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Rumassala, formerly known as Buona Vista, is a rain-forested promontory that rises straight out of the sea on the eastern side of Galle harbour. Not only does Rumassala hilltop offer an exceptional view of Galle, as its former name implies, but it also affords the traveller the opportunity to see rainforest plants and animals in close proximity to coastal species. The roots of this incredible botanical diversity are entrenched in legends, which describes the era of King Ravana of Sri Lanka and Rama of India. The powerful kings are said to have entered into  battle over a beautiful maiden named Sita.

After Rama’s brother Lakshman was wounded, the Hindu God Hanuman was dispatched to bring a healing herb from Himalayas. Since Hanuman had forgotten the exact name of the herb, he had brought back a whole chunk of the Himalayas! Once the herb was taken the rest of the wilderness was discarded; that is how Rumassala came to possess an incredible diversity of strange plants. Locals believe that it is because of this that Rumassala has not only such rich diversity but also so many medicinal species. Ru-mas-sala is translated as “the beautiful rock”.

Approximate duration: About 40 minutes’ drive from the hotel

Approximate distance: About 21 kilometres from the hotel