SAARC Tourism
Sri Lanka

Legends & Myths

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Legends & Myths of Sri LankaWith the course of history several stories and myths evolved in Sri Lanka. Gradually the stories ingrained themselves into the psyche of the people. So much that they remained undying for centuries, passing on from generation to generation. Given here is the brief account of legends and myths associated with the land of Sri Lanka.

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Tale of Ramayana
Ravana was a mighty monarch of Sri Lanka. A great warrior, he conquered large swathes of land and amassed wealth. He was famous for his ruthless power. He abducted Sita, wife of Aryan prince Rama. A battle ensued and Ravana along with his friends and family was killed. Vibhishanal, younger brother of Ravana, succeeded Ravana as king.

Guardian Deities of Lanka
Visnu, Kartikeya, Natha and Pattini are four guardian deities of Sri Lanka. In Kandy an annual festival is celebrated when idols of these deities are paraded with regard. Kataragama is closely associated with worship of Kanta-Kumara or Kartikeya.

Importance of Elephant
Elephant enjoy prominent place in Sri Lanka. In the annual Esala Perahera in Kandy, it carries the sacrosanct reliquary tooth relic of Buddha.

Deities of Jambudvipa
Jambudvipa is the traditional name of South Asia. Deities of all kinds are regarded in Sri Lanka and they have millions of little shrines all over the country. The deities are the part of cultural heritage.

Deity worship in Sri Lanka
Lanka is a land where all the major religions of the world are practised. Therefore it could be surmised that this is a blessed land. According to Buddhist belief Lanka is known as the thrice-blessed land due to the "Tun Saranaya".

Bahirawa: A Demon Demanding Sacrifice
Legend holds that during the Kandyan period human sacrifices were made to satisfy the demon of Bahirawakanda. A 17th century childless queen was the first to perform human sacrifice. The queen dreamt that Bahirawa appeared in her dream and said that if she wanted a child she would have to do a sacrifice.

Mahasona: Demon on Dog
This uses a black dog as the vehicle. People claim to see a Black Dog when the influence of the Demon occurs.

Legends of Sri LankaKohomba Kankariya
The ritual is performed to ensure freedom from diseases and invoke blessings. It is believed that the people performing the ritual live in prosperity.

Gara Yakka
Gara Yakka has no evil intention toward humans. But he has powerful appetite. And all he does is to satisfy his appetite. He can eat more than any other devil.

Robinhood of Lanka
Saradiel, known as Robin Hood of Lanka, was a daredevil devil. He was executed after arrest in 1864. A highway robber, he used to loot the rich and distributed their wealth among the poor. Hence the name Robin Hood.

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