Tissamaharama is a significant place not to be missed one, it is the most pleasant towns in the
southern coast and named after the man-made reservoir Tissa Wewa. It used to be the capital of the Sinhalese Kingdom of Ruhuna as early as the 3rd century B.C. The large artificial Tissa Wewa lake, which was a part of a sophisticated irrigation system, also dates from that time.
Only few buildings from that period can still be seen today. The town in turn is bounded by a beautiful expanse of paddy fields. In the midst of paddy fields stands most impressive of Tissa's dagobas (stupas).It is home to many remarkable bird life and provides the scenic backdrop to the town. Today, the town mainly serves as a starting point for visits to Yala National Park and Kataragama.
The Tissamaharama Dagobas
The Tissamaharam Raja MahaVihara is one of the largest dagobas (Stupa) with a height of 158 feet and 550 feet in circumference in Sri Lanka. ). It is found near the town center. A stupa is a Buddhist dome-shaped religious monument. According to history this stupa has been built by King Kavantissa who ruled Ruhuna in the 2nd century BC. The site was consecrated by Buddha himself, who spent some time in meditation there with 500 arahats (individuals who have reached enlightenment).
Tissa Wewa huge man-made lake about 1.5km from the town centre. It is built by King Kavantissa in the 2nd century BC of the ancient southern kingdom of Ruhuna. The shore nearest the town is often busy with flock of aquatic birds including bitterns, herons & egrets skimming across the waters.
Lotus ponds surround this site, which has a wealth of elephant details in the carvings. There’s a small museum next to the dagoba. Amidst the dusty artefacts dug up from around the site, look for an ornate, ancient bidet sitting outside. It was built 2300 years ago by King Mahanaaga in thanks both for the birth of his son, Yatala Tissa, and for his safe escape from an assassination attempt in Anuradhapura.