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Kalutara.

Kalutara is a city in Sri Lanka, Located in Kalutara DistrictWestern Province, Sri Lanka. It is also the third largest city in Western Province after Colombo andNegomboKalutara is a resort city. It is also the administrative capital of the Kalutara District, located approximately 40 km south of the capital Colombo.

 

Etymology

Once an important spice-trading center, the city's name is derived from the Kalu Ganga River ('Black River' in native Sinhala). In the 11th Century, the town was temporarily made a capital on the orders of a South Indian Prince. The region was later planted with coconut trees, whose by-products are used for both internal and external trade. The location also boast fortifications dating back from the times when Portuguese, Dutch and British vied for control of the area.


The 38-meter long Kalutara Bridge was built at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga River and serves as a major link between the country's western and southern border. At the southern end of the bridge lies the 3 stories-high Kalutara Vihara, a Buddhist temple built in the 1960s which holds the distinction of being the only stupa in the world that is hollow.

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Bopath Ella.

Bopath Ella is a waterfall situated in the Ratnapura District of Sri Lanka. It has a shape very similar to the leaf of the Sacred fig or "Bo" tree, which has earned it this name. The waterfall is a major tourist attraction in the country. Local myths say that it is haunted and that it hides a treasure trove.

Location

Bopath Ella is located in a village named Agalwatte in Kuruwita in the Ratnapura Districtof Sri Lanka.

Waterfall

The name "Bopath Ella" has been given to the waterfall because of its shape. The water flows through a narrow gap in the rocks and then widens, forming the shape of a leaf of a "Bo" tree which is the Sinhalese name for sacred fig (Ficus religiosa). "Path" means leaves of a tree and "Ella" means waterfall.Virgin forests with a rich biodiversity surround the waterfall.

Bopath Ella is 30 metres (98 ft) high. It is formed from the Kuru Ganga, which is a tributary of the Kalu Ganga. Its mean rate of flow is 6 square metres (65 sq ft) per second, and its catchment area receives an average rainfall of 5,080 millimetres (200 in) annually. Water from the falls is used for paddy cultivation. Bopath Ella is also the most comprehensively studied waterfall in the country.

Bopath Ella is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka, since it is not far from the capital, Colombo, and is easily accessible. There have been unsuccessful attempts to use the waterfall to generate hydroelectricity. The path to the waterfall is lined with a number of shops and stalls, and it is somewhat polluted because of this commercialization.

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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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Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Siteby UNESCO.
The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the Lion.
The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala. There are about 3 elephants and the 15 or soleopards are rarely seen. The most common larger mammal is the endemicPurple-faced Langur.
An interesting phenomenon is that birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the noisy Orange-billed Babbler. Of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic birds, the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive Red-faced MalkohaGreen-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.
Reptiles include the endemic Green pit viper and Hump-nosed vipers, and there are a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Invertebrates include the endemic Common Birdwing butterfly and the inevitable leeches.

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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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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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Bundala National Park

(Birds Watching)

Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground formigratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of Birds, the highlight being the Greater Flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and redesignated to a national parkon 4 January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 the national park was designated as abiosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 245 kilometres (152 mi) southeast of Colombo.

History

The area was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 5 December 1969, and was upgraded to a national park on 4 January 1993 with land area of 6,216 hectares (24.00 sq mi). However the park was regazetted in 2004 and the original park was reduced to 3,698 hectares (14.28 sq mi). In 1991, Bundala became the first site in Sri Lanka to be designated a Ramsar wetland. In 2005, Bundala was declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. In January 2006, an area adjacent to Bundala covering an area of 3,339.38 hectares (12.8934 sq mi) was declared as the Wilmanna Sanctuary.

 

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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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Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is located in theSouthern Province, about 17 km north-west of Galle. Hikkaduwa is famous for its beach, surfing, corals and night life.

It was affected by the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Villages affected were Telwatta, Paraliya (Queen of the Sea rail disaster), Dodanduwa, Kahawa,Rathgama. The place is on the way from Colombo to Galle on the famous Galle road. It is primarily a tourist destination, and serves as a great beach with options to surf,snorkel and enjoy the sun. The town is arranged around the one main road which runs from Galle to Colombo. This road is extremely heavily trafficked and pedestrians and tourists are advised to exercise caution when crossing.

In the wake of the tsunami, many of the families who had lost everything were givensewing machines as part of the relief operations. As a result, the town has a multitude of tailors who will custom make shirtspants, and shorts. The area also has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife. Hikkaduwa is also very popular with board-surfers. It's a well-known international destination for board-surfing. Hikkaduwa was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations.

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Turtle Hatchery - Kosgoda

Kosgoda is famous for its turtle hatchery- operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka's turtles from extinction. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the sandy beach. Visitors can see huge tanks filled with new born turtle hatchlings. After being fed, the baby turtles are taken to the sea and released when they are 2-4 days old, usually during the safer hours of darkness. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year.

The beaches of Sri Lanka are the nesting grounds for five species of marine turtles. They are the Green Turtle, the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead and the Olive Ridley. All 5 species have been recorded to nest along specific areas of Sri Lanka's coast. Studies have indicated that beaches can be categorized in accordance with visitation by different species of turtles. For example Leatherbacks nest at Walawe Modera and Godawaya. Hawksbill nests at Bentota while Green Turtle nests at Rekawa and Kosgoda. Loggerheads nest at Welipatanwala. Olive Ridleys are the only species of turtle that nest everywhere.

There are 18 hatcheries found along the southern coastal line; of them, nine hatcheries are found in the district of Galle and one is found in the district of Hambantota (Darwin's Cabana). According to statistics from 1996 to 1999, nearly a hundred thousand sea turtles were hatched and released to the sea from these hatcheries. A growing interest is manifest in the field of turtles everywhere in the world. While an infinitesimal minority of carnivores are bent on destroying this disappearing breed of marine turtles for their flesh and shell, a preponderant majority of people in many countries are keen to protect them and provide them sanctuaries.

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