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Religious and Heritage
 

 

 
   
Sri Pada/Adam’s Peak
Few mountains in the world have attracted as many pilgrims as Sri Pada. It is a mountain venerated for centuries by devotees of many faiths. To the Buddhists it is Sri Pada, for there is found the foot-print of the
Buddha who visited the peak at the invitation of god Saman, one of the lsland’s four guardian deities. To the Christians it is the foot-print of St. Thomas and to Hindus it is the foot-print of god Siva, hence it is called Sivanolipadham; and to the Muslims it is that of Adam from which it derives the name of Adam’s Peak. The pilgrim season starts in December and goes on till Vesak Full Moon Poya Day, which occurs in the month of May.
 

Nedun Rajamaha Vihare

In the light of its recent development, it has a majestic look required by such a vihare, situated in Kiriella 2 kilometers off Idangoda on the Ratnapura-Panadura road.
Nedun a kind of timber used extensively for the roofing accounts for its name. A Nindagam 8305 acres in extent, considered to be one of the biggest gitfs from a king in the recent history, was offered by Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe to Karadana Deva Rakkitha thero in 1801. A copy of the Dhamma book named “Medum Sangiya” written by this thero who showed an excellent competence in writing ola-leaf manuscripts, on a request made by the king was the reason for this gift.
 
This cave is considered as one of the largest rock caves in the province, sighted at Godampola village, 7 kilometers off Parakaduwa junction. The
objects collected from excavations within the cave premises have proved that it was inhabited during the pre-historic age, which raises the historical significance of the site. The recently developed vihare includes a shrine room, which is in-between two devales, dedicated to god Vishnu (Upulvan) one of the Island’s guardian deities. The space left inside, the large portion of the cave is used for preaching. Opatha Oya, a tributary of river Kelani, flows just below the cave enhancing the natural beatudy of its surrounding.
 

Take the right turn just before the 86th kilometer post of the A4 down to Delgamuwa, the reputed hiding place of the Tooth Relic after it was removed

from Kotte where it was housed unit the 1550s. With the assistance and guidance of kind Mayadunne the Tooth Relic was brought up to Delgamuwa and kept in a huge grinding stone at the vihare premises. Now this has become an important exhibit of the period.In 1593 the relic was taken to Kandy from here, by king Wimaladharmasooriya I, who housed the relic in a temple originally built for the purpose. This ended the forty two year period of the relic at Delgamuwa Rajamaha vihare. Soon after the vihare was demolished by the Portuguese who constructed a fort there. The present vihare, which lies close to the old Sinhalese road from Sitawaka to Uva, was built at the site of this fort.
 
   
   
   

This clock tower is located in the centre of the Ratnapura town and this was one the projects carriedout by the Local War Memorial Committee in the early 1920s. The design for the clock tower was selected from ten designs submitted in a

competition for a prize of Rs.300. the final selection was made by the District Engineer out of the three best designs, which were retained for further consideration. The clock cost £ 300, and was supplied by the Times Supply Agency, London.
 

 

   

Maha Saman Devale

One of the four reputed devalays for Saman, a Buddhist God, sited on the bank of the Kalu Ganga, situated 3 kilometers from Ratnapura town. It is said that this devale was originally built by Arya
Kamadeva, one of the ministers of the king Parakramabahu II (1263-1270 AD), to fulfil a vow. This was reconstructed by King Rajasinghe II, on the same location of the Saman Vihare. Earlier it had been destroyed by the Portuguese and had built their fort and a church. They had used this place as the centre for administration and trading purposes in the province. The restoration of this sacred place was started after defeating the foreign invaders and the Saman vihara became Saman devale, which was systematically designed and constructed. It is now considered as one of the best architectural designs among the other places of its kind. The people especially in the Sabaragamuwa Province believe in God Saman as the protector of this area so their beliefs and rituals reflect the god. This devale holds a clolourful perehera in the month of August every year. A large crowd of devotees visits it during this season. Twin-faced “Mahababa” is one of the interesting charachers, which is unique to this perehera. This is an ideal opportunity to see Sabaragamuwa dance as well.
 
 

Pothgul Rajamaha
Vihare

This ancient cave temple comparatively small but similar to Alu vihare, Matale is situated about 2 kilometers off the Pallewella road, 3 kilometers
from Ratnapura. Two shrine rooms in separate caves can be seen, apart from the dagaba and the Bodhi – tree. There are another two caves, one which was inhabited by monks and the other is empty. There are several Buddha images, statues of Gods Vishnu and Saman. The Makara Thorana with a rare form of decoration is worth seeing. The exellent mural paintings probably of the Kandyan period on cave walls, which are beginning to fade, badly require proper restoration. Another interesting feature is the small well, which is on the rock floor one cave. This was demolished by the Portuguese in 1618, and converted to a fort as the cave with happened to Saman Vehera resulting in the loss of much significant historical evidence. People believe that Valagmba a great king of the Anurafapura period, was here in hiding, but threr is not enough evidence to prove this.
 

 

 
This cave is situated close to Batatota Vidyalaya, you have to travel about 8 kilometers upward from Kuruwita along the Erathna road. Inside the cave there are three Buddha
images, sitting standing and reclining image lying against front wall of the main cave. On the left of the main cave is the devale dedicated to God Vishnu and on the right is another large cave with drip ledges, believed to have been inhabited by monks, many years ago. A cave in the shape of a tunnel called “Sthripura” the city of women) named after the many wives of a king, who are said to have inhabited it, sited just below the main cave can be reached by passing several meters along the same rock slab of the Batatota cave.
 
   
   
    The museum has an excellection of prehistoric objects and verterbrate fossils of Rhinoceros and Elephants, all
collected from gen pits and cave sites of the Ratnapura district. Small collections of jewelry, textilies, carvings, archaeological objects, semi precious gem stones and zoo-logical specimens are also displayed. The museum is closed on Fridays and public holidays and open on all other days of the week from 9.00 am to 5pm.
 
   
 
 
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Last Updated :11 Feb 2016