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The name of the city, "Rathnapura" itself describes one main attraction hidden under the coat of soil in this city. "Rathna" in Sinhalese refers to gems where as "Pura" means the city. Basically this word means the city of gems which indirectly says that it is a city with preciousness. Out of numerous attractions you might find around here, some are extremely enchanting. To know in detail about some specific places read below.
Ratnapura "City of Gems" is one of major cities in Sri Lanka. It is the Capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province and the Ratnapura District of Sri Lanka. Some say the modern name is derived from the Portuguese name Rapadura forjaggery, the palm candy produced traditionally in this region, but the more common explanation in Sri Lanka is that it comes from the Sinhala "Ratna" meaning gems and "Pura" meaning city. It is Located some 101 km south east of capital Colombo.
It is the centre of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubies, sapphires, and other gems. Apart from gem mining, the city is known for rice and fruit cultivations. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the city. Tea grown in this region is called low-country tea. There is a well-established tourism industry in Ratnapura. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawe National Park, Kitulgala Adventure, Wavulpane Caves, Water Falls and Adam's Peak are especially popular among tourists.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests Eco region, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as “Kingdom of the Lion”
The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala and Udawalawe.
An interesting phenomenon is that birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the noisy Orange-billed Babbler of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic birds, the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.
Reptiles include the endemic Green pit viper and Hump-nosed vipers, and there are a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Invertebrates include the endemic Common Bird wing butterfly and the inevitable leeches.
Uda Walawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundaries of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq miles) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972.
Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation (Chena Farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometers (103 miles) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.
Plains dominate the topography, though there are also some mountainous areas. The Kalthota Range and Diyawini Falls are in the north of the park and the outcrops of Bambaragala and Reminikotha lie within it. The park has an annual rainfall of 1,500 millimetres (59 in), most of which falls during the months of October to January and March to May. The average annual temperature is about 27–28 °C (81–82 °F), while relative humidity varies from 70% to 82%.
Well-drained reddish-brown soil is the predominant soil type, with poorly drained low humic grey soils found in the valley bottoms. Mainly alluvial soils form the beds of the watercourses.
Wavul Pane is a cave located in Bulutota Rakwana range, northwest of Embilipitiya one of the archeological sites located in Sri Lanka. The cave is located in the Ratnapura District, in the Kolonne Korale, about 278 m (912 feet) above sea level. The meaning of Wavul Pane (Sinhalese name) is Cave of Bats approximately more than 250,000 bats that inhabit it.The stream, which runs through this cave, becomes a beautiful waterfall at the center, giving you a mysterious and a thrilling experience.
Diva Guhawa is a cave temple around 15 km from Ratnapura. The name literally means heavenly cave. It is said that Lord Buddha rested here after marking his footprint at Sri Pada (Adam's Peak). The huge cave is said to have sheltered him and his 500 disciples. It is supposed to be one of the nine places Buddha had visited during his third visit to the Sri Lanka.
Batatotalena Cave is situated at Sudagala, about 5 km away from Kuruwita (85km from Colombo. In order to reach it, one has to walk about 400m from Sudagala to the base and then climb a further 50m to enter. It measures about 50ft in height, 60ft in width and 80ft in length. As an extra point of interest, about 30m from Batatotalena it is an underground cave, partly submerged in a stream. To reach this, one has to swim about 20m.
This is a shrine dedicated to the God Saman. The God Saman is (a Buddhist deity) considered to be the guardian of Ratnapura. When the Portuguese captured Ratnapura, the ancient shrine that stood at this location was destroyed and a Portuguese church was constructed on top of it. When the Kandyan kingdom recaptured Ratnapura, the Portuguese church was destroyed and the shrine was rebuilt.
Although there is no direct evidence to support the existence of the old shrine, indirect evidence supports the existence of a shrine that looked like a Hindu temple at the current location before Portuguese times. Currently this shrine is a very important place of worship for Buddhists.
There are curious accounts about Maduwanwela Maha Disawe (the provincial ruler of Maduwanwela) We Sri Lankans are fortunate to have such a mansion which tells us the glorious life style of majestic ruler. This place is an ideal source of information for archaeological explores. When you come from Colombo along Colombo- Rathnapura road, to get to this place you have to turn right in to Ranchamadama road (1 ½ km away from Udawalawa junction) which leads to Panamura Junction.
Then you have to head towards Kolonna till you find the Mansion on your left. There are 207 km from Colombo to this Place. Mahadisawe’s grandfather’s time dates back to 1700 A.D. He has supplied weapons to king wimaladharmasooriiya. He is one Wijesundara Ekanayake was the person who got the Maduwanwela Land grant as a present from the king, in order to getting him a white Sambur alive as a challenge.
There is an interesting reason for being built this mansion in this place itself. One day a hare had chased a fox passing this area and the here had stopped here letting the fox run in to the jungle near by. So he decided this place to be a victorious site. Then he had taken a decision to build his residence here
Siri Pada ( Adam's Peak )
Adams' Peak is another fascination in Rathnapura area. This mountain is sacred for both Buddhists and Catholics for the sake of the mysterious foot print on the top of the mountain. According to the Buddhist legends it is the sanctified foot print of Lord Buddha, which has been placed on his third visit to Sri Lanka. Catholics believe that it belongs to Adam who fell from the Garden of Eden as for the punishment of eating the forbidden apple. This miscellaneously blessed gem is another gem in Rathnapura protruded out of the solid.
One main attraction which your eyes may catch around the city Rathnapura is the treasure of gems. This precious treasure brings honour to the city with elegant glister shining inside of the gem stone. Gems embellish the jewellery on ladies necks and ornaments with antique sophistication. These jewellery and ornaments spread the fame of Sri Lanka around the whole wide world and act as magnet for the tourists which attract them the most.
Not only the highlands own the reputation for being the tea estate owners in Sri Lanka, even Rathnapura district does. The atmosphere around the city Rathnapura gives the appropriate weather for the tea plantations. Mountain ranges around here get coated with green as the leaves of the tea tree grow shiny and greeny which run up to the cliff covering the whole surface of the mountain. These mountains make a spectacular sight to the viewers from the down on earth. Though the name hill side in Sri Lanka is framed only to the up country, Rathnapura district also gets the pride to be called like that as for the mountain range that covers the whole city.
Almost every visitor who visits LAKE SERENITY pays a visit to our Hidellana Tea Factory for its goodwill as the one of best tea factories in the Region. For you we arrange the tour to the tea factory with guidance.
You can make this tour to an opportunity to learn everything there is to know about CEYLON TEA at a tea testing session. There you will get a chance to experience the art of tea testing and manufacturing. That’s not all; visitors also have the opportunity to purchase factory – fresh teas at the factory point.
The water flow that cascades from a high mountain top creates lovely scenery to watch for the artistic eyes. In Sri Lanka there are number of gorgeous waterfalls. Rathnapura area holds some of these milky falls.
You might wonder if the water flow that you see could be a flow of white milk pouring down from a high mountain top. But it’s not milk, it’s pure water getting scattered because of the clashes with the rocks and making white foams out of the pure blue water.More about Waterfalls +
The sky of Sri Lanka is a paradise decorated with flying birds adding colour to the plain blue sky with white cloudy patches. Some of these birds that fly in this sky are endemic to Sri Lanka. The best time to see these birds is the evening when the dusk is falling to the world. That’s the time the birds start to fly back to their nests after finding food. They fly in groups making patterns on the sky.More about Birds +