Jathika Namal Uyana, situateded in-between the two villages of Ulpathgama and Ranawa to the northwest of Dambulla, is an archaelogical site and nature reserve at the same time. It‘s famous for two natural attractions, viz. South Asia’s largest rose quartz deposit and numerous precious ironwood trees. It is said they were planted by criminals who were permitted to search for asylum in this remote forest hermitage. An ancient stupa and remnants of a Bodhigara can still be seen in the middle of the forest. The existence of a spring never drying out is the reason for the extraordinary vast biodiversity of this are in Sri Lanka’s otherwise semi-arid dry zone. It was Venerable Wananavasi Rahula who reinstuted this pleasant area as a forest hermitage and initiated nature conservation projects by involving the villagers of the surroundings.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka,