Located 270 km’s from Colombo, Tissamaharama or Tissa as it is fondly knows among locals is a town with rich archaeological significance. It is blessed with a rich history and ruins which are of immense value both historically and archaeologically.
Buddism is the dominant religion among Sri Lankans. Its devotees, the Buddhist believe that Lord Buddha visited Sri Lanka thrice and on his on his third visit to Sri Lanka he set foot on Tissamaharama. There are many dagabos in Tissa and is considered one of the 16 places in Sri Lanka that are considered sacred to Buddhist.
Tissamaharama, is a gateway to many places of interest to the tourist who is pressed for time. Its strategic location ideal to visit places of religious and cultural importance such as the Kataragama Devalaya which is considered one of the most sacred entities in Sri Lanka visited by people from many faiths and beliefs. Also, it is a 30 minute drive to Yala National Park, again a favorite among visitors to Sri Lanka.
One of the must see hot spots in Tissamaharama is the Tissa Wewa meaning Tissa Tank. It is entirely made by man during the period of the 3rd century B.C by King Yatala Tissa, the founder of the Ruhunu Kingdom to conserve and preserve limited Water resource. It is located a short distance from the town and many tourists and devotees on their way to Kataragamamakes it a point to have a quick dip in the natural pool to cool off from a strenuous journey.
The paddy fields that envelop Tissa are irrigated and kept fertile by the water resource from the Tissa Tank. The greenery of the paddy fields and a hint of serenity to ones soul you feel you are blessed with the abundance of nature.
One of the many attractions many tourists experience is a boat ride around the lake.It is a ride to behold as the gushing winds engulf you to an out of this world experience and is an ideal tonic to relax after a grueling day of traveling. Also, a walk along the tank bund will mesmerize you with the tranquility it offers simply by being there away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. As an added windfall, you can also indulge in a bit of tropical bird watching along the tank bund where you might see a proud and majestic Peacock or weary water buffaloes amble past you.
Also,a local favorite you can relish is freshly barbequed fresh water fish caught from the Tissa tank served sizzling hot dashed with a pinch of lime available from the many vendors selling it along the tank bund.
There area few organic farms in Tissamaharama where you can pluck your own vegetables grown free of pesticides and chemicals.Tissa is home to many secluded spots which offers the perfect script for lovers of nature and dish out loads of film for bird watching whilst wrapped in between magnificent leafy backdrops.
There are many Dagobas in Tissa but the oldest is Yatala Wehera which was build approximately 2,300 years ago by King Yatila Tissa and today restored to its former glory.Visitors to the Dagabo can see significant archeological findings which lay around the Dagabo, namely an ancient toilet system used at the adjoining monastery. Also another find is one of the oldest elephant wells. There is a newly built museum adorned important archeological findings.
A mere 30 minute drive from Tissa will get you to The Yala National Park which is situated on 97,880 hectares of land and is the best loved National Park in the country. Yala is unique because it hosts a variety of eco systems and habitats.The park is known to contain a wide spectrum of birds and animals and for having the highest leopard population anywhere in the world.
Also if you fancy a little bit of Hollywood glamour, Sri Lankan style you can visit the MahindaRajapasksha Tele village which is just 7 kilo meters from Tissamaharama on the way to Kataragama
Located approximately 15 kilometers west of Tissamaharama is the Bundala National Park which a sought after destination for bird watching. The park renowned for migratory and resident birds and for its unique wetland habitat.