Sita Kotuwa: Unveiling a Hidden Gem in Sri Lanka
Sita Kotuwa in Gurulupotha

Sita Kotuwa, also known as Sita’s Court, is an ancient site nestled amidst the lush greenery of Sri Lanka’s Central Province. This hidden gem in Gurulupotha, Hasalaka, isn’t just a spot for history buffs; it’s a place steeped in myth and natural beauty.

Myth and history collide.

Sita Kotuwa’s name translates to “Sita’s Fortress,” hinting at its connection to the epic Ramayana. Legend says this was where Princess Sita was held captive by King Ravana. The Ramayana tells of a grand city called Lankapura once flourishing here. This city, supposedly ruled by Ravana, boasted beautiful palaces, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant wildlife—just like Gurulupotha itself! Some even believe this area housed the workshop for King Ravana’s flying machine, a giant peacock called “Vimana,” which explains the name Gurulupotha (meaning “bird parts”).

Adventure Awaits!

Reaching Sita Kotuwa is an adventure in and of itself. You’ll start at the Gurulupotha Rest House, a convenient spot to grab lunch before diving into the dense jungle. Unlike many tourist spots, there are no clear paths here. This “off-the-beaten-track” feel adds to the excitement, making you feel like a true explorer!

Finding the Site

Finding the exact location of Sita Kotuwa can be tricky. Asking for help from friendly locals familiar with the area is highly recommended. These guides can navigate the thick forest, where the dense canopy creates a unique atmosphere.

Unveiling the Ruins

After the thrilling trek, you’ll reach the ruins of Sita Kotuwa. It’s not a massive palace, but you’ll find the stone foundations of two buildings guarded by well-preserved carvings. Scattered around are pieces of history—stone slabs and pillars peeking out from the thick undergrowth. There’s even a fascinating flight of narrow steps leading deeper into the jungle—a glimpse into the paths walked by those long ago.

A Limestone Surprise

Sita Kotuwa has another secret: a limestone cave adorned with amazing stalactites and stalagmites (those cool icicle-shaped rock formations!). Though partially submerged now, this cave was once a sight to behold, as mentioned in the old “Handbook for the Ceylon Traveler.”

Planning your trip

Gurulupotha is easily accessible on the Kandy-Mahiyangana road, about 63 kilometers from Kandy. However, the trek to the ruins itself takes about two hours and can be physically demanding. So, if you have breathing problems or heart issues, it’s best to admire Sita Kotuwa through pictures.

An unforgettable experience

Sita Kotuwa in Gurulupotha is a perfect blend of history, mythology, and nature, making it a must-visit for anyone who loves these things. The challenging trek is rewarded with a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s ancient past and the breathtaking beauty of its central highlands. Whether you’re a Ramayana enthusiast or a curious adventurer, Sita Kotuwa promises an unforgettable experience.



(Cover Image Credit: Nilan Eranda)

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harshana piyasinghe


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