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GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES OF SRI LANKA

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Geotourism is 'tourism that focuses on geology and landscape as the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning, and enjoyment'. Geotourism and geo-heritage are relatively new form of tourism with considerable Sri Lanka and global growth potentials. Interest in geotourism is developing at a very rapid rate around the world. It is of great importance to support and enhance the global movement about geotourism generally and specifically into geo land mark included geo-heritage sites. The country like Sri Lanka represents an area rich with numerous geological and geomorphological formations which are excellent representatives of this area's geodiversity since Archean eon to present. However, the geotourism potential of these geo sites still remains fully unrevealed and neglected. For many millennia, the prehistoric community has been concerned about the unrestricted appreciation of sites of geological or geomorphic interest. The features of geologic or geomorphic interests, based on folds, faults and topographic relief provide spectacular vistas and unique opportunities to learn about earth's geologic processes and history. This should be our geological heritage, which represents the collective memory of the Mother Nature. Geotourism is essentially 'geological tourism'. The geological element focuses on geology and landscape and includes both 'form', such as landforms, rock outcrops, rock types, sediments, soils and crystals, and 'process', such as volcanism, erosion, glaciation etc. The tourism element of geotourism includes tourists visiting, learning from, appreciating and engaging in geo sites. Thus, the nature of the abiotic geological heritage involves a sustainable, viable and responsible tourism development that enhances the wellbeing of the local communities.
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WILDLANKA Vol.8, No.2, pp. 050 - 100, 2020.
Copyright 2020 Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka.
J. KATUPOTHA AND A. RAVIBHANU SUAMANARATHNA
1Department of Geography University of Sri Jayewardenepura
2Department of Research & Innovation
South Asian Astrobiology & Earth Sciences Research Unit: Eco Astronomy Sri Lanka
* katupotha@gmail.com
GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS:
VISTAS AND UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES OF SRI LANKA
ABSTRACT : Geotourism is ‘tourism that focuses on geology and landscape as the basis for providing
visitor engagement, learning, and enjoyment’. Geotourism and geo-heritage are relatively new form of
tourism with considerable Sri Lanka and global growth potentials. Interest in geotourism is developing
at a very rapid rate around the world. It is of great importance to support and enhance the global
movement about geotourism generally and specically into geo land mark included geo-heritage sites.
The country like Sri Lanka represents an area rich with numerous geological and geomorphological
formations which are excellent representatives of this area’s geodiversity since Archean eon to present.
However, the geotourism potential of these geo sites still remains fully unrevealed and neglected. For
many millennia, the prehistoric community has been concerned about the unrestricted appreciation of
sites of geological or geomorphic interest. The features of geologic or geomorphic interests, based on
folds, faults and topographic relief provide spectacular vistas and unique opportunities to learn about
earth’s geologic processes and history. This should be our geological heritage, which represents the
collective memory of the Mother Nature. Geotourism is essentially ‘geological tourism’. The geological
element focuses on geology and landscape and includes both ‘form’, such as landforms, rock outcrops,
rock types, sediments, soils and crystals, and ‘process’, such as volcanism, erosion, glaciation etc. The
tourism element of geotourism includes tourists visiting, learning from, appreciating and engaging in
geo sites. Thus, the nature of the abiotic geological heritage involves a sustainable, viable and responsible
tourism development that enhances the wellbeing of the local communities.
KEY WORDS: Geotourism, Geoheritage, Geosites, Employment, Economy, Sri Lanka
INTRODUCTION
     
sustains or enhances the geographical character
of a place - its environment, culture, aesthetics,
heritage, and the well-being of its residents,
according to criteria’s of National Geographic in
2003. Hence, geotourism is simply interpreting
as an act or process of learning (or knowledge
gaining) pursuit from geological heritage
sites or geosites, while recreation, relaxing
and enjoying the geological or Geoheritage.
Geoheritage is some diversity of geological
formations inherited naturally or due to human
  
are related to human activity such as mining,
and can also be viewed in terms of cultural
heritage. This is providing a holistic tourism
  
and multitudes to gain knowledge about the
values of the geologic attractions widespread
geosites in Sri Lanka. Due to the development
     
as themes. A geosite is a location that has a
particular geological or geomorphological
    
