Ratnapura meaning City of Gems in Sinhalese is the main source of precious and semiprecious stones (including rubies, sapphires, and cat’s-eyes) mined in the valleys by River “Kalu Ganga” and is located 103 km from Colombo in the Sabaragamuwa district belonging to the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka.
Maha Saman Devale is a shrine dedicated to God Saman – the tutelary deity of Adam’s Peak constructed on the site of a Portuguese church and fort after the area was recaptured by the Kandyan Kingdom from the Portuguese.
The Gemmological Museum at Ratnapura houses an array of fabulous samples of precious and semiprecious gems: rubies; sapphires; amethyst. Among the other exhibits are the images, artefacts and tools that elaborate the history and the processes of the industry. The museum features a souvenir shop and a restaurant.
The Ratnapura National Museum
is set up at the renovated building called “Ehelepola Walauwa” which once belonged to a minister by the name of “Ehelepola” of the last king of Sri Lanka. The beautiful building located along the Ratnapura – Colombo road was opened for the public as a museum in 1988. Among the exhibits are prehistoric archaeological inventions, geological, anthropological and zoological artefacts and models related to the Sabaragamuwa Province
. Portrayal of the folk life of the region including various forms of dresses, ornamentation, weaponry, musical instruments is an important aspect of the museum.
Gnanasiha Tapowana Vihara
There’s a full-size replica of the Aukana Buddha at the Gnanasiha Tapowana Vihara, on top of a hill overlooking town; you can walk to it through Pompakelle Forest Park
The 6m-high Katugas Falls, three kilometres north of town, are quite pleasant but are crowded on Sundays and public holidays
Pompakelle Forest Park
The lush Pompakelle Forest Park, behind Ratnapura Rest House, is laced with walking trails through this lush forest.