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Seeta Amman Temple, Nuwara Eliya Overview

The Seetha Amman Temple is a small temple located in the village of Seetha Eliya in Sri Lanka. It is about a kilometre away from the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, and about 5 to 6 kilometres away from the central city of Nuwara Eliya. It is a shrine for Sita Devi, the daughter of Mother Earth and wife of Lord Rama, from the Ramayana. The temple is built on the site where Sita Devi was believed to be kept as a prisoner by King Ravana. The temple premises also has Lord Hanuman's footprints and the river Seetha from where different deities were recovered.

Sri Lanka's role is in the entire epic of Ramayana is crucial to Hindu mythology. Sri Lanka has many sightseeing places that have their origins based on The Ramayana. One of them is the Seetha Amman Temple - a temple dedicated to Sita Devi, Lord Rama's wife - situated in Seetha Eliya. Legend has it that Ravana, the king of Lanka, had captured Sita and had held her captive in 'Ashok Vatika'. The place where she used to pray for Lord Rama to come to rescue her is where the Seetha Amman Temple was built. 

The Seetha Amman Temple has idols of Lord Rama, Lakshman, Devi Sita, and Lord Hanuman. Since it is also the place where Lord Hanuman is known to have met Devi Sita to give her a message from Lord Rama, the temple premises also has a rock where you can see the footprints of Lord Hanuman. There is a river near the temple called the Seetha River, where Devi Sita prayed and bathed. The Seetha Amman Temple is about a kilometre away from the Hakgala Botanical Gardens and a few kilometres away from Nuwara Eliya. It holds a lot of significance as a historical monument.

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Timings of Offerings (Pooja)

The pooja timings of the temple are as follows-

Morning - 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM 
Afternoon - 2:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Folklore

Following the Hindu epic, Ramayana, it is said that the Seetha Amman Temple is the spot where Sita Devi was kept captive by King Ravana, where she prayed to Lord Rama every day to come to rescue her. The temple is also the spot where Lord Hanuman came to deliver a message to Sita Devi. The temple now has footprints of Lord Hanuman that suggest his presence there. The Seetha river that flows near the temple also has some significance. Legend has it that some centuries ago, some idols were found mysteriously, hence suggesting that these gods have been worshipped for centuries. There is also a part of the river where the water has no taste - this part is known to be cursed by Sita Devi.

Things To Do

The main attraction is the temple dedicated to Seetha Mata. The sanctum has idols of Lord Rama, Sita Devi, and Laxmana, along with the idol of Lord Hanuman. The temple premises also has, what is believed to be Lord Hanuman's footprints of when he visited Sita Devi when she was held captive by King Ravana. The prints vary in size, indicating Lord Hanuman's ability to transform himself into any size. Apart from this, the temple also has the Seetha river, which was known to serve Sita Devi during her captivity. There are also the three idols were discovered in the river some centuries ago.

Tips

Some things to keep in mind while visiting the Seetha Amman Temple are:- 
  1. Since it is a temple, you will have to cover your shoulders and knees beforehand.
  2. Before going near the river or any deity, consider consulting a priest first, to avoid disrespecting the culture. 
  3. Since it is quite close to the Hakgala Botanical Garden, you could consider visiting the temple after visiting the garden. 
  4. You may not be allowed to click pictures inside the sanctum. Keep that in mind and consider consulting the priest or your guide first. 
  5. Take care of your belongings. 

Location

The Seetha Amman Temple is approximately a kilometre away from the Hakgala Botanical Garden, and about 5 kilometres away from the central city of Nuwara Eliya. It is in the village of Seetha Eliya (or Sita Eliya).

How To Reach Seeta Amman Temple

Since the temple is not too far away from the city of Nuwara Eliya, you can get there by a tuk-tuk. The temple is small, so it might go unnoticed most of the times.

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