Ratnapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, as well as the Ratnapura District, and is a traditional centre for the Sri Lankan gem trade. It is located on the Kalu Ganga (Black River) in south-central Sri Lanka, some 101 km southeast of the country's capital, Colombo. Ratnapura is also spelled as Rathnapura.
The name 'Ratnapura' is a Sanskrit word meaning "city of gems", from the Sanskrit words pura (town) and ratna (gemstone). Over 2000 years ago, when the first Buddhist monks arrived here from the north eastern provinces of India namely Bodh-Gaya, Varanasi and Pataliputra, they not only brought with them the Buddhist religion, but since their teachings were mainly in Sanskrit and Pali they also influenced the local language. While candy produced from the jaggery palm is traditionally known in this region as ratnapura, it is more likely that the candy was named for the locale rather than vice versa.
It is the centre of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubies, sapphires, and other gems. Apart from gem mining, the city is known for the production of rice and fruit. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the city. Tea grown in this region is called low-country tea. There is a well-established tourism industry in Ratnapura. Nearby Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawe National Park, Kitulgala, and Adam's Peak are especially popular among tourists.
In 1901, the town of Ratnapura had a population of 4,084, and by 2011, it had increased to 52,170, with Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims each constituting a significant portion of the population.
Sinharaja is well known famous rain forest in Sri lanka.Sinharaja is a national park.Sinharaja located Sabaragamuwa and southern Provinces in Sri lanka.It is the only undisturbed rain forest left in Sri lanka.It is about 9000 hector's in extent.Many of the plants are very rare.Over 60% of the tree species are found only in the low land wet zone of Sri lanka.especially in Sinharaja.If those species of trees are allowed to get destroyed,the world would lose them altogether. So it is important that much effort is made to conserve this rich,valuable and forgile habitat.This unique rain forest nurtures not only magnificent tree species that top 40 meters in height , but alsomedicinal plants such as maha hedaya .Endemic extends beyond exotic flora to butterflies , a dozen endemic species of birds and even the rare Ramanella plamata , the only microhylid (genus of frog) recorded so far.
The sinharaja rain forest is the largest rain forest in Sri lanka. In 1840 Sinharaja become a crown property.In 1988 it was made a National Wilderness area.In 1989 UNESCO included the Sinharaja forest in the world heritage list as the First national Heritage of Sri lanka.
The Sinharaja forest is home to many rare animals, birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles and trees.Ferns and mosses grow well as the climate is humid because of heavy rain fall.
Conservation of Sinharaja is of vital necessity.It ensures the maintenance of water resources.It also controls floods, which is a constant threat due to heavy rainfall in the area.
Sinharaja forest is maintained by Department of Forest Conservation. It is government property.No one can enter the Sinharaja forest without permission.Rangers all ways keep eye on it.The drive from Colombo to Sinharaja takes about 4 hours passing through some stunning hill country on the way.
Wilpattu National Park is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park is located 30 km west Anuradhapura and located 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo). The park is 131, 693 hectares and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world-renowned for its leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) population. A remote camera survey was conducted in Wilpattu from July to October 2015 by the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust. A sample of forty nine individual leopards were photo-captured in the surveyed area and the core area density was between that of Yala National Park's Block I and Horton Plains National Park.