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Rathnapura City of Gems

One of the biggest cities of Sri Lanka, Ratnapura has attained international fame as a gem trading center. Coined from ‘Ratna’ or gems and ‘pura’ or town, the place is full of scenic spots and scintillating waterfalls that attract people from all over the world. The history of the city goes 2000 years back when the Buddhist monks from Bodh Gaya, Varanasi and Patali Putra arrived here. They not only brought Buddhism to this place but also contributed to its development. The city then established itself as a stone mining centre and started exporting gemstones like Ruby, Sapphire and other such gems. Ratnapura also has some large plantation of tea, rubber, rice and fruits which interest the tourists who come here.

Attractions

Sinharaja Forest Reserve
A biodiversity hotspot in Ratnapura, this National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It comprises of rainforests with a huge number of flora and fauna blooming in this place. While on a hike, a nature lover would come across 130 species of birds and mammals like purple faced langur monkey and giant squirrel etc. The place guarantees a great jungle experience on foot.

Udawalawe National Park
Nestled on the soaring highlands is home to the wild elephants of Sri Lanka. Watch them playing and bathing alongwith water buffaloes. A safari will bring you close to monkeys, sambar deers, water monitor lizards and leopards alongwith some exotic birds.

Boptah Ella Falls
A must visit in Ratnapura, this waterfall looks like a Bo tree and hence the name, Boptah. It originates from Kuru Ganga and flows down into a stepped hill, which is a beautiful sight. The area is full of bio-diversity.

Adam’s Peak
The 7358 feet tall conical mountain is an attraction for hiking enthusiasts. It takes two hours of footwork to reach the top that greets one with breathtaking views. It is a great place to watch sunrise and sunsets.

Gem Mines
Ratnapura is famous for its sapphires and ruby and is full of traditional mining areas.  While here, take a tour of the mining sites and witness the process of digging and also washing the gravel. One can also travel a short distance inside the mines and it will be a memorable experience.

Climb Adam’s Peak
Known as the Temple in the sky, Adam’s Peak is a holy mountain for all the religions. The Buddhists call its Sri Pada or the sacred footprint and Samanalakande - the Butterfly Mountain. They believe that Lord Buddha climbed this mountain and left his footprints. Hindu’s say that it was Lord Shiva and Muslims say; it was Adam. Lord Buddha has visited the mountain and set his sacred footprint. Hindu’s say it’s Lord Shiva’s, Muslims say it was Adam and Catholics say it was St. Thomas’ the Christian Apostle who spread Christianity in South India. Whatever the legend, a climb on this peak will bless one with immense natural beauty.

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