This ancient mansion is a nice guesthouse and the place has a garden arround and is quiet at night. My video snapshot is not showing too much of all this and I was more interested by a huge cockroach which I met somewhere outside. Next time I'll be more fair and show more of the place and its "colonial era" splendor.Sri Lanka,ශ්රී ලංකා, Ceylon, Guesthouse Veranda Ratnapura
About Ratnapura: Ratnapura (Sinhala: රත්නපුර; Tamil: இரத்தினபுரி) ("City of Gems" in Sinhala and Tamil) is the name of the provincial capital of Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka and the Ratnapura District in which the town is situated. Some say the modern name is derived from the Portuguese name Rapadura for jaggery, 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 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 town is known for rice and fruit cultivations. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the town. 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. In 1901, the town of Ratnapura had a population of 4,084, and in 2001, it had increased to 46,309. The population of the Ratnapura district was 1,008,164 in 2001, and this consisted of 86.42% Buddhists and 9.88% Hindus, with the rest of the population being Christians and Muslims.The town is ruled by a municipal council headed by a mayor. The council is elected by popular vote and has 15 seats. There were 29159 registered voters in the 2006 local authorities elections. Health Ratnapura provincial hospital is the largest hospital in the Sabaragamuwa province Which is equipped with two surgical units two medical units ,an orthopedic unit,two gyn and obs units two paediatrics units an ENT unit,An neurology unit,A rheumatology unit,a dermatology unit,Psychiatric unit and a cardiology unit.It also a post graduate training center. Gem tradeThe people of the town depends on the gem trade. Gem pits are a common site in the surrounding area. Most of the large-scale gem businessmen of Sri Lanka operate from Ratnapura. There are considerable numbers of foreign gem traders in town too. Among the foreign traders, Thai (Thailand) traders are in the majority. Every day, large number of traders from suburbs and other towns gather in the town centre to sell or buy gemstones. Large-scale merchants collect gemstones from locals and sell them in the international market. Some traders go out of the city to buy gems. This includes neighboring towns like Kalawana, Bogawantalawa, and Ela-era. After the discovery of world-class alluvial sapphire deposits in the valley of Ilakaka in Madagascar, many Ratnapura merchants travel out of the country to Madagascar to buy gems.AgricultureThe town's agricultural industry is also well developed. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the town. Although rice fields also used to be a common sight around the town, rice cultivation presently faces an uncertain future in Ratnapura because many farmers are giving up their rice cultivation and switching to gem mining which is a more productive way of earning money. If many farmers give up on agriculture, it would be harder for farmers to harvest enough food for them and to trade in the markets. Many delicious fruits like mango and papaya) and vegetables are grown as market products.TransportRatnapura is located in the A4 Highway which connects capital Colombo to Kalmunai in the Eastern Province. Another Highway A8 connects the town with Panadura in the western coast of Sri Lanka. During the British occupation of the Island, narrow gauge train track was laid in 1912 connecting Colombo - Avissawella - Ratnapura - Opanayake however line Avissawella onwards removed in 1976. Thus reducing the mode of transportation to road. In 2006, construction started on a new broad gauge railway line to Awissawella only.ClimateRatnapura is located in the south-western part of Sri Lanka, the so-called wet zone. The town receives rainfall mainly from south-western monsoons from May to September. During the remaining months of the year, there is also considerable precipitaion due to convective rains. The average annual precipitation is about 4,000 to 5,000 mm. The average temperature varies from 24 to 35 °C, and there are high humidity levels.The city is above 21m from sea level.