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  1. Awe-inspiring view of the Ravana falls
    ©BT Images
  2. The Ravana Cave
    ©BT Images
  3. Pathway leading to the Ravana Cave
    ©BT Images

On the trail of Sita

Amidst a lush green vegetation lies the Ravana cave and awe-inspiring Ravana falls.

Written by
Swetha Rathnajothiee

The Ravana falls cascades forth amidst the emerald green, a mesmerising, serene act of nature. Whether travelling past or hiking in Ella, in the Badulla district, one must stop by to enjoy the beauty of this waterfall. Standing behind the safety rail, during the wet season, one can feel the soothing spray of water from the falls.

The waterfall is connected to the Ramayana epic and is thus named after King Ravana, who kidnapped Queen Sita and held her captive in the area. Located nearby is the Ravana Cave, where Sita is believed to have been held. Water from the falls, it is said, created a pool in which Sita bathed.

The trek to the Ravana Cave starts near the Ravana Ella Temple. It is assumed to be a hike of 700 steps. There are short cemented steps, as well as makeshift steps formed from rock and tree roots. Stop by the scenic landings to catch your breath and glimpse the beautiful mountainous scenery around. Keep an eye out for the sneaky grey langurs who swing from the trees. Eventually, the path winds between two rocks and makes a steep ascent. Above is the gaping mouth of the cave, hollow and echoing, where Sita is believed to have stayed.

The Ravana Ella Cave Temple below, although named as such, does not have apparent links to the Ramayana legend. However, there are connections to King Valagamba of the second century BC. It is, in fact, believed to be one of the caves that provided sanctuary for the king during the invasions from South India. Today, the cave with a drip-ledge is illustrated with beautiful paintings assumed to date back to the Kandyan era. The sculptures within, moulded in clay with a timber structure, are ancient. The falls, cave and temple echo a sense of serenity steeped in history and swirling in mystery.

The waterfall is connected to The Ramayana Epic and is thus named after King Ravana, who kidnapped Queen Sita and held her captive in the area.

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