Rumassala Sanctuary

Located on the legendary Rumassala hill of Unawatuna, the Rumassala sanctuary is a nature lover’s paradise since it boasts a variety of rare plants and medicinal herbs along with endemic species of birds in the country. The hill, deeply embedded in the epic ‘Ramayana’, which describes the rescue of Princess Sita by Rama of India, provides another great reason to explore the sanctuary.

Best Known For

Nature and outdoors:

  • The abundance of endemic flora and fauna surrounding the entire hill make it an ideal getaway for a nature lover to explore the undisturbed biodiversity.
  • The famous Jungle beach is located at the Rumassala hill, close to the sanctuary making it the perfect place to take a breather from civilization or partake in some water sports such as surfing, diving, snorkeling, whale watching and cruises to the nearby coral reefs.
  • The sanctuary is home to the Japanese Peace Pagoda built by the Nipponzan - Myohoji Nikaya which shows the cultural significance of the area, along with the surrounding natural forests.

Interesting Facts

  • According to the epic ‘Ramayana’, the Rumassala hill or ‘Buono vista’ is meant to be a part of the Himalayan mountain range that contained several healing herbs able to revive the dying and rejuvenate life.
  • As per the legend, Lord Hanuman, who was an ally and good friend of Rama, lifted part of Himalayan mountain range to the current location so as to provide medicine for the heavy casualties suffered by Rama’s army in their battles against King Ravana of Sri Lanka, in order to rescue Princess Sita, Rama’s wife.
  • It is believed that these herbs still exist in the sanctuary, however, its existence is not yet confirmed.
  • Furthermore, the sanctuary was also used as a defensive stronghold by the colonial powers, especially by the Dutch and the British with many of the structures still lying in ruin.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The best season to visit the sanctuary is between the months of November to April since the weather is clear.
  • It is best to visit during the daytime due to its remoteness from any civilization, thus making travel quite difficult in general. There are tuk-tuks that can take you there for around LKR 400 from the Galle fort area and lesser if you are travelling from Unawatuna.
  • Due to its status as a sanctuary it is strictly prohibited to litter or do anything that would be a hindrance to the biodiversity of the area, so pack light and have alternatives for disposal of trash if you are planning on hiking there.
  • There is no strict dress code when hiking up the sanctuary, however, if you want to visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda, the dress code should be anything that covers the shoulders and legs since it is a place of worship.
  • Make sure to bring a back pack along with essentials such as water and some snacks, especially if you are hiking, since it is hot and humid.
  • It is best if you plan the hike before-hand to avoid any unnecessary mishaps that could happen along the way.

In conclusion, the location of the Rumassala sanctuary on the legendary Rumassala hill is a curious place due to its link to the historic past of Sri Lanka and the country’s biodiversity.

Title image by: KNOWSL

Contact info



November - April


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