Ratnapura is one of the major cities of Sri Lanka. The place is famous for being the gem trading center of Sri Lanka and hence derives its name ‘Ratna’ (gems) and ‘pura’ (town). The place is also home to some scenic spots and waterfalls that you would love to visit on your Ratnapura trip. There are so many places to visit in Ratnapura that you might get confused as to which place to visit first. To make it simpler for you, we have gathered a list 10 best places to visit in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka. Take a look at our list to know where to go when you visit this lovely ‘city of gems’.
10 Best Places To Visit In Ratnapura
Ratnapura is home to many picturesque locations, temples and gem mines. There is a lot you can do here. To make your trip worth it, we have compiled a list of beautiful places to visit in Ratnapura district for you. Take a peek at our choice of places to visit in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka.
- Sinharaja Forest Reserve
- Udawalawe National Park
- Boptah Ella Falls
- Adam’s Peak
- Maha Saman Devalaya
- Bambarakanda Waterfalls
- Gem Mines
- National Museum Of Ratnapura
1. Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a biodiversity hotspot in the Ratnapura region. It is a National Park, which is considered as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It is a great part of eco-tourism in Sri Lanka. Sinharaja Forest Reserve has one of the few virgin forests that are left in the world and this site is one of the rarest places comprising of virgin rainforests left till date. With the staggering number of flora and fauna blooming in this place, it can be rightly considered as an ecological treasure trove. You can spot over 130 species of birds and mammals including purple faced langur monkey and giant squirrel etc. there is also a wide array of reptile population and insect species. This place offers the best jungle experience to the visitors and to enjoy the experience to the fullest, you should explore the reserve on your foot.
Location: Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Timings: 12:00 AM 11:59 PM
2. Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park, characterized by soaring highlands is one of the worlds best wild elephant habitat. Covered with grasslands and bush forests, this is the best place in Sri Lanka to spot wild elephants. This another major destination for eco-tourism in Sri Lanka. When you visit the park, dont be surprised to a herd of elephants playing, bathing or feeding their young ones. Apart from the elephants you might also spot water buffaloes, monkeys, sambar deers, water monitor lizards as well as leopards. It is also home to many exotic birds. There is a safari, which takes you through the all-round tour of this beautiful, protected wildlife reserve.
Location: 7th Mile Post, Uva Province, Sri Lanka
Timings: 6 AM 6 PM
3. Boptah Ella Falls
When you are visiting the Ratnapura district, this waterfalls is a must visit. This major Sri Lankan waterfall is shaped in the form of a Bo tree and thus it derives the Boptah. The falls originates from Kuru Ganga and cascades down a stepped hill. The cascading water is a beautiful sight to see. The forest around the waterfall is rich in biodiversity. Not only this, there is also a folklore running about the place. The locals consider the place to be haunted and also believe that a treasure trove lies hidden within the waterfall.
Location: Kuruwita, Sri Lanka.
4. Adams Peak
Adams peak is a 7358 feet tall conical mountain, located in Central Sri Lankan region. Though the hike to the summit is quite a long one. It nearly takes two hours of hiking to reach the top of the mountain, but the breathtaking view that greets on the mountain top, is definitely worth the hike. The view of sunrise is astonishingly beautiful from the top of the peak. If you want to catch the sunrise, start early so that you can be at the top when the sun rises. The stairs that lead to the summit are in a fairly good condition, but it becomes steeper gradually as you go through the steep zones of the mountain.
Location: Nallathanniya, Sri Lanka.
If you are looking for places to visit near Ratnapura, Kitulgala is the place that you should go. This town in Sri Lanka lies in the wet zone rainforest and experiences two monsoons throughout the year, making it one of the wettest places in Sri Lanka. The place is perfect for those who enjoy adventure sports. Inside the rainforests of Kitulgala, there are many adventure sports opportunities that you can indulge in. Bird watching, white water rafting, stream slides and jungle walks, Kitulgala has all the adventures that you seek.
Location: Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka.
6. Maha Saman Devalaya
Maha Saman Devalaya located in Ratnapura is a shrine, which is dedicated to the deity Saman.it is believed that a court minister had once visited Ratnapura and made a vow that if his gemming expeditions went right, he will build a shrine dedicated to the deity of Sumana Saman. Hes expedition was successful and he build the temple as promised. Although at the beginning the temple was highly influenced by Hindu culture, but now it remains as a worship place for Buddhist people.
Location: Panadura Nambapana Ratnapura Highway, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka.
