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CARITAS RATNAPURA SETHMINI
Diocese of Ratnapura, Sri Lanka.
(Affiliated to National Secretariat for Justice, Peace & Human Development Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ conference in Sri Lanka incorporated by Act of Parliament No 17 of 1983)
Untitled Document
Untitled Document

 Waterfalls, Rivers and Important Places
 
Waterfalls
Sabaragamuwa province is full of beautiful tourist attractions and among them it is rich in water falls. Comparing with other provinces of Sri Lanka Sabaragamuwa province has high bio diversity, climatic diversity as well as geographic diversity. Most parts of the province belong to wet zoon and it helps to enrich water falls through out the year. Geographical background directly cause for the creation of beautiful water falls as well as natural attractions. Most of rivers take their rise from the central hills and flow to the sea through Sabaragamuwa increasing the natural beauty of the area. The catchments areas of rivers are the west and the south slopes of the central hills which get high rainfall through out the year and enrich the water falls.

It's a delightful sight to proceed on the paths of the province and negotiating the 10 corners which focuses one's mind to a dim silence. The Sabaragamuwa Mountain Ranges, which are 300 m in height like Hekton, Kukulugala and Gongala, the flow of water making through narrow valleys and the small and big water falls that adds to the environmental sceneries. It's a surprising picturesque scenery to view from the top of Kuragala mountain situated at Kalthota Colony 50 km off Balangoda. The Walawe River flows through the vast stretches of paddy lands and the narrow paths over the fields, the trees that provide guard to the river is grand sight. It gives a panoramic view of the Balangoda area as one looks at it enroot extending 18 km from Balangoda -Hatton and among the tea estates and the elbow bends.

The Sri Pada route through Ratnapura - Sri Palabaddala with her water ways, the frigidly blown off her flora and frequent drizzle gives a misty appearance to her beauty. The road through Kuruwita -Erathna among large and small tea estates and water falls have adorned the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. The Ratnapura - Wewelwatta route also gives a picturesque appearance worthwhile seeing. The Kelani River that makes her water way through cold misty enveloped blue central, un-evenly hilly mountainous ranges as one view at it from the Kelani Bridge at Karawanella on the Awissawella - Kegalle route makes a mind delightful. Blue water of the Kelani River flowing between the mountain ranges extending to a graded elevation runs parallel to Awissawella - Hatton winding road through large rubber and tea estates that promote Sri Lanka's revenue, remind of the pretty eyes of playful children. As one proceeds along Awissawella - Kegalle route, turn off at Anguruwella and Warakapola road, the mountains clothed with green forests, home gardens, rubber plantations, lakes and rivers form beautiful scenery. The Belumgala situated at Magalkanda in the rubber in rubber estate in Gonagaldeniya area from the turn off, at Warakapola junction on Ruwanwella - Weyangoda road is a pleasant spot. It is accessible by a jeep. The Western coastal regions are visible here.

The sceneries bellow Kegalle - Kandy route is bewitching. Tea estates,green mountain ranges, the Saradiael Kanda where Saradiel a country man who had loved the poor during the British rule had lived in a bewitching scenery. A view over the Gurugoda Bridge at Ruwanwella town and the estuary of Gurugoda Oya and Kelani Ganga, the ferry, and the boat services is a picturesque in reality. Large no of water falls are giving real beautiful sceneries and we are proud of this as our heritage. People who are interesting feel the nature, the forest of Sripada (Samanala Adawiya) is best place for that .
bopath falls duwili falls katugas falls
Bopath Falls (Height: 29.7 m) Duwili Falls (Height: 30 m) Katugas Ella Falls (Height: 12 m)
 
Rivers
Kalu River (literally: The Black River) is a river in Sri Lanka. Measuring 129 km (80 mi) in length, the river originates from Adam's Peak and reach the sea at Kalutara. The Black River flows through the Ratnapura and the Kalutara District and pass the city Ratnapura. The mountainous forests in the Central Province and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve are the main sources of water for the river.
kalu ganga      kuru ganga
Kalu Ganga                                                                              Kuru Ganga
KURU Ganga (KURU River) stream, starting as “Seetha Gangula” (Cold River) in the hills of “SRI PADA” (also known as ADAM’S PEAK), runs adjacent to the KURU Ganga Villa. KURU Ganga therefore provides a very clean, cold and safe stream of water for bathing to the visitors
 
Important Places
There are many places of visit & worship in and around the city. Buddhist places of worship are more in number, which is to be expected since Buddhists constitute the great majority in the area. Nevertheless, there are plenty of places of worship in the town related to other religions. The following are some important examples:
 
The mountain Sri Pada (Adam's Peak)

Ratnapura is situated at the foot of the 2243 metre high Adam's Peak. All four major religions claim Adam's Peak as a holy mountain. Buddhists call the mountain Sri Pada (the sacred footprint), or Samanalakande (Butterfly Mountain) and believe the Lord Buddha has visited the mountain and set his sacred footprint. This place also known as a place where many miracles happened. All people who go to worship should talk gently and behave gently.

Ratnapura is also the starting point for the 'Classic' Hard route up Adam's Peak, via Gilimale and Carney estate. The Pilgrimage season starts on Poya (full moon) day in December and runs until the start of the South-West Monsoon in April. It has been a pilgrimage centre for over 1000 years. King Parakramabahu and King Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa provided ambalamas or 'resting places' for weary pilgrims along the mountain route. The other more popular route is through Dalhousie (pronounced 'Del-house') close to Dickoya. Other routes to Adam's Peak.

 
Maha Saman Devalaya
This is a shrine dedicated to the god Saman. The god Saman is (a Buddhist deity) considered to be the guardian of Ratnapura. When the Portuguese captured Ratnapura, the ancient shrine that stood at this location was destroyed and a Portuguese church was constructed on top of it. When the Kandyan kingdom recaptured Ratnapura, the Portuguese church was destroyed and the shrine was rebuilt. Although there is no direct evidence to support the existence of the old shrine, indirect evidence supports the existence of a shrine that looked like a Hindu temple at the current location before Portuguese times. Currently this shrine is a very important place of worship for Buddhists.
sri padaya saman devalaya st. peter paul church ratnapura
The mountain Sri Pada (Adam's Peak) Saman Devalaya Peter-Paul Church
 
Peter-Paul Church
The history of Catholics in Ratnapura begins with Portuguese rule in Ratnapura. Very few Catholics lived in the town in the 17th century. Many of them are the descendants of Portuguese and locals that they married. There is evidence to suggest that the Portuguese built a church on top of a destroyed Buddhist temple. That Portuguese church was destroyed when the Kandyan kingdom recaptured Ratnapura from the Portuguese. The current church was built in a different location along the Main Street of Ratnapura (inside the town). The Church building being used now is said to be inspired by Blessed Joseph Vaz the Apostle of Ceylon during the 17th century when he visited Ratnapura as a part of his apostolic mission to Sabaragamuwa. After Sabaragamuwa became a diocese on 2 November 1995 SS. Peter-Paul's Church was raised to the status of the Cathedral of the diocese.
 
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