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Ratnapura

Brief
Ratnapura-located at 103 km from Colombo-is the famous gem-mining town of Sri Lanka. In fact the name Ratnapura literally means, the City of Gems. Sri Lanka has the greatest concentration of gems on earth and is ranked among the top five gem-bearing nations. One can find all types of gems in Ratnapura-from familiar to exotic. These include: white, yellow, pink, orange, purple and blue star sapphires, ruby and star ruby, cat's eye, topaz, amethyst, moonstone, aquamarine, tourmaline, garnet, zircon, spinel, alexandrite, citrine, etc., and the exotic ones such as patite, sinhalite, ekanite, enstatite, andalusite, kornerupine, etc., sought by the connoisseur . The gem-mining centre of Sri Lanka is also a major crossroad between southern plains and the hill country to the east. A bustling market city servicing most of the surrounding towns. Many of the prominent gem dealers in Sri Lanka operate from this town. Scenery around the town is excellent and charming.

Reasons to visit
We welcome you to the most exciting tourist attractions and travel destinations which are given below. We take into notice each and every details about recreation, entertainment, adventure and relaxation. By looking at the things to do in city one can see if that spot offers romance, family fun, sightseeing or adventure. Drill down into the tourist attractions below to find out more about each place and see how the local customs create a unique atmosphere.

The Fort
Originally a fort during the Portuguese and Dutch periods but now a major commercial center of the country and housing major offices, big hotels, some of the better shops, airline offices, banks, main post office, immigration office, travel agents and restaurants. Within Fort are several places of tourist interest, which can be conveniently seen on foot.


Pettah
Adjacent to Fort is Pettah-Colombo's leading bazaar district. It has narrow cobbled streets lined with shops and street stalls that offer the most fantastic bargains and the most unimaginable range of goods varying from bright printed fabrics, suitings, undergarments, children wear, footwear and handbags to electrical goods, semi precious jewellery, watches, rare first edition books, cutlery and other household items. Each criss-crossed lane of Pettah leads to the main street and each has developed its own specialized characteristic. For example, household goods are found on Keyzer Street. Prince Street is famous for glass, mirrors and electrical items. Malwatte Avenue sells English, Sinhala and Tamil music cassettes.


Less commonly seen species are
The surrounding area is a popular trekking destination and a good place for bird watching. Visit traditional gem mining and cutting operations .


Gem Mining
The mining operation for gems has been virtually the same since the days of the Alexander the Great or perhaps the Pharaohs times except for the modern addition of the water pumps for dewatering of the pits. The supports for the excavations are still mostly the logs. Labour is provided as a share to the earnings as well as the equipment, materials as well as the daily expenses such as food too are contributed as a share.