According to the legend of Ramayana, Sri Lanka was the known as Lanka at that period and its ruler was the mighty demon king Ravana, the arch nemesis of Lord Rama - the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is there in the epic that the sister of Ravana, Lady Surpanakha professed her love to Lord Rama but on his refusal she attacked Lady Sita. Brother of Lord Rama, Laxman came to her rescue and cut the nose of Surpanakha. On hearing this Ravana got infuriated and abducted Lady Sita, this was the trigger of the epic battle of Ramayan. It is said that it was in the Ashok Vatika garden that Sita c amidst the verdant greenery of the land.
The present day Ashok Vatika is in the region of Hakgala Botanical Garden and many tourists visit this place.