||Ravana - Rama
- Sri Lanka and Tourism
17. Jan. 2008. Chairman of the Cricket Board Arjuna Ranatunga and the former player Aravinda de Silva will launch a special programme to the Indian media of places of interest associated with the epic today (17) at the Metropolitan Hotel in New Delhi.
The Ramayana has a very special place in the bondage between Sri Lanka and India and offers opportunities for Indian visitors to explore, absorb and enjoy the various places of significance as presented in Valmiki’s epic.
The launch will precede a special dinner event that Sri Lanka will host for Indian business leaders and visiting business partners from overseas at the Partnership Summit organized by the Chamber of Indian Industry in association with Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka Tourism and SriLankan Airlines.
The media event for the launch of the Ramayana trail and the dinner will be attended by Swami Sarvarupananda of the Ramakrishna Mission, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in India Romesh Jayasinghe and Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva and Indian test cricketer, commentator and Member of Parliament Navjot Sidhu.
Researchers have identified over 50 places and sites in Sri Lanka connected with the names of Lord Rama, Seethadevi and King Ravana who is said to have ruled Lankapura. There are many devotees in Sri Lanka, who worship at these sites where special temples are built.
These include areas where it is believed that King Ravana has had Seethadevi in captivity. Many Sri Lankan sites have names associated with the Ramayana such as Seethaeliya, Ram Bodha (Ramboda), Ussangoda and Roomassala.
Sri Lanka Tourism will ensure the maintenance of the sacredness of these sites while facilitating foreign and local visitors the opportunity of visiting them for worship and experiencing.
The trail of Ramayana will
be another string of treasures among Sri Lanka many treasures and Sri Lanka
Tourism invites friends from India and the world-over to visit and enjoy
the serendipity of Sri Lanka: a Land like no other where smiling people,
golden beaches, rainforests, ancient cultural sites, waterfalls amongst
misty mountains, adore the landscape as cited in the ancient Ramayana Epic.
A team of Sri Lankan tourism department is now in India to resurrect and sequence with impeccable accuracy the revered epic.
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.
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