With the darshan of Lord Kathirgama and a good night’s sleep, we started for our next destination from there.
Our next destination is much hyped Sita Eliya. This is the place of Ashoka Vatika. We will see how this is much hyped.
Our bus started from Kathirgama at around 6.00 am. There was no seat available, because people have boarded the bus, early in the morning. And therefore, by 4.00 O clock, the bus is full. The choice was to wait for two hours in that bus stop or to travel in the bus, in standing. We chose the second option, we decided to keep moving.
It was an arduous trip to Sita Eliya. The tamilians who are travelling, had no idea of the place we actually wanted to go to, this place is said to be the place where sita made the promise on fire. But this is not just not-famous, but it is not known to be so in any of the Ramayana. Since, according to Ramayana, this incident occurs only after the pattabhisheka of Rama (Rama being anointed as the King).Therefore, this incident should have happened in India (nearer Ayodhya). Since, there were these contradictions along with the people of the area not knowing this place, we decided to skip this place (and therefore I am not taking the name of the place).
We travelled for about four – five hours, standing, and reached our next destination in the list, the much hyped Sita Eliya. This is given so much of importance in the Ramayana tour, organised both in Sri Lanka and other countries (especially India). But the reality is this is a temple, though with statues which are purportedly old. This temple has deities of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. This is a roadside temple; the bus actually stops in front of the temple. The story goes like this, when they were paving road, some Siddha, and there is no dearth of siddha and “siddha” in Sri Lanka, had spotted these from beneath the ground, and had given orders to construct the temple.
This is a very small temple, behind this temple there is a small stream. There are trees which are referred to as Ashoka trees. They point out to the colour of the soil that is black as the accepted proof for the episode of burning the vatika by Hanuman. But the locals opine, the real place is in the top of the opposite hill, which is under the control of Forest department and there is a cave in which Sita was kept a prisoner. This story is believable.
After spending some time there, we left for the next destination that is 4 k.m away, Nuwar Eliya. This is a very scenic place, atop the hill with a very nice climate. This is similar to Shimla in Himanchal or Sri Nagar in Kashmir. We did not come here for these, but to go the next place in our list, Gayatri Temple. Due to some improper guidance we had to walk for almost half an hour. It is easy to take an auto to this place.
The Place Gayatri Temple is in the middle of a tea estate. This place is surrounded by hills, and there are many a tamil people living here. There is a temple of Gayatri built by the devotees of Gayatri Siddhar. As I told earlier, there are many people of this type. This person, had lived in India for quite some time, and had, it seems, lived in Tirukoviloor with Gnananda Swamiji. They received us nicely, and after seeing the temple, we were shown the collection of things which were processions of the Swamiji. We were given a very nice Lunch, and the in-charge there, insisted us to stay there, but we had other plans.
This place and people here are trained nicely by the swamiji for doing service, but still I must add, they are not properly trained in the customary way as they have many misconceptions and misgivings about the way of worship and other things, which personally I feel stems out of some inferiority complex. I don’t want to go through this line of discussion.
After taking leave of them, we took a bus from Nuwar Eliya to Rambada around 40 km at around 1.30 pm. It is the place where there is a big Hanuman temple built and maintained by Chinmaya Mssion of Sri Lanka. This is believed to be the place where Hanuman landed for the first time in Lanka. We arrived at this place at around 3.30 pm, the temple is situated in a hill, that is around half km from the base. Though it is not a very arduous trek, as the road is very nice to walk, we were tired of too much standing and walking.
Reaching this place, we met with the Acharya of this place, a very young Sri Lankan Tamil, who had spend some time in Mumbai Chinmaya Center ate powai, and has undergone a course there. She was very happy to receive us in the Temple (Ashram). After a brief discussion, we were taken to the temple by the Manager and this Acharya (this after meeting with the small group of kids who she is teaching, and talking with them). We left this place at around 4.30 pm to Kandy.
In Kandy our stay was pre-arranged, in a place called Kandy Cist Mission. We reached this place around 6.30 pm. After freshening up, I went to lie down for some time, before the dinner and when I woke up it was 11.40 pm, therefore said good night to myself and went back to sleep, was so tired. The bus stand is situated just next to Railway station, which is called “pugai ratha Nilayam” in tamil and not “pugai vandi nilayam”.