Ratnapura, ‘the city of gems’ as it is also known, is world renowned for being a leading gem producer in Sri Lanka. It is also a popular tourist destination. All round the year, people from all over the world flock here to drink in the tranquillity, beauty and heritage inherent in this city.
Trekking is one of the more popular tourist activities on offer in Ratnapura. The pilgrimage sites - Sri Pada also known as Adams’ Peak, the Saman Maha Devalaya temple and numerous museums are the chief attractions here.
Adams’ Peak is a majestic mountain that is said to contain the footprint of the Buddha, incurred during a pilgrimage to its summit. Others think it is the prophet Muhammed’s footprint, while still others believe it is Adam’s imprint, he left after being cast out of the Garden of Eden. It is a revered pilgrimage site for people of all religions, and a popular tourist spot for tourists seeking tranquillity of mind and soul.
The Maha Saman Devalaya is another famous Buddhist shrine. This is a temple dedicated to the guardian deity of Ratnapura, the God Saman. This temple was built in the Portuguese era during one phase of Sri Lankan colonisation.
Ratnapura houses two key museums. The national museum offers an array of archaeological splendour dating back to pre colonial days. The gemstone museum is the other. Its wide array of gems adds to the glamour and historical importance of Ratnapura.
Ratnapura also offers a bit of nature for the wandering tourist. Katugas Falls, a little heard of but quaint waterfall offers the chance to trek in spray-filled surroundings, while national parks like Pompakelle National Park allow you to drink in the wilder beauty of the island.
The climate in this location dries up with the turn of the New Year, getting gradually more humid towards the months of May-December. Temperatures being much the same the year round, and relatively high, the best time to visit would be at during the months of January-march.