Ashok Vatika was a garden in Lanka, the Kingdom of Ravana, the demon king of Ramayana times. Ashok Vatika was mentioned in several ancient scriptures like Vishnu Purana, Valmiki’s Ramayana and Ramacharitmanas written by Tulsidas, and many other noted scriptures.
Ashok Vatika has garden houses around it, built by Vishwakarma himself.
It was the garden, where Sita, the wife of Rama was held captive by Ravana, after her abduction. The name of Ashok Vatika came as – It is said that because Maa Sita refused to stay in Ravana’s palace, and preferred to stay under the Ashoka tree.
Ashok Vatika was also the same location where Mandodari, Ravana’s wife, came to meet Sita Mata and Hanuman met Mata for first time.
Present location of Ashok Vatika
Its present location is believed to be the Hakgala Botanical Garden, the area is known as Seetha Eliya, close to the resort city of Nuwara Eliya. The Garden is situated at the base of the Hakgala Rock forms, has Sita Pokuna, a barren area atop the Hakgala Rock Jungle, where Sita was supposedly held captive, the Sita Amman Temple is located here. Other connected site is a spot where Sita bathed in a stream at Sita Eliya, called Sita Jharna. The site has attracted media interest owing to its connection with Hindu religious history, in the recent years.