Seetha Amman Kovil near Hakgala Botanical Garden was originally a temple built by Tamil plantation workers to honour the popular Hindu semi-deity Hanuman. He was Lord Rama’s helper to liberate his wife Seetha (Sita), who was held in captivity by the Emperor of Lanka, the demon king Ravana. After ancient idols were excavated here, indicating this was a much older place of worship, the temple was also dedicated to Seetha. Although Seetha is much venerated by Hindus, temples dedicated to her are very rare. The Seetha Amma Kovil has developed into a major pilgrimage site for pilgrims from India, as it is believed to be the place of the Ashoka Vatika, the garden-like grove where Seetha spent her time during her captivity on the island and where she prayed daily for Rama to rescue her and was found by Hanuman and finally was reunited with her husband again. On the rock face across the stream below the temple are circular depressions of various diameters. They are said to be the footprints left by Hanuman, who according to the Ramayana epic was able to change his size.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka