Linked to King Ravana, of the legendary Indian epic Ramayana, Ravana Cave is a prominent spectacle in Ella. According to legends, the Demon King is said to have abducted the Indian Princess Sita and concealed her in the cave. Legends has it that this was done so as an act of revenge against Rama, consort of Princess Sita, for cutting off his King Ravana´s sister´s nose.
Excavations within this historical cave revealed evidence of human habitation dating back to 20,000 BC. The cave lies 1, 370 meters (4, 490 ft) above sea level, and measures 50 ft wide, 150 ft long and 60ft high. The cave is also believed to be connected to the cave in Dowa Rock Temple in Badulla. The network of caves and tunnels are all man made, connected to all the important cities and served as swift secret passage ways through the mountains.
The cave resides behind the 25 meter cascade, Ravana Falls (Ravana Ella). The marvelous waterfall is one of the widest in Sri Lanka, especially during the rainy season. It is said that Princess Sita bathed in a pool of water gathered by the waterfall.
Ella has the strongest connection and relation to the Ramayana epic stories that have happened so long ago – the Hindus having firm beliefs in the folklore revolving the pre-historic king Ravana.
Another reason as to why it attracts a lot of tourists is because of the hiking and trekking to the cave, and the trek to the waterfall close by. Ideally it is two attractions in one place; hence it is easier for people to visit the destination in one day.
It is the type of place for people who are interested in ancient history and the fascinating stories that are circulated around these historical places. They can explore these caves with avid interest and learn about the role the cave played in the ancient legends. Ironically most people are unaware about the historical significance of the caves. It has become one of the popular tourist attractions in Ella, adjoined with the Ravana Falls.