Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
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The Sabaragamuwa Province is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka. The province has two districts which are Ratnapura and Kegalle. The province is named after its former indigenous inhabitants, namely the Sabara, an indic term for hunter-gatherer tribes used in ancient Sri Lanka. The province is known for its cultural activities, pre-historic and historic sites, lively festivals and a wide range of precious and semi-precious gems. Sabaragamuwa is also the cradle of the earliest known man. It is the aboard of homo sapien balangodansis, the earliest known man in Sri Lanka. The main cities are Ratnapura and Kitulgala. Ratnapura is the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province and the Ratnapura District. It liest at the foot of Adam’s peak close to Sinharaha Rain Forest. The name of the city means “City of Gems” in Sinhala and Tamil. It is believed that over 2000 years ago when the first Buddha monks arrived here from the north eastern provinces of India, they did not only bring the Buddhist religion but they also influenced the local language. The name comes from the Sinhala “ratna” means gems and “pura” means city. Ratnapura is the centre of the industry of precious stone mining such as rubies, sapphires and other gems. For historic sites, Ratnapura is preferred. On the other hand, Kitulgala is the spot for travellers who are looking for adventurous activities. It is an ECO Adventure zone with rafting facilities in the Kaleni River. The town is famous for its white water rafting facilities. The town also offers other activities such as jungle trekking, outdoor camping, mountain biking, and bird watching.