigners mainly coming from China and South East Asia. There are Big hall conference Hall as this place is the International Research Centre for the Buddhists it is said that every  year in the month of April and May the International Conference is being held there. There are temples of Shiva and Parvati Temples and also there are many statutes of Hindu God and Goddesses at Dirimalai on the Sea shore as you know Sri Lanka is surrounded in all directions by the Seas. Out of 25 districts of Sri Lanka we have visited 9 district where there are many tourist interest places like Kandy, Nuwara Eliya – Nuwara Ella- there we find Gayathri Peedam  where king Ravana’s son Meghanath propitiated Lord Shiva with penance and poojas and in return was granted super natural powers by lord Shiva, visited Hakgala Botanical gardens and Seethal Amman Temple. Most of places of tourist interest are related to the ancient legendary stories of Ravana, Rama Seetha and Hanuman and Buddhists Temples. We can say that Sri Lanka is more or less the Buddhist country from socio-religions point of view.  The peoples are very much akin to Tamil and the scripts and languages are also similar to that of Tamil of course there may be difference from their behaviours and style of action it appears that the peoples are more or less honest as they are followed the teaching of Lord Buddha. At Kandy we had breakfast at the special canteen established and managed by the department of Agriculture govt. of Sri Lanka. The foods are fully prepared in their style. The services are good and taste of food is also fine. Everything and everywhere things are fine and neat and  clean. On the road side food shops are seen at Nuwara ELLIYA and Nuwara – ELLA. People mostly foreigners from South East Asia, Japan and China and American and Europeans are enjoying the foods and cold nice breeze and calm environments. Kandy district is one the most wel-development districts of Sri Lanka. There are beautiful lakes in between the mountains, temples and it is the cultural centre of Sri Lanka, KANDYAN CULTURAL CENTRE named ‘Sangaraja Mawatha’ gracely stands on the Southern bank of the lake. At evening 5.00 to 6.00 pm we witnessed the cultural show like MAGULBERA – (ceremonial Drums) blowing of the couch shell is the traditional invocation at the commencement of any function and drums (bera) are an integral part of the ritual. It is ancient Sinhala custom to present ritual music when seeking the blessing of the Guardian Deities of the land. RABAN – traditional folk dance played by the male and female dancers MAYURANATUMA (Peacock Dance) The girls depict the graceful movements of the peacock which according to mythology is the bird that transports Skanda the War-God of Ceylon worshiped by Buddhists and Hindus alike KULUNATUMA (Harvest dance) A traditional folk dance performed by village damsels to celebrate the rich harvest. The dance portrays sequences from reaping to winnowing the grain. This is a buoyant dance providing ample opportunities for displaying grace it is danced to the accompaniment of light drum beats and the haunting strains of the flute GINI SISILA (Fire Dance). A south Ceylon fire dance showing the powers of charms over fire and twenty seven devils that can trouble mankind. The absolute faith of the fire dancers protects them from the flames. This dance also included fire-eating.
VES NATUMA – The most important Kandyan dance form. Ves is the traditional attire of the Kandyan dancer. Sixty-four orbaments complete the dress and traditionally their sheen symbolizes the rays of the sun. The DRUM ORCHESTERA  has five categories of traditional instruments which are usually played three times a day in places of worship as a tribute to Lord Buddha. The varying beats of the different drums blend together in perfect union and harmony. This music was also played in honour of royalty FIRE WALKING – The origin of fire walking can be traced back to the epic story of Rama and Sita, Ravana the king of Ceylon had abducted the princess Sita from India when Rama her husband regained her she proved her chasity during her enforced stay with Ravana by walking on fire bare foot unhurt. The devotees who perform fire walking seek the divine blessing of Lord Kataragama and Goddess Pattini. We overnight stay at ELLA – Clamant beautiful hill resort. In the morning we drove to visit Sri Lankalhilaka Rajamaha Viharaya – The world Heritage. They charge Rs 300 (Lank money) per head to enter the Temple Lord Buddha’s rituals are regularly conducted daily starting from 6am to 11 am and again at evening starts from 6 pm. It had been performing regularly for a period of over 800 year. It had been declared by UNO as the World Heritage. Many relics of Buddha like Tooth kept in the caskets are kept the Buddha statue and statue of king Buwanekabahu IV are inside the Temple.
Then the famous TOOTH SHRINE – The shrine is very beautiful the inside ceiling is wonderfully painted with bright colours of different designs and colour. Many people both local devotees and foreign visitors are gathered. Long queue of devotees and worshippers were standing in queue. People offered flowers filled in the bamboo baskets are bringing to offer to Lord Buddha. Polices are deployed inside and outside the temple to guard and control of the crowded. At 11 am the Arathi was lighted by the monk. People tried to worship the golden casket in which the most precious relic of Lord Buddha’s tooth is kept inside the golden casket. The casket was lighted brightly. Luckily we had face to face visit ‘Darshan’ of the sacred relic of Lord Buddha.
