What do you think is the meaning of a jungle beach? Have you ever seen one? It is a beach, and at the same time, it is a jungle. How could this happen? Usually, a jungle belongs to the inside of the land, and a beach is a place with salt water. There are streams and rivers or freshwater in a jungle, but a beach has solid. Some trees and plants do not grow in salty sand. Also, for some plants, sand is a must.
That is how the Rumassala becomes special. There we can see the beach meets the jungle. Rumassala is a tiny peninsula. It is in Galle. The other areas in the district are flat, but this one has a long, high mountain. Other places are sandy, but here it has soil. Galle has coconut trees as well as the other plants in usual coast, but this place has many other in-country trees, plants as well as herbs. It has been said that there are more than a hundred and fifty kinds of herbal plants in the mountain area. Some are known, and some are not. Researchers say that some of these can only be found in Himalayas, India. The jungle beach Rumassala Galle is very curious to research.
You may have thought about how the place has got those specialties. There is a place where the legends come. According to the legends, this whole peninsula does not belong to Sri Lanka. It is a part of the actual Himalayas Mountains. A long time ago, King Rawana lived in Sri Lanka. He carried off Sita, the queen of Rama, and kept in the Southern part of his kingdom. Then a war began. When Rama’s team and Rawana’s team were fighting, Rama’s ever-loving brother Lakshmana was shot. He died, but Rama needed his life back. Therefore Hanuman, who was a kind of monkey, jumped into the Himalayas and brought a part of the mountain in here that he could not find the exact medicines for bringing Lakshmana`s life.
The treatments were done hurriedly, and Lakshmana woke up. When Hanuman was bringing back the soil part into India, a small part was broken and fell into the sea. The fallen part is now has become Rumassala. According to another story, which says by the people who do not believe in Rama or Rawana and any other kinds of stories, Rumassala is just a garden. That means it is a garden full of medicines. A prophet named Pulasthi grew it. Not only here but also in Ritigala and Dolugala have the same kinds of medicinal plants. They say that all three belong to the prophet. But the point is that some plants can be found only in the Himalayas and Rumassala. And the soil in Rumassala is different too.
It is a wonderful place. Thousands of people come here for a day or at least for hours visit. It is that special. The Portuguese people who were in Sri Lanka in 1905 have called this a “BovenoVista”. In their language, it means “the wonderful place which is hidden inside”. Following the name, there is a school named “Bonavista” down the mountain. Some famous people in Sri Lanka, including Martin Wickramasinghe, the author, had studied there.
The place is known as a paradise for tourists. Not only the peninsula but also the beach gives many more activities to do in there. Some locals, as well as foreigners, come here for a hike. They can climb the mountain, walking among the trees, build day or night camps, etc. in the land. Others come for the beach. Here the sea looks beautiful and calm. Also, you will see that the water is clean in here. Therefore it is perfect for a fresh sea bath. If you know how to dive, this clear water will show you an attractive world in the sea. Also the corals you see there are very special and beautiful. There are no sharks or any other harmful fish there. But it is better to look for a safe place to go into the water because there are bores and water gaps in some areas.
You can put your towel on the smooth sand and lie down there for sunbathe. You can play beach ball if your team is interested. There are so many people who came as visitors so that you do not need to get afraid of anything. The area police give the security, and also there are lifeguards too if you had an emergency in the water.
The beach is gathered with the beach of Unawatuna. It is the same seaside. Unawatuna beach is also one of the best coastal areas in this country, which has good tourists’ attraction. The waves there are tiny, and therefore, you can comfortably lie down and floating in the sea without any hesitation.
Nowadays tourists who go there can see a temple or a stupa. This was built by the Buddhist people in Japan. It is called the “Sama ceitya”. It is too an attractive place to visit. This has a large stupa in there and has four Lord Buddha statues in four corners of the stupa. They say the statues represent the born, becoming to Buddha and the death.
There is a statue of Hanuman too. Therefore we can say that the Japanese have given value to the famous legend about Rawana. This peace pagoda was built in the year 2004. Also, this is not the only stupa in this kind. Ampara, Adam’s peak, Bandarawela, and Walaane, too, have this kind of temples. Not only in Sri Lanka, but also the USA, India, Australia, and some other countries too have stupas, because the Nippon zan Mayohoji Nikaya has built altogether eighty temples all over the world.
If someone is coming from the port of Galle, he can see this stupa very nicely. It is like the temple is saying that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country. They say that the founder of their Nikaya was delighted with the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi. That was the reason to build those temples, including Rumassala temple.