"Whenever Rama's story is told, my spirit will be there, animating you all." (Valmiki)
SriLanka-RamayanaTours information pages
Ramayana Trail sites
list and short descriptions of places on the so-called Ramayana Trail
Hindu sacred sites
list and short descriptions of traditional Tamil places of worship in Sri Lanka
a brief summary of the Ramayana highlighting events that took place on Lanka
Ramayana Trail story
presenting Sri Lanka's Ramayana sites in a chronological order
words from an English version of Valmiki's Ramayana about events on Lanka
Sri Lanka Hindu Festivals
list of Sri Lanka's Hindu bank holidays and famous Hindu temple festivals
Sri Lanka Map
locations of big cities and of most significant Ramayana sites and Hindu temples
incarnation of Vishnu saving the world from Ravana's power,
examplary king, son, husband, and elder brother
incarnation of Lakshmi, examplary faithful wife
reliable and helpful younger brother of Rama
Monkey General, found Sita after her abduction in Lanka,
devoted powerful helper of Rama during the battle
father of Rama, king of Ayodhya
king of the monkeys, regained his power with the help of Rama,
in return supported Rama against Ravana
king of the bears,
joining the monkey army's fight against Lanka's demons
mighty demon king of Lanka,
Brahmin son of Saint Vishrarvasa,
devotee of Lord Shiva, protected by a boon of Lord Brahma
General Information - Ramayana in Sri Lanka
To be honest, in Sri Lanka's Buddhist tradition the Ramayana did not enjoy such a good reputation. Of course, it was held in greater esteem by the Tamil culture on our island, though Tamil Hindus are usually Shiva devotees and less enthusiastic about Vishnu worship.
In Sri Lanka's domestic tradition Ravana, the opponent of Rama, was not as much a negative charakter, but held in higher esteem. For example, as in the case of some Indian traditions, he is venerated for his might or for his medical knowledge about herbal healing powers.
But there are some quite traditional references to Lord Rama at ancient Tamil places of worship, for example in Munneshvaram near Chilaw. Though this is an Ishvaram, dedicated to Shiva evidently, Rama plays his role here in the same way as in India's Rameshvaram, which also frequented by devotees of Lord Shiva and of Lord Vishnu alike.
Futhermore Ravana's brother Vibhishana, who became Rama's helper, is venerated in his shrine at Kelaniya even by Sinhalese Buddhists. They regard him as one of their highest gods, as he is the protector of the western part of the island.
In recent years the Ramayana tradition has become a focal point for Sri Lanka's tourism development due to the significance of the Ramayana for Indian guests. Not surprisingly, Indians are expected to play an increasingly bigger role in Sri Lanka's tourism sector. Despite occasional political disputes between the two states, Sri Lankan people are fully aware of the importance of good relations with their neighbours and appreciate Indian cultural achievements, ancient and modern.
By the way, the most welcomed and valued Indian guests with their enthusiasm for Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman are even a little bit influencing local traditions in Sri Lanka. Sita Eliya became a highly respected place of pilgrimage for Sri Lankans as well and for the first time on the island new temples were consecrated to Lord Hanuman, not only by internationally operating Hindu societies, but even by members of the local Tamil community in Colombo.
So the Ramayana tradition just now is beginning to become an integral part of the Sri Lankan religious traditions, too, thanks to more and more Hindu visitors. Sri Lanka has to offer much for them: besides ancient and newly developed Hindu sanctuaries the island in the heart of the Indian ocean is an ideal destination for relaxation and adventures as well, full of natural and cultural attractions within only a relatively small land, for varied tours of not too long distances.