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One legend is from the epic Indian poem, the Ramayana, when Prince Rama and his warrior brother Lakshman were fighting the demon-king Ravana of Lanka who had abducted Rama’s wife, Princess Sita. Lakshman was wounded in battle while trying to rescue the abducted Princess Sita, so Rama sent Hanuman, the monkey god, to the Himalayas to find and bring back the four herbs necessary to save his brothers life – mritasanjeevani, vishalyakarani, suvarnakarani, and sandhani. But by the time he arrived he had forgotten their description, so he brought back a fragment of the Himalayas containing many herbs twisted in his tail, in the hope that among them might be the correct ones. However, on his way back to the battlefield, the mountain fragment slipped and fell while Hanuman was over Lanka, and it broke into three pieces. These landed in different locations, one of which was Rumassala. The name ‘Unawatuna’ derives its name from the Singhalese words, Onna-wetuna, which translates into “there it fell”. Over a period of time, Onna-wetuna became ‘Unawatuna’. So it is that the name Unawatuna translates to, ‘there it fell’ or ‘it fell down’.
Rumassala Kanda is filled with a great variety of unusual vegetation and protected valuable medicinal herbs not found anywhere else in the area, making this story seem mysteriously possible. Indeed, as many people believe that Rumassala is a fragment of the holy mountains, sanyasis search here for the plant sansevi or the Tree of Life, which is said to give immortality.