Travellanka October 2017

92 Ratnapura It’s no wonder that this Jewel is even worn by Royals. Its been told that King Solomon made gifts of these precious stones in order to woo the heart of Queen Sheeba. The local gems themselves are almost as illustrious as the personalities they adorn; famed and coveted world over for their deep colours, quality and lustre. The natural sparkle of Ceylon gem stones makes you almost believe they possess magic, and together with their multitudes of vibrant hues they are iconic of their native land. These precious stones are eternal tributes to Sri Lanka; the blue topaz as blue as its skies, the bright yellow sapphireresemblingtheradianceof itssunandthehoneycoloured cat’s eye as golden as its beaches… Once set upon the various beautiful jewellery designs wrought by the local jewellers, their appearance is royal and allure irresistible. Sri Pada or 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. Buddhist call the mountain Siri Pada (the sacred footprint) and believe the Lord Buddha has visited this mountain and set his sacred footprint. Hindus say it is Lord Shiva’s and Muslims believe that it is the place where Adam first set foot on earth. Catholics say it is of St. Thoma’s the Christian apostle who preached in South India. The pilgrimage season is fromDecember to April. Looking down from the mountain summit the panoramic view of the mist covered hill tops and the forest covered low lying valleys unfold as far as the eye can see. The sunrise seen from the top of Sri Pada is an unforgettable sight and the journey an exhilarating experience From Ratnapura, the Sinharaja Rain Forest and UdawalaweNational Park are just 3 to 4 hours by Vehicle L ocated 101 km south east of capital Colombo passing all shades of paddy fields, rubber estates and tea plantations, you will reach this gem of a city. Ample are the lovely sceneries of wide mountains also evident are the gem pits in the surrounding areas. The town is a trade stall for gem buyers and sellers. It attracts not only the individual buyers but also Large scale international traders. If you could visit a Gem Workshop you will experience the craftsmanship of how these stones are cut and polished and given its lustre. The Ratnapura Gem Bureau or even the Gem Museum are places that can be visited to see the many different types of Sri Lankan gems. Renowned for the Sri Lankan Blue sapphire Abundant in lustrous gems that echo the exotic hues of paradise itself, Sri Lanka is renowned as ‘Ratnadweepa’ or the ‘Island of Gems.’ From sea blue sapphires and deep red rubies to tourmalines of forest green, rich purple amethysts and sunset hued golden topaz; it is home to a large variety of precious and semi-precious gems of an endless spectrum of colour. Ratnapura – City of Gems Ratnapura Sri Pada / Adam’s Peak

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