Many scholars and historians have so far researched 47 places connected to ‘Ramayana’ in 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. Most of these places are found in central part of Sri Lanka. The main biggest city among them is ‘Nuwara Elia’. Many places related to ‘Ramayana’ period such as ‘Ashok Vatika’, ‘Ravana Guha (cave)’, ‘Ravana Dhabdhaba (waterfall)’, imprints of Hanuman’s foot, place where Ravana’s son Meghnad did penance, place related to ‘Rama-Ravana’ war etc. are near ‘Nuwara Elia’ city. The climate of ‘Nuwara Elia’ is cold; because it is on a high mountain. Let us know about few other places in this area.
1. Ramaboda Mountain- Hanumant
taking rest on this mountain while searching for Sitamata
Vayu-putra Hanuman, the unique sevak of Shriram enters North part of Lanka flying over the sea from Rameshwaram. ‘Ashok Vatika’ is in the centre province of Lanka i.e. near ‘Nuwara Elia’ city; so he travels in that direction. He jumps from one mountain to another. Hanumant had stopped and rested at a place, 35 kms before ‘Ashok Vatika’, which is the present ‘Ramaboda’ mountain. Hanumant had sat here for some time, in meditation, remembering Shriram and later, flown to ‘Ashok Vatika’ with his intuition. Now, ‘Chinmaya Mission’, a spiritual organization from India has constructed a temple at this place with 16 ft Hanuman idol. Hindus from surrounding areas visit this temple on Shriram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti.
2. ‘Ravanaboda’ Mountain where ‘Rama-Ravana’ war had started
There are many mountains here like ‘Ramaboda’ mountain. The mountain opposite ‘Ramaboda’ Mountain is known as ‘Ravanaboda’ Mountain. Shriram and Lakshman travelled to Lanka along with their army of monkeys and lastly reached ‘Ramaboda’ Mountain. Ravana’s army had set up encampment on the mountain that was opposite ‘Ramaboda’ Mountain and is known as ‘Ravanaboda’ Mountain. The speciality of these mountains is though they are face to face; it is not easy to go from one mountain to another since there is a big basin of River ‘Mahaveli Ganga’. The local residents and office bearers of ‘Chinmaya Mission’ told us, “The first war between armies of Shriram and Ravana started here.” Ravana had created several tunnels with the help of his illusive power as hiding places for his army. The illusive war was fought for many days in this hilly region by Ravana’s army.
The most interesting thing was local people telling us that ‘Ravanaboda’ Mountain looked as if Hanumant was sleeping there. (See the pic.)
Greatness of Hanumant’s devotion towards Rama !
Shriram’s army of monkeys and illusive demonic army of devil Ravana were at war for 6 months at ‘Ramaboda’ and ‘Ravanaboda’. Once, Shriram and Lakshman fell unconscious during this war when Jambuvant goes to Bibheeshana and says
तस्मिञ्जीवति वीरे तु हतमप्यहतं बलम् ।
हनूमत्युज्झितप्राणे जीवन्तोऽपि वयं हताः ॥
– वाल्मीकिरामायण, कांड ६, सर्ग ६१, श्लोक २२ (Valmiki Ramayana, Kaand 6, Sarga 61, Shloka 22)
Meaning : If Hanumant is alive and rest of the army is dead; still it is like Shriram’s army is alive; but we all will be dead, even though physically alive, if Hanumant leaves his body.
It shows the greatness of Shriram-devotee Hanumant. We seekers are humbly bowing before Hanumant who taught that ‘a devotee can win a war on the strength of his devotion’; so also bowing before Shriram who is an incarnation of Shriman Narayana, the Creator of Ramayana.