    

   
value due to human perception or exploitation.
The geotourism relatively a new concept,
and abiotic nature based a new approach of is
attracting increasing interest around the world.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 051
As a contemporary concept, geotourism draws
on both geology and tourism. According to

going to a place to look at and learn about one or
 
      
the geographical characters of a place, its
environment, heritage, aesthetic, culture, and


relations between geology and tourism science
may be evidenced in many aspects. Natural
landscapes including peaks, valleys, caves,
stones, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and springs
FIGURE 01: Gomalu Oya, one of branch of the Kalani River at Thalapitiya (Sabaragamuwa
Province) shows the relationship between geology, landforms and ecology. Image ©Aravinda
Ravibhanu 2014.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2052
are all generated by geological processes and
controlled by varying geological factors. Hence,
naturally-created in-situ features or places
such as beaches, coral reefs and reef patches,
islets, waterfalls, escarpment, mountain peaks,
geologic deposits such as coastal dunes, red
sand beds, shell beds, mineral deposits, lagoons
and lakes, river estuaries, caves, erratic boulders
etc. can be captivated as geologic features for
tourism activities and to develop as geoparks.
Proposed geopark is an area containing one or
more sites of particular geological importance,
intended to conserve the geological heritage
and promote public awareness of it, typically
through tourism. Likewise, geologic features,
which were made using geologic material
mainly by rocks, sand, clay and other minerals
belonging to the culture of a particular society,
such as traditions, languages, or buildings,
which come from the past and are still important
 
has two aspects, culture and natural. Natural
heritage too has many facets, but in this case, we
focus on Geoheritage, which means landscape
and geological settings, we have inherited in
this country, Sri Lanka. We proposed to cluster
these unique situations to create Geological
parks.
Purpose and Signicance of the Monograph
The aim of this monograph is to explore the
potential of geological heritage (geoheritage) in
the Sri Lanka which is an important milestone
towards geotourism development. To determine
its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and
threats as well as interactions between them
      
   
Institutions, such as Department of Wildlife and
   
Survey and Mines Bureau, Department of
Tourism Developments, Universities, Local
Governments, Schools etc. should be engaged
positively to enhance this idea. Using these
nature-based heritages of particular geological
importance, intended to conserve the geological
heritage and promote public awareness of it,
typically through tourism.
Therefore, proceed initial discussions
with above institutions & departments via Eco
Astronomy Inc community. Questionnaire of
discussions has developed for selected area
which representing the geotourism land marks in
Sri Lanka. The monograph, conclude that there
is a serious need of developing a comprehensive

considering multidisciplinary approach in view

geoheritage. Consequently, this provides an
important step towards geotourism development

communities living in around the island. You
can explore the role of geotourism with this
      

and education tools as well as for the economic
development of the country. In addition, it is
based on the best practice of geoethics consists
   
support appropriate behaviors and practices,
wherever human activities interact culturally,
economically and sociologically.
Concept of Geotourism and Geodiversity
Concept of geotourim is abiotic based
tourism and coalesce with geology and
tourism disciplines may be evidenced in many
aspects. The many earth science communities
        
interpretation of geosites and related topics
because of this concept has been broadened to
include everything. Like, Natural landscapes
including peaks, valleys, caves, stones, rivers,
lakes, waterfalls and springs are all generated by
geological processes and controlled by varying
geological factors. Complicated geological
      
landscapes. Erosion and deposition of sediment
(grains of sand, silt and clay) by streams,
glaciers, wind, groundwater, springs and waves
are surface processes that create many familiar
landforms. Erosion produces geologic features
such as valleys, canyons, river channels,
      
features generated by tectonic activities,
and their natures, characteristics, scales and
attitudes all directly control the formation
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 053
     
the macro-perspective, they can control the
pattern of geomorphic units, shapes, trends
and elevations of mountains, layout of water
systems, and formation of rivers, lakes and
groundwater; from the micro-perspective, they
control the development of peaks, valleys,

Geodiversity, a copy-cat adaptation of
biodiversity, but while biodiversity might be
a measure of the health of an ecosystem, the
value of geological and geomorphic sites does
not depend on diversity. Many geological and
geomorphic features are restricted to a single
rock or feature, which enhances their value.
Geodiversity might be useful as a way of
recording diverse features within a given area,
but it should not be treated as a value-judgement

Geodiversity
      

      
  
Geotourim + geologic industries and mining.
     
which is the subset of tourism concerned with
a traveler’s engagement with a country or
     
       
geographical areas, the history of those people,
their art, architecture, religion(s), and other
elements that helped shape their way of life, and
    
