Where Legendary Stories Abound?
The Rumassala Mountain in Unawatuna was known in colonial times as Buona Vista meaning a pleasant view. The cliff figures prominently in the legendary ‘Ramayana’ chronicle. According to myth, the Ramayana claims that the landscape is a chunk of a Himalayan Mountain. Either way, the mountain is still quite alluring and offers picturesque views of Galle’s coastline in the south and its forest is home to unique species of fauna and flora. In short, if you’re travelling to Unawatuna make sure to spend some time in Rumassala. Read on for our short guide about this amazing lush green cliff.
The Peace Pagoda at Rumassala
Standing firm on a tall rocky cliff at mid point between Galle and Unawatuna is the Japanese Peace Pagod that marks the position of Rumassala Hill. In a bid to promote peace in the island, Japanese Buddhist monks set out to build this monument. It was intended to be built on a piece of land that was not only tranquil but could be seen easily. The monument which is actually a Buddhist Stupa can be viewed quite clearly from the Galle Fort. In order to visit the Peace Pagoda, remember to dress modestly, you maybe given a sarong if you?re in shorts.
What Is Special About the Peace Pagoda?
The Peace Pagoda is one of four stupas built by the Nipponzan Myohoji Nikaya in Japan. It was opened in 2004, and is much like the Stupas seen across the world. However, this one?s special location is awe inspiring and has grown to be the symbol with which the Rumassala cliff is identified.
The Legend Behind Rumassala
The Rumassala cliff as mentioned previously figures the most prominently in the Ramayana legend. According to the legend, the Rumassala cliff was the site of Queen Sita?s home. It was created when the warrior Hanuman carved out a chunk of the Himalaya range and dropped it at this site in Unawatuna. The name ?Unawatuna? if broken down, means ?Onna Watuna? meaning ?here it fell? in Sinhalese. To this day, it is believed that medicinal plants found here are similar to those that grow in the Himalayan range.
Enroute to Unawatuna, and cruising along Sri Lanka?s southern coast the sight of the huge white peace pagoda in the distance is the best road signage for Rumassala. To actually visit the stupa, there is a pathway that can be taken either by foot or vehicle. The entrance to the pagoda has some steps that take one to the walkway of the monument. Once inside, travellers can enjoy panoramic views of the jungle and the ocean.
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