Tissamaharama : In ancient times the southeastern region of Sri Lanka was known as Rohana and was often independent from Anuradhapura. The capital of the principality was Mahagama, now known as Tissamaharama, which could be considered a smaller version of Anuradhapura. In the middle of the modern town is the huge Tissamaharama Stupa with its characteristic conical spire. The Tissa temple has been fully restored and at its pinnacle stands a spike covered in gold which was rescued from the sand by local Buddhists.
This beautiful and peaceful temple was built during the reign of King Kavantissa, the father of King Dutugamunu. The cell stone scripts say that the sacred left tooth relic of Lord Buddha was placed as a “nidana” here. Legend has it that Buddha visited Tissamaharama on his third visit to the island.
Tissa Tank : The Tissa Wewa is the largest and oldest of four artificial tanks (man made reservoirs) in the area and was constructed in the 3rd Century BC by King Yatala Tissa, the founder of the Ruhuna Kingdom. Today, with its remarkable bird life, it provides the scenic backdrop to the town. Water from the Tissa Wewa and the other tanks is used to irrigate the paddy fields near Tissa keeping the surroundings lush and green year round. Especially at dawn and sunset, the Tissa Wewa, part of the WirawilaBird Sanctuary is a great place to see a variety of water-bird life. During the weekends the tanks are a place for Sri Lankans to wash and swim.
Yala National park : Yala National Park is located in the South East of Sri Lanka covering 126,786 hectares and was established in 1938. It is the country’s most popular National Park and best known for its large number of elephants and it also has the highest concentration of leopards in a given area in the world. The Park is teeming with spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, and many other animals, with more than 130 bird species also recorded which include the resident and winter visitors.
Kataragama : Tamil Hindus of Sri Lanka and South India refer to the place as Katirkamam and it has a famous Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Katirkaman. The presiding Deity is Lord Murugan or Skanda. Saivite Hindus of South India call him also as Subrahmanya. Following are the other names to identify the same God in the Hindu texts; Kandasamy, Katiradeva, Katiravel, Kartikeya, and Tarakajith. Some of these names are derived from the root Katir from Katirkamam. "Katir" means formless light.
The Deity is depicted either with six faces and twelve hands, or one face and four hands. Out of love for Lord Murugan and to mitigate bad karma, bhaktars pierce their cheeks and tongues with vels, pull large chariots carrying murthi of Murugan with large hooks that have been pierced through the skin of their backs. This practice is known as kavadi. Murugan's vahana or vehicle is Mayil, the peacock. There is also a related shrine called as Sella Katirkamam dedicated to the beloved elephant-faced God Ganesha nearby, who is known as Lord Murugan's elder brother.
The local river namely Manik Ganga or Manika Gangai (River of Gems) functions as a place of ablution where a sacred bath is taken to purify oneself. Local residents declare that one can be healed of ailments by bathing in it not only from its high gem content but also the medicinal properties of the roots of various trees that line the river through the jungle