      
related to Nature-based tourism: a broad term
that covers all tourism experiences centered on
wild or natural environments.
A
B
C
D
E
Ecology &
Development
GEOTOURISM
Culture & Training
& Tradition
Archaeology
& Paleontology
Environment &
Ecology Geology & Geogrphpy
FIGURE 02: The facts that incorporate with Geotourism via Multidisciplinary Approach in Sri
Lanka.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2054
Hence geodiversity is encompasses all of
our Earth’s geologic forms and processes, soils,
sediments, rocks, minerals, and even fossils.
Thus, geodiversity is the abiotic equivalent
of biodiversity and describes the variety of
geological, geomorphological, pedological
and hydrological features and processes. This
means that geodiversity can be considered
the stage upon which biodiversity acts. Thus
the Geodiversity refers to the variety of the
geological and physical elements of nature as
mentioned above. Together with biodiversity,
geodiversity constitutes the natural diversity of
the planet Earth.
Geology of Sri Lanka (in brief)
More than 90% of Sri Lanka’s surface lies
on Precambrian strata. Some of it dating back
2 billion years. The granulite facies rocks of
the Highland Series (gneisses, sillimanite-
graphite gneisses, quartzite, marbles, and some
charnockites) make up most of the island.
The amphibolite facies gneisses, granites, and
granitic gneisses of the Vijayan Series occur in
the eastern and southeastern lowlands. Jurassic
sediments are present in very small areas near
the western coast. Miocene limestone underlie
the northwestern part of the country and
extend south in a relatively narrow belt along
the west coast. The metamorphic rock surface
was created by the transformation of ancient
sediments under intense heat and pressure,
during mountain-building processes.
The theory of plate tectonics suggests that
these rocks and related rocks forming most
of south India were part of a single southern
landmass called Gondwanaland. Beginning
about 200 million years ago, forces within the
Earth’s mantle began to separate the lands of
the Southern Hemisphere, and a crustal plate
supporting both India and Sri Lanka moved
toward the northeast (Katupotha 2019). About
45 million years ago, the Indian plate collided
with the Asian landmass, raising the Himalayas
in northern India and continuing to advance
slowly, up to the present time. Sri Lanka does
not experience earthquakes or major volcanic
events because, it rides on the center of the
plate. Most of those in-situ geologic features
have a close relationship with geologic time
periods, particularly Precambrian age (Highland
Complex, Vijayan and Wanni Complexes,
Kadugannawa Complex; Kataragama, Kuda
      
Miocene to Pleistocene and Recent times
(Cooray 1984, Cooray and Katupotha 1991,
Kehelpannala 2003).
In Sri Lanka, (1). Highland Complex (HC):
an association of interlayered, predominantly
granulite-facies, granitoid (charnockitic to
enderbitic) gneisses and clastic to calcareous
shallow water metasediments with ages, based
on magmatic and detrital zircons, ranging
between, 670 and, 1900 (millions years ago)
and intruded by, 550 (millions years ago) late-
to post-tectonic granitoids. The gneisses were
      
now structurally concordant with their host
rocks. (2). Wanni Complex (WC): an upper
amphibolite- to granulite-facies assemblage of
770–1100 Ma granitic, monzonitic, charnockitic
and enderbitic gneisses, migmatites, minor
clastic metasediments, including garnet–
cordierite gneisses, as well as late to post-
tectonic granites. Most of the sediments in this
unit occur close to the boundary with the HC
(Kehelpannala, 1997). (3). Vijayan Complex
(VC): an upper amphibolite-facies suite of,
1020–1030 Ma granitoid gneisses, including
augen-gneisses, with minor amphibolite layers
     
xenoliths such as metaquartzite and calc-silicate
rock. The Vijayan complex of migmatites,
granitic gneisses and granitoid rocks on the
east and west of the centrally situated Highland
Series belt (Cooray 1984, Kroner et al 2003).
(4). Kadugannawa Complex (KC): an upper
amphibolite to granulite facies calc-alkaline
suite of ,890–1006 Ma hornblende and
biotite–hornblende orthogneisses of gabbroic,
dioritic, and trondhjemitic composition with
interlayered granodioritic to granitic gneisses,
charnockites, enderbites, and minor shallow-

The two small basins of Mesozoic (Jurassic)
deposits are faulted into the Precambrian
basement in the northwestern part of the island.
One is the Tabbowa basin, which is exposed at
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 055
the surface, the other the Andigama-Pallegama
basin to the south of it, covered by later deposits.
        
north and northwest is underlain by sedimentary
Miocene limestone belts of unconsolidated
post-Miocene deposits, mainly sands and clays,
occupy the coastal areas, especially of the
northwest and the east (Cooray 1984, Cooray
and Katupotha 1991).
The island contains relatively limited
strata of sedimentation surrounding its ancient
uplands. Aside from recent deposits along river
valleys, only two small fragments of Jurassic
(140 to 190 million years ago) sediment occur
in Puttalam District, while a more extensive
belt of Miocene (5 to 20 million years ago)
limestone is found along the northwest coast,
overlain in many areas by Pleistocene (2.6 my
to 11,700 years ago) deposits. Island of Sri
Lanka and the Indian sub continents separate
from Mannar Basin. Stratigraphic section of the
Barracuda and Pearl-1 wells show the existence
of around 2,902 m thick Upper Cretaceous to
Recent sediments (Premarathne et al. 2013,
Amila and Sampei 2015)). The top layers of
      
from southeast India, which has been collecting
sediments from the highlands of India and west
and north west Sri Lankan land mass since the
breakup of Gondwanaland.
Mountain and Mountain Ranges
Geographically a mountain has its own peak,
means the highest point and formed naturally
by rocky material manly igneous, metamorphic,
sedimentary or mixed. Usually many peaks
       
name of the mountain and place to place. As
well, a mountain can have many peaks, but a
peak can be a part of one mountain merely. Hill
is a naturally raised area of land, not as high or
as a mountain. The essential framework of the
Central Hