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Rathnapura, the city of gems
Rathnapura as its name implies had been centre of a long-established industry of precious stone mining and had been hailed for its precious rubies and sapphire even back in the first century AC.
Being the central city of the Sabaragamuwa province Rathnapura is a major crossroad between southern plains and the hill country to the east. With lush plantations of tea and rubber and water falls governing the sights the district is also a popular tourist destination.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a biodiversity hot spot, a biosphere reserve and a UNESCO world heritage site borders the Rathnapura district while Udawalawa National Wildlife Park is the most accessible elephant habitat from capital, Colombo.
Rathnapura’s numerous waterfalls provide ideal picnic spots and recreation to many who flock to the city during the vacations while sacred Samanala Kanda or the Adam’s Peak is believed to hold the footmark of Lord Buddha himself.
In the midst of Rathnapura is the Maha Saman Devalaya, the main temple of God Saman, the patron deity of Sri Lanka itself.