Ussangoda is a marvel place down south Sri Lanka. Meandering soils are identified by a low silica content, low calcium-to-magnesium ratio and high strengths of heavy metals. Due to the toxicity and a shortage of nutrients, the vegetation adjusted to the ultimate conditions of serpentine soils is distinct from neighbouring spaces. As a consequence, the number of species is lacking, but endemism is quite essential. As the largest of only four or five serpentine sites in Sri Lanka, the 300 hectares of the Ussangoda nature reserve were listed as a national park in 2010. Locals assume that Ussangoda is an ancient meteor. Lately, Ussangoda has shifted to a Hindu pilgrimage place on the so-called Ramayana Trail. It is believed to be the old airport of King Ravana’s mythological aircraft, known as Pushpaka Vimana from the Ramayana story.

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Ussangoda is a peculiar coastal region lacking towering trees and reddish, quartz-like soil. This location is exceptional due to its peculiarities, yet the surrounding environment is magnificent. On this territory, Sri Lankans and Indians hold numerous traditions and beliefs, and it is one of the most well-known Ramayana sites in Sri Lanka.

Legendary History of Ussangoda

According to the Ramayana Yatra Sri Lanka, King Ravana used Ussangoda to travel between locations on his Pushpak Vimana during the Ramayana. He also parked his Pushpak Vimana at this location. The sediment is red, and some of the stones are black, and people believe Hanuman burned the land, causing it to turn red. Therefore, Ussangoda is a peculiar coastal region with dark soil, one of the most renowned Sri Lanka Ramayana locations.

Lord Hanuman's tail caught fire during the battle with the Rakshasas, which he used to torch portions of Ravana's dominion, according to an alternate interpretation of the myth. Ussangoda is one of these desolate regions where the soil remains blackened and charred. However, the adjacent area has soil of a distinct colour and vegetation. As a reminder of Lord Hanuman's misadventure, the soil in this region is still blackened, incinerated, and charred. As serpentine rock is believed to contain heavy toxic metals, only specific tiny plants could acclimate to this soil.

The Unparalleled Scenery of Ussangoda

On the great Southern road, just before reaching Ambalanthota, the sign for Ussangoda is sure to catch your eye. After a few minutes of driving and an ascent, you get a strange landscape enveloped in mystique yet to be thoroughly explored. The landscape you are greeted with is strange and beautiful. The expansive land on all sides contains a few towering trees covered with short vegetation or moss. In some locations, well-defined circular islands of vegetation are visible, but they lack towering trees. The dark crimson colour of the earth gives the landscape a Martian appearance, and the region is widely believed to be endowed with odd and mystical powers. Numerous legends and tales are told about it.

Some believe that a meteoroid crashed here, which explains the soil's barrenness and the vegetation's peculiar growth patterns. According to a resident, this strange land is a haven for unusual medicinal plants and numerous small untamed animals and bird species. Vegetation flourished only in areas where experiments had been conducted or where the soil had been dug up and disturbed for other reasons.

Directions to Ussangoda

Take the Colombo-Kataragama road and turn towards Ambalantota to reach Ussangoda. After a few minutes of travelling, the Ussangoda sign will be visible. The route then leads to the sea, and after a brief ascent, you'll arrive at the peculiar landscape of Ussangoda. It is located in the Hambantota District of Sri Lanka's Southern Province.


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