On Arrival at Colombo International Airport, Ramayana tour representative will be in the arrival lounge holding company logo and warmly welcome the guests. They will arrange all your needs including vehicle, guide etc. Afterwards proceed to Sigiriya. En-route visiting replica of Murugan temple, Manavari & Munishwaram temples. Dinner & overnight stay at a HOTEL in SIGIRIYA.
The first lingam was installed at Manavari near the banks of the Deduru Oya (river). The Manavari Temple in Chilaw, is the place where first lingam installed and prayed by Rama, hence to date this lingam is called as Ramalinga Shivan. Rameshwaram is the only other lingam in the world named after Lord Rama.
It is believed that Munneswaram predates the Ramayana and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was located here. Munneswaram means the first temple for Shiva (Munnu + Easwaran). A Shiva Lingam was already here when Lord Rama visited this place. Lord Rama after his victorious battle left for Ayodhya with Sita in one of King Ravana’s Vimanas.
After breakfast proceed to Trincomalee and visit Shankari Devi Shakthi Peetham & Triru Koneshwaram temples, visit Luxmi Narayana temple, Ravana hot water wells and travel back to Sigiriya. During evening hours visit Sigiriya rock fortress (only can be seen from the ground). Dinner & overnight stay at a HOTEL in SIGIRIYA.
Thiru Koneswaram is a wonderful temple located on a rock promontory in Trincomalee. It was built by Rishi Agastya on the instructions 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 devotee as a reward for his devotion. Lord Rama is believed to have offered his prayers here too, in order to get rid of the malediction of killing Ravana who was a Brahmin, meaning Brahmahasthi Dosham. The famous temple built here during the glorious era of the Tamil Pallava and Chola and Pandya empires, was destroyed by bigoted Portuguese Christians between 1622 and 1624.
SHANKARI DEVI SHAKTHI PITHAM
Adjacent to Trincomalee's famous Koneswaram temple there is another shrine; it is small in size but of some significance for Hindu pilgrims. This Shankari Devi temple was reconstructed in a new place. The original Shankari Devi temple said to be built by Ravana, was the first in the list of Ashta Dasha (18) Shakti Pitas written down by Adi Shankara. But its whole cliff was destroyed by Portuguese cannon balls. Only a pillar for commemoration is placed on that spot now. And it is believed that the original idol of the Goddess has been preserved and replaced, being venerated now in this nearby new Shankari Devi temple.
RAVANA HOT WATER WELLS
The hot wells of Kanniyai or Kanniya are close to the main road to Anuradhapura, in Trincomalee town. Pilgrims believe in the healing powers of the warm water. There are many different versions of the myth on how these curative hot water wells came into existence. Most of them are connected to Ravana. One legend about Kanniya's origin has it, that this is the place where King Ravana carried out the last rites for his mother. When he was unable to find water to duly perform the rites, he in anger pierced his Trishula into the ground seven times. Water started gushing out immediately. The very first hot water cooled down to the present degree when Ravana's anger calmed down. The temperature of the water is different in all the seven springs.
Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 Ft.) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure “Sīhāgiri”, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. It is the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANKAPURA RAMAYANA AND SIGIRIYA
In the rock garden area of Sigiriya there is a Cobra Hooded Cave. It is a rock-shelter surmounted by a boulder in the form of a cobra hood. It is believed as one of many hideouts of Sita on Lankan soil after captivity by Ravana. An inscription mentioning a Naguliya Lena is said to be a proof for it as Naguliya is identified with Sita as allegedly both names can have the same meaning "born from a furrow", because "Naguliya" could be derived from the words for snakes and for plough. In the Ramayana Trail legend, even the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya itself is sometimes claimed to have been a palace of Ravana.
After breakfast proceed to Kandy en-route visit Dambulla Golden Buddha temple and Ancient Cave temple, Herbal & Spice Garden, taste a delicious cup of herbal tea and then travel to Kandy to view a Traditional Cultural Dance performance, in the evening. Dinner & overnight stay at a HOTEL in KANDY.
DAMBULLA BUDDHA CAVE TEMPLE
Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of Gods and Goddesses. The latter include Vishnu and the Ganesha. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square meters (23,000 sq. Ft.). Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara and Buddha's first sermon.
After breakfast visit the Sacred Tooth Relic temple and attend a pooja ceremony in Kandy, sight-seen tour then proceed to Nuwara-eliya. En-route visiting Tea Plantation/factory, Sri Bhakta Hanman temple, Gayathree Amman temple. Dinner & overnight stay at a HOTEL in NUWARA-ELIYA.
HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE OF SACRED TOOTH RELIC/ MALIGAWA
After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga and smuggled to the island (301-328) by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha on the instructions of her father King Guhasiva. Safeguard of the relic was a responsibility of the monarch, therefore over the years the custodianship of the relic was held by many dignitaries. From the Kingdom of Anuradhapura to the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa, followed by Dambadeniya, Gampola,Kotte and finally was brought to Kandy. The present day temple of the tooth was built by Vira Narendra Sinha. The octagonal Patthirippuwa and moat were added during the reign of Sri Wikrama Rajasinha. Originally it was used by the kings for recreational activities and later it was offered to the tooth relic. Now it is a library with a historical value. A very precious collection of Royal artifacts (a must see by every visitor) can also be seen at the museum which is situated in the Maligawa premises.
The Tooth Relic Temple is the most significant Buddhist holy place in Sri Lanka, venerated by Buddhists from all over the world including Southeast Asia. There are four shrines for gods connected to the Buddha's Tooth Temple. These Devales, playing an important role in the processions of the Buddha's Tooth Temple, are mainly Sinhalese places of worship, whereas Tamil Hindu temples are called Kovils. But the Devales are closely connected to Hinduism in many ways. The above mentioned world-famous procession called Kandy Perahara, originates in the Ratha Yatras held for the Hindu deities. The priests of the Kataragama Devale in the city centre are not Sinhalese Kapuralas, but Tamil Brahmins.
SRI BHAKTA HANUMAN TEMPLE
The Sri Lankan branch of the Chinmaya mission, committed to promoting the Ramayana philosophy as well as Ramayana Trail pilgrimages, has built a temple with Hanuman as a presiding deity in Ramboda between Kandy and Nuwara-eliya main road. There is a 5 meters tall granite statue of Rama's devote supporter Hanuman. He is believed to have started his search for Sita in the Baroda hills. Hanuman traditionally was not as popular among Sri Lankan Tamil devotees as he indeed in India, because he devastated parts of the island with his burning tail. But in recent times Hindu missionaries and local Tamil spiritual leaders began building shrines for worshipping Hanuman in Sri Lanka, too. The Tamil word for Ramboda, Rampadai, means "Rama's force", this is why Ramboda is believed to be the area where Rama collected his troops.
GAYATHREE AMMAN TEMPLE
Gayathri Pitam, also spelled as Gayaththri Peedam, is within the Nuwara-eliya town, the first and most significant temple built for Gayathri Amman in Sri Lanka. Gayathri being an aspect of Saraswati and the Universal Mother. The temple was founded by the Gayathri Siddhar Swami Murusegu. The Shiva Lingam for this Tamil temple was brought from the Holy River Narmada. Gayathri Pitam is said to be the place from where King Ravana's son Meghanath propitiated Lord Shiva with penance and worship and in turn was granted super natural powers by the mighty god.
After breakfast proceed to Colombo from Nuwara-eliya, en-route visting Sita Ammn Temple & Ashoka Vatica, Ravana mountain range, Divurumpola (Sita Devi agni tested place), Kelaniya Historical Buddhist temple & Vibeeshana kovil and finally reaching Colombo. In the evening sightseeing tour and shopping at Odel and House of Fashion etc. Dinner & overnight stay at a HOTEL in COLOMBO .
SITA AMMAN TEMPLE & ASHOKA VANAM
Sita Amman Temple, located halfway between the highland village of Sita-eliya and the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, has become the most venerated of all Ramayana Trail sites in Sri Lanka, because it is believed to be the place where Sita lived most of the time of her captivity on the island of Lanka. After she refused to stay in Ravana's magnificent palace, she was transferred to Ashok Vatika or Ashokavanam where she lived under Ashoka trees. It was here that Ravana's wife Mandodari visited her and that Hanuman met her for the first time, identifying himself with the ring (finger) of Rama. Sita is said to have bathed in the nearby stream. There are remarkable holes in the rocks at the river bank believed to be footprints of Lord Hanuman.
HAKGALA MOUNTAIN RANGE
Ravana after abducting Sita, kept her hidden in a pleasure garden currently called as Hakgala and offered it to her. It is few kilometers away from the Sita Amman temple & Ashoka Vanam, Hakgala rock is one of the five pieces of the Himalaya mountain, that fell down when hanuman carried it from Dronagiri to Lanka, (usually the Ramayana trail identifies only 5 other places as originations from these events) is a place where diversity elights and beauty enthralls.
KELANIYA BUDDHIST TEMPLE & VIBEESHANA TEMPLE
Kelaniya in western province is a Buddhist sanctuary because it was believed to have been visited by Buddha himself. Within the temple premises there is a Hindu shrine too. It is dedicated to Lord Vibhishana who was the younger brother of Ravana but during the legendary war of Rama-Rawana a supporter of Lord Rama, because he disapproved of Ravana's abduction of Sita. After Ravana's death Rama appointed Vibhishana as the new King of Lanka. Vibhishana is venerated by Sinhalese Buddhists as a God. They believe him to be one of the main protectors of the island, especially in its western territories.
After breakfast visit Panchamuga Anjaneyer Hanuman temple and sightseeing if you have spare time. Finally transfer to the airport for your departure flight according to the flight schedule.
PANCHAMUGA ANJANEYAR TEMPLE
Hanuman is often called Anjaneyar by Tamils, as his mother's name is Anjan. This Kovil is the first Anjaneyar temple in Sri Lanka and dedicated to Lord Hanuman in his Panchamuga form. Annually at the end of December or in the beginning of January the feast is celebrated. It is one of the most popular processions in Colombo. Visitors are advised to wash hands and feet before entering the temple and not to cross hands inside the temple.