Cultural & HistoricExperience
Ella maybe well-known as one of the best hiking destinations in Sri Lanka, but it is also one of the more historically significant destinations in the highlands. Visits to the following attractions should definitely be part of your itinerary when you are in Ella.
Just a few kilometres away from the town lies one of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. Shrouded in mythical tales, the 25 metre Ravana Ella waterfall is considered to be one of the places in which King Ravana hid Princess Sita, after he abducted her, as detailed in the ‘Ramayana’.
Presently, it is an interesting attraction as it affords stunning views of the lush mountains of the area, in addition to a glimpse into the myths and legends of the land.
Located right next to Ravana Ella, the Ravana Cave is another monument out of the mythical tale of the Ramayana. It is considered to have been utilized by King Ravana. Excavations have also confirmed that the cave is really an intricate system that has a number of tunnels that connect to several other caves.
Presently, the cave is also a religious site, so remember to cover your shoulders and legs before entering. The views from the entrance to the caves are considered to be some of the best in Ella.
Dhowa Raja Maha Viharaya
Located a few kilometres away from the main town of Ella, the Dhowa Raja Maha Viharaya has a history that spans more than 2000 years. The temple itself possesses a number of artefacts, including murals and sculptures from the ancient Anuradhapura Kingdom.
Recent excavations have suggested that a complex tunnel system was made here during the reign of King Walagamba, as an escape route, in the event of an attack or invasion. It is believed that the cave system leads to Ravana Ella waterfall.
❂ Useful Tips:
- It would be helpful to read up on the history of King Ravana in order to appreciate the significance of these attractions.
- Be mindful when you visit the Ravana Ella, especially during the rainy season, as the rocks are rather slippery.