Ratnapura Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: January to March Read More

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"Land of beautiful gemstones!"

Ratnapura Tourism

Famous for its gemstone industry, Ratnapura is a populous city in southwestern Sri Lanka. It is also known for serving as the start point of a trail that leads to the sacred Adam's Peak. A flourishing centre for gem trade for local and foreign traders alike, Ratnapura is home to numerous gem mines and a fascinating Gem Museum. Some of the world's most recognized gemstones, such as the Star of India, Blue Belle of Asia and The Star of Adam, were discovered at Ratnapura.

The city's attractions are not limited to precious stones—Buddhist temples of historical significance and picturesque waterfalls are aplenty here. Maha Saman Devalaya is a shrine dedicated to the worship of Saman, the deity of Adam's Peak. Initially constructed in the 13th century, it was destroyed by the Portuguese three centuries later; the Sinhalese ruler King Rajasinghe II then rebuilt the shrine. Waterfalls at Ratnapura and the adjoining areas include Katugas Ella Falls, Bopath Ella Falls, and the little-known Mapalana Ella Falls.

The city houses a National Museum, with artefacts reflecting the local culture and weaponry. Fossils of elephants, deer and other animals are on exhibit as well.

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Ratnapura - The City of Gems

A trip to Ratnapura lets you explore the various aspects of the gemstone industry firsthand. Visit a gem mine to observe the gems being unearthed, and later shop at a gemstone retailer to take home a sparkling souvenir. Marvel at several precious and semi-precious stones such as sapphires, amethysts, alexandrites and rubies at the Gem Museum, and understand the mining process with various tools and images on display.

Festivals in Ratnapura

The Maha Saman Devalaya in Ratnapura hosts an annual Perahera (procession) every September. With decorated elephants and talented performers coming from far and wide, the parade is a sight to behold.

Restaurants and Local Food in Ratnapura

Like all major cities, Ratnapura has plenty of restaurants, such as Garland's Cafe, Roba Restaurant and Diamond Restaurant that cater to everyone, regardless of whether they seek authentic Sri Lankan or international fare. Popular fast-food chains such as Pizza Hut and KFC also have outlets in Ratnapura.

Shopping in Ratnapura

You certainly cannot miss out on shopping for gems in Ratnapura! A few places where you could buy for quality gems are Sampath Gems, Sunshine Gems and Jewelers and Rohan Gems and Lapidary. The sapphires, especially blue sapphires and star sapphires, are favourites among locals as well as tourists.

Best Time to Visit Ratnapura

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Ratnapura, Sri Lanka

FAQs on Ratnapura

What is the best time to visit Ratnapura?

Ratnapura receives rainfall almost throughout the year. The best time to visit Ratnapura is from January to March when the average rainfall is at its minimum, and you can visit the city's gem mines and waterfalls without worrying about the weather. For an opportunity to watch the procession and witness the streets of Ratnapura come alive, visit the city in September.
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What are the places near Ratnapura?

The top places near to Ratnapura are Galle which is 74 km from Ratnapura, Colombo which is located 62 km from Ratnapura, Kandy which is located 70 km from Ratnapura, Nuwara eliya which is located 52 km from Ratnapura, Anuradhapura which is located 178 km from Ratnapura

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