Nilaveli Beach

Rathnapura  in Sri Lanka

Rathnapura  in Sri Lanka Rathnapura  Sri Lanka

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Rathnapura Sightseeing Tour


        Since ancient times, Sri Lanka is known as Rathnapura - "the land of gems." Perhaps the island was the biblical Tar shish from which King Solomon received the precious stones, elephants and peacocks. Marco Polo mentions in his notes the huge ruby, adorned the stupa in Anuradhapura Ruvanveli - "a flawless ruby is 9 inches in length and a thickness equal to the circumference of a man's hand." Perhaps it is slightly exaggerated, but the stones mined are highly prized by jewelers all over the world. Most of the gems that adorn the unique jewelry world, found in Sri Lanka. King of precious stones is Ceylon sapphire. Blue Sapphire 400-carat "Blue Belle" adorns the British crown, the magnificent Star Sapphire "Star of India" at 536 carats, also of local origin. In addition to sapphires and rubies in Sri Lanka is extracted cat's eye, alexandrite (found only here and in the Urals), aquamarine, tourmaline, spinel, topaz, garnets, amethysts and other semiprecious stones.

           Production begins after consultation with an astrologer about the favorable moment of start of work, and then made an offering to the local daemon Bahirava guarding the bowels of the earth. Another offering is made in a nearby temple, Buddhist, Hindu, mosque or church, depending on the religion of miners. In experiments miner knows how to dig a pit and in what direction. Over time, the tools of the miners have not changed significantly, despite the fact that technological progression and reached here: electric generators, pumps for pumping water, pneumatic hammers ... Breeds raised in baskets from the mine with the help of ropes and washed in the nearest river in a special wicker baskets. Light rock washed with water and settle to the bottom of heavy baskets. Sorter, or the head of the farm are browsing the remaining stones. Sometimes you can find a handful of precious stones, and sometimes nothing. Large stones are sold through an auction. Money received from the sale are divided between members of the cooperative, depending on the proportion invested in the business. Usually the owner of the site or the shareholders receive a higher percentage.

            Tourists are offered a unique opportunity to visit the existing mine and mill processing of precious stones. The State Museum of Rathnapura is the collection of fossil elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses found in Rathnapura mines, as well as a large collection of precious and semiprecious stones and jewelry.

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