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Galle

Galle is the largest town in the region. It is the most important southern town with an old-world charm. Its natural harbour was a famous fort in days gone by. Famous for its Dutch fort, lace making, emboney carving and gem polishing.

The Dutch Fort
A continuous rampart, built by the Dutch from the mid 17th century onward and added to by the British, encircles the city, interrupted by 14 massive bastions.


Dutch Museum
A splendid Dutch building, the oldest within the Dutch fort has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur and consists of three units. The Museum contains a collection of rare and antique items dating from pre Portuguese period to British Colonial era. Jewellery, pottery, coins and Chinese porcelain items are on display.

Galle National Museum
Located in the historic Dutch fort of Galle. This museum displays objects connected to the history and life of people of Galle. Products of handicrafts include reed ware, embroidery, horn and shell objects.

 

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Yala National Park.

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Actually it consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public; and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names also, like Ruhuna National Park for the (best known) block 1 and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) fromColombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along withWilpattu it was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants and aquatic birds.

There are six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries in the vicinity of Yala. The park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon. Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. It is one of the 70Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.

 

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Udawalawe National Park.

Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and UvaProvinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972. Before the designation of the national park, the area was used forshifting cultivation (chena farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

Udawalawe lies on the boundary of Sri Lanka's wet and dry zones. Plains dominate the topography, though there are also some mountainous areas. The Kalthota Range and Diyawini Falls are in the north of the park and the outcropsof Bambaragala and Reminikotha lie within it. The park has an annual rainfall of 1,500 millimetres (59 in), most of which falls during the months of October to January and March to May. The average annual temperature is about 27–28 °C (81–82 °F), while relative humidity varies from 70% to 82%. Well-drained reddish-brown soil is the predominant soil type, with poorly drained low humic grey soils found in the valley bottoms. Mainly alluvial soils form the beds of the watercourses.

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Ratnapura.

Ratnapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka and the Ratnapura District. Some say the modern name is derived from the Portuguese name Rapadura for jaggery, the palm candy produced traditionally in this region, but the more common explanation in Sri Lanka is that it comes from the Sinhala "ratna" meaning gems and "pura" meaning city.Ratnapura is also spelled as Rathnapura. Located some 101 km south east of capital Colombo.

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 rice and fruit cultivations. 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. Sinharaja Forest ReserveUdawalawe National ParkKitulgala, andAdam's Peak are especially popular among tourists.

In 1901, the town of Ratnapura had a population of 4,084, and in 2011, it had increased to 52,170 and this consisted of BuddhistHindusChristians and Muslims.

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