The next day we visited Sita’s place – Ashoka grove, where Sita was kept as captive by Ravana – New buildings are coming up statues of Rama, Lakshman and Sita were installed inside the Temple Below the rock streaming are flowing slowly and gracefully where sita is worshipped by Hanumana.
NUWARA ELIYA is famous for its tea gardens to the most extensive and beautiful tea garden LABOOKELLIE CENTRE is on the road side – The roads are broad and fine.
PERAHERA MAWATHA (BEIRA LAKE) stands in the VILLA TAPROSPA, Boats for boating are on the bank of the lake – a small Buddhist temple is also on the eastern side of the lake. Lakes in between the plains and hills are the common feature of Sri Lanka..
As we know and heard tea is the main source of revenue of Sri Lanka. Next the forest products since dense and rich forests covered most the areas of Sri Lanka. As Sri Lanka attracts foreigners. I think visits of the foreigners to Sri Lanka is perennial. They used to come through out the year. So income from tourists is one the big sources of Sri Lanka’s revenue. Another source of income is handicrafts small thing packages of fruits from palm and fruits small baskets made of bamboos are sold at high prices mats made out old clothes.
We have also visited WEWURUKANNALA MAHABIHARA on the hill top where the largest seated Buddha statue is welcoming all visitors. Classes are being held by the monk for the students at corner room of the temple. It appears that they are taught the teachings of Lord Buddha. A bell is hanging from the top of Iron Pole. It has to ring only three times so as to indicate the coming of a devotee.
As we proceed our visit and drove further on the road-side we could see the MATARA FORT, ‘KOGGALA’ area to have a view of sunset. In between the hills and rock forest a nice lake named ‘UNAWATUNA’ is shining on the rays of the sun weaving the blue water as if to welcome the visitors. The small temples of Lord Buddha are on the banks of the lake. Temple and statutes of Buddha are very common sight in Sri Lanka.
The next day we drove to Kanniya pilgrim place. We could feel the hot water pleasure’s touch at our feet at Kanniya hot springs. There are six hot tanks. One legend about Kanniya origin is that this is the place where king Ravana carried out the last rite of his mother. When he was unable to find water to duly perform the rites his anger pierced his trishula into the ground seven times. Water started gushing out immediately. The very hot water cooled down to the present degree when Ravanas’ anger calmed down. The temperature of the water is different from other normal hot water.
We also visited the THURU KONESWARAM TEMPLE. It was built by Rishi Ayastya on the instruction of Lord Shiva who was impressed by the devotion of king Ravana. This place is unique in this respect because the Lord built a temple for his devotees as a reward for his devotion. Lord Rama is believed to have offered his prayer here in order to get side to the  killing Ravana who was a Brahmin meaning Brahmahasthi Doshan. Adjacent to Koneswaram temple there is another small temple with some significance for Hindu pilgrims. The original Shankari temple said to be built by Ravana was the first in the list of Ashta. The last journey of our visit was on around the southern district of Sri Lanka and Colombo the city capital of Sri Lanka. Places of Tourist interests are all related with legend of Ramayana Epic all about Rama and Ravana story.
1.    Kathirkaman-located at Kataragama. Temple of Lord Kasthikeya was requested to go to the battlefield by Lord India of the last day of the war. This was done to protect Lord Rama from the wrath of Brahmasthra aimed by king Ravana which otherwise would have weakened Lord Rama. The benefit was one of the most powerful weapon Brahasthra aimed at Lord Rama for the second time was rendered useless by the presence of Lord Kasthikeya (photo with flag)
2.    Ussangoda – It is situated in the southern coast between Ambalantota and Tangalle – Legend says after meeting Seetha Devi Lord Hanumana decided to test the strength of the mighty King Ravana and his army of Rakshasas. In the event that unfolded Lord Hanuman strength was set on fire by the Rakhasas who in turn went to torch some parts of king Ravana’s empire. Ussangoda is one of the torched areas which is said to have been an airport used by King Ravana.
Rumassala- located at Galle – southern coasts of Sri Lanka. According to Legend of Ramayana epic, it is a massive hill oddity out of place in the landscape just outside Galle hanbour- Details of legend – During the Rama-Ravana was Rama’s brother Lakshman was injured and Hanuman was sent to Himalayas to fetch medicinal herbs. Hunumana forgot the name of the herbs but he brought a chunk of the peak containing many herbs. However the mountain fragment slipped and broke into five pieces of which one fell to Rumassala.   

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