The gem-mining centre of Sri Lanka is also a major crossroad between southern plains and the hill country to the east. This picturesque town is blessed with natural beauty servicing most of the surrounding towns. Many of the prominent gem dealers in Sri Lanka operate from this town. Scenery around the town is excellent and charming. Throughout history, Sri Lanka has been known as a land of gems. King Solomon was said to have procured a great ruby for the queen of Sheba from Ceylon (Sri Lanka's former name). Marco Polo (1293 AD) wrote about the ruby that once graced the Ruwanweliseya Dagoba at Anuradhapura..."a flawless ruby a span long and quite as thick as a man's fist". Sri Lanka has produced three of the world's largest blue sapphires, including the 'Blue Bell' which adorns the British crown and the 'Star of India', displayed at the New York Museum of Natural History.

The mining operation for gems has been virtually the same since the days of the Alexander the Great or perhaps the Pharaohs times except for the modern addition of the water pumps for dewatering of the pits. The supports for the excavations are still mostly the logs. Labour is provided as a share to the earnings as well as the equipment, materials as well as the daily expenses such as food too are contributed as a share.

  Gems and Gem Mining
  Ratnapura lies 101 Km Southeast of Colombo. The scenic A4 route takes you passing paddy fields, rubber plantations and tea estates. A visit to one of the museums or many gem workshops will give you the opportunity to see a variety of precious and semi-precious stones, such as rubies, sapphires, cat's eyes, alexandrites, aquamarines, tourmalines, spinels, topaz, garnets, amethyst, zircons etc. and to witness gem cutting and polishing demonstration. You could also visit one of the gem mines to witness mining operations in and around the City.
  Gemological Museums |Precious and Semi-precious Gems | Gem Mining | Lapidaries
  Pre-Histry and History
  The Prehistory of Sri Lanka dates back to about 125,000 BP and possibly even as early as 500,000 BP and covers the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Iron ages until the ancient history of Sri Lanka. Evidence of a transition between the Mesolithic and the Iron Age is scant. There are few such significant sites have been identified in Kegalle District.
  Batadomba Cave|Dutch Fort
  Religious and Heritage
  Places of Religious and heritage interests have marked the Sri Lankan history and as well as that of Sabaragamuwa Province. It has left its mark on our landscape and influenced our culture and daily life. You can discover one of our most significant religious monuments; some of them are still venerated by religious communities of different faiths.
  Sri Pada/Adamís Peak | Maha Saman Devale |Nedun Rajamaha Vihare | Pothgul Rajamaha Vihare| Iddamalgoda Rajamaha Vihare| Delgamuwa Rajamaha Vihare|Batatota Cave |War-Memorial Clock Tower |Ratnapura National Museum
  Rivers and Waterfalls
  Sabaragamuwa Province is blessed with picturesque river valleys and waterfalls. Perennial rivers and streams that flow through the Province, rains from two monsoons, rugged relief get together to form the most attractive falls creating splendid sceneries for visitors. Indeed you are fortunate to witness significant number of cascades during your visit to the Province which are mostly accessible.
  Bopath Falls | Katu Gas Falls |Kirindi Falls |Rajanawa Falls |Madanagiri Falls (Mohini Ella) |Dehena Falls |Allupola Falls |Beruwatte Falls |Pandioya Falls |Mapanana Falls
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Last Updated :11 Feb 2016