Generations have grown up on tales of Lord Rama as recorded in the ‘Ramayana’, but doubts always persisted whether the events mentioned in the epic ever did actually happen? Did Lord Ram really cross the ocean to go to Sri Lanka and fight a war with Lanka king Ravana? Evidence of mythical events recorded in religious literature matters much more than stories and folklore, passed on from generation to generation.
To the surprise of many sceptics there are at least five sites in Sri Lanka linked to the story of Lord Ram’s fight on the island, which provide some evidence about the events of ‘Ramayana’ having actually happened.
1. Goddess Sita, wife of Lord Ram, was confined at three different places in Lanka by Ravana.
After having abducted Sita, Ravana brought her to Sri Lanka and kept her at three different places. She was first kept in a cave, which had an entrance resembling that of King Cobra head. The patterns made near this cave indicates that this was the spot where Sita was confined. Later, when Sita refused to stay in the palace, she was shifted to Ashoka Vatika. The tree under which she used to sit is renowned as Sita Eliya. The Sri Lanka government in 2007 had conducted a research that proved that Ashoka Vatika is Sita Eliya, and it is no myth. When Hanuman went on a rampage, burning down Lanka, Sita was shifted from Ashoka Vatika to Kattu Gala. According to Sri Lankan archaeological department, numerous caves have been excavated that take one straight to the palace of Ravana.
2. You can spot Hanuman ji‘s Foot Prints in Sri Lanka.
The Ramayana records that when Hanumanji flew across the ocean in search of Sita, he had transformed into a gigantic avatar. When he landed in Lanka, his footprints were imprinted at the place where he landed and visited during the search. The said footprints can bee seen even today when you visit the island country.
3. Sanjeevni in Sri Lanka!
Which Hindu isn’t aware of the story of Hanuman bringing sanjeevni jaributi from the Himalayas to save Lakshman? Well, the Himalayan herb is still found in Sri Lanka, which further affirms the actuality of ‘Ramayana’.
4. The Giant Elephant Guarding Sri Lanka.
The Sundar Kand Adhyay of ‘Ramayana’ narrates that the kingdom of Sri Lanka was guarded by a giant elephant – which was later killed by Lord Hanuman in a battle. The archaeological department of the country has found evidence of the last remnants of similar elephants, whose features are much grander and more gigantic than normal elephants found in the country as well as in other parts of Southeast Asia.
5. Ravana’s Palace.
Investigations and excavations led by Sri Lanka’s archaeological department have excavated remains of an ancient palace that is said to date back to the period of Ravana. When Ravana lit the tail of Hanuman, an entire area was burnt down and the ground had turned black. This excavated remnants of the palace presents a similar scenario. Furthermore, a little away from the place is Ravan Ella, an 82 feet tall waterfall that merges with Kelani river. Now, if you go back to the ‘Ramayana’, you will find that after the death of Ravana, when Vibhishan was crowned king of the land, he built his palace on the banks of Kelani river. Archaeologists have found the remaining of similar ancient palaces on the banks of this river, not much far away from Ravana’s palace.