7. Bambarakanda Waterfalls
Bambarakanda Waterfall is one of the must visit places, if you are on a tour of Ratnapura district. It is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka, standing at an impressive height of 790 feet. To reach the Bambarakanda waterfall, you have to take small hike up the mountains. The waterfall is surrounded by pine forests and the top of the cliff is surrounded by mist of the times, creating a breathtaking view. The best part is, once you reach the base of the waterfall, you enjoy a nice shower under the tallest waterfall of Sri Lanka.
Location: Kalupahana Ohiya Road, Sri Lanka.
8. Gem Mines
Sri Lanka, especially Ratnapura is famous for sapphires and rubies. All the traditional mining areas in Sri Lanka are located around the vicinity of Ratnapura district. The sapphires obtained from the Sri Lankan gem mines, comes in many different hues from cornflower blue to purple, green, orange and yellow etc. The Gueda-Sapphire obtained from the Sri Lankan gem mines, can be heated to obtain a deep blue color, typical to sapphire gemstones. If you are visiting the gem trading town Ratnapura, then you should definitely take a look at the gem stones in the region.
Location: Ratnapura district, Sri Lanka.
Batadombalena is a site of archeological interest in Sri Lanka. It is only a two hour drive away from the heart of Colombo, Sri Lankas capital. The site is hidden deep inside foliage and natural formations that it becomes quite difficult to spot. In this site, the Sri Lankan archeologists have discovered the evidence of prehistoric settlements in this area. The fossils and skeletal remains of the Balangoda Man, suggests that the modern human beings might have evolved in South-Asia. This site is a bit difficult to reach, with no signboards on the way. Only a narrow trail path that leads up to the destination. This archeological cave site is decorated with ancient paintings and arts on display surrounded by a tranquil nature atmosphere.
Location: Kuruwita, Sri Lanka
Timings: 6 AM 6 PM
10. National Museum of Ratnapura
The National Museum of Ratnapura, located in the Ratnapura district is one of the many museums in Sri Lanka. Though a little neglected these days, this museum displays many fossil remains of animals discovered from the gem pits. There are many interesting black and white photographs adorning the museum, which speak of the history and culture of the place.
Location: Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Timings: 9 AM 5 PM
Noow you know Ratnapura situated in Sri Lanka has a lot of attractions that you can visit on your trip. Here you have a list of 10 places that you can visit while on your next vacation to Sri Lanka and experience a pleasant holiday amidst the pristine views of nature.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Ratnapura
Is Ratnapura open for tourists given the covid situation?
Sri Lanka is open for tourists now, just make sure to follow all the guidelines and take all the necessary precautions while travelling like:
1. Wearing masks and gloves in public places
2. Maintaining social distancing
3. Sanitizing your hands regularly
4. Avoiding crowded spaces
5. In case of any symptoms, get yourself tested urgently
What is Ratnapura famous for?
A major city in Sri Lanka, Ratnapura is best known for its gem mining, rice and tea production. The city is surrounded by tea and rubber plantation. Located at a distance of 101 km from Colombo, it is a must-visit place on your next trip to Sri Lanka.
Where is the city of gems?
Ratnapura is known as the “city of gems” because of the established gems mining industry of precious stones. It is located in southwestern Sri Lanka, southeast of Colombo on the Kalu River. It is at the foot of Adam’s peak and the Sinharaja Rainforest
Which province is Kurunegala?
Kurunegala is a district in North-Western province. Kurunegala holds a special historical background among all the other districts. It has various ancient kingdoms namely Panduwasnuwara, Kurunegala, Yapahuwa and Dambadeniya.
What is Sinharaja famous for?
Listed as one of UNESCO world heritage centres, the Sinharaj forest reserve is located in southwestern Sri Lanka. Home to numerous rare flora and fauna species. It has more than 60% of trees that are endemic and are considered rare. And has 50% species of mammals, butterflies and animals that are endemic to Sri Lanka. It is considered as the country’s last area of tropical rainforest, thus holds importance.
What is Adams Peak famous for?
Located in southwestern Sri Lanka, 18 km to the northeast of Ratnapura. Also known as Sri Pada, this place has religious significance. The mountain portrays the rock formation which is believed to be the footprint of Adam by Islamics and Christians, Buddha by Buddhists and Shiva by Hindus.
How long does it take to hike Adams Peak?
The hike to Adam’s peak is moderately tough, it is a stretch of about roughly 8.9 km which can be covered in 5000-6000 steps. It is best to start it very early in the morning at around 2:30-3:00 am to witness the stunning sunrise from the top. It definitely tops the list of places to visit in Ratnapura
What are the gemstones found in Sri Lanka?
Home to the “City of Gems”, Ratnapura. There are various precious gemstones found in Sri Lanka namely - Ruby, Sapphire, Aquamarine, Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye, Alexandrite, Topaz, Moonstone and many more.
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