Monday, February 27, 2017

Japanese Peace Pagoda in Rumassala

During the colonial times, Rumassala was famous as Buona Vista and was decorated with a number of mythical tales. For instance, India's famous epic 'Ramayana' has reference to Rumassala as the abode of its female protagonist, Sita. In fact, the birth of Rumassala is largely described in Ramayana. Hanuman, a character in Ramayana, was carrying the Himalayan Mountain and accidentally dropped a part of it. That part later came to be known as Rumassala. The mountain is well known as a place where a large number of medicinal plants grow naturally. As for medicinal plants, the epic describes how Hanuman, a monkey soldier, was sent to India to collect more medicinal herbs from Himalaya to heal Lakshmana, another character in Ramayana. He is said to have been injured in a battle with Ravana, Lanka's king according to Ramayana. Many other tales also surround this mount called Rumassala.

Since Rumassala is located in Unawatuna, hotels could easily be found in the area for accommodation purposes. Being a tourist hotspot Unawatuna is home to a large number of hotels. The best option is to stay at a hotel nearby such as CoCo Bay Unawatuna or others in the area for a few days and explore more myths surrounding the mountain. You will meet many locals who would willingly share what they have heard of the mountain.

When you come from Colombo, you need to pass Galle to reach Rumassala. Having reached there, you will come across the board which directs you to Rumassala Sama Chaitya – also known as Japanese Peace Pagoda. The peace pagoda was set up in 2004. You will find four similar stupas in Adam's Peak, Walapane, Ampara and Bandarawela. The stupa was built by funds from Japan, in a bid to strengthen friendship ties with Sri Lanka – hence it is known as Japanese Peace Pagoda. With that mission aside, you will hear another interesting story about Rumassala from the Portuguese era. The Portuguese are said to have given fake signals from this mountain to Arab trading ships which ultimately hit the rocks and sank down.

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