Rumassala Sanctuary is a popular tourist destination situated in Jungle Beach Road, Unawatuna, Galle.
The sanctuary is a botanical paradise featuring rare plants and medicinal herbs and endemic species of birds. It is situated around the legendary Rumassala hill which is connected to the epic. Rumassala is believed to be a part of the Himalayas.
Rumassala Sanctuary: Historical importance
According to a fascinating legend, during the battle between the Indian King Rama and King Ravana of Lanka, Rama’s brother was injured and Hanuman, the Monkey God was sent to the Himalayas to get a medical herb.
Hanuman forgot the exact name of the herb so he removed a section of the Himalayan Mountain on which it was said the plant would grow. However, the fragment of the mountain slipped and broke into five pieces.
One fell to Rumassala and a mountain formed. On Rumassala many medicinal plants still grow, showing a great contrast to the surrounding areas.
Hence, The “Ramayana” describes that one piece of the Himalayan Mountain was dropped here by Hanumantha. It is also considered to be one of the great and ancient places used thousands of years ago to transport vast amounts of spices, minerals and precious stones for long voyages. There is a small cemetery near the sanctuary which is considered to be a resting place for many British Civil servants and sailors of that time.
A temple and statue dedicated to Hanuman can be seen in Rumassala carrying forward the legend.