Ratnapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka and the Ratnapura District. The name 'Ratnapura' is a direct Sanskrit word meaning City (from the Sanskrit word 'Pura') of Gems (from the Sanskrit word 'Ratna') over 2000 years ago when the first Buddhist monks arrived here from the north eastern provinces of India namely Bodh-Gaya, Varanasi and Patliputra they not only did bring with them the Buddhist religion but since their teachings were mainly in Sanskrit and Pali they also influenced the local language, the palm candy produced traditionally in this region, but the more common explanation in Sri Lanka is that it comes from the Sinhala "ratna" meaning gems and "pura" meaning city. Ratnapura is also spelled as Rathnapura. Located some 101 km south east of capital Colombo.
It is the centre of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubies, sapphires, and other gems. Apart from gem mining, the city is known for rice and fruit cultivations. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the city. Tea grown in this region is called low-country tea. There is a well-established tourism industry in Ratnapura. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawe National Park, Kitulgala, and Adam's Peak are especially popular among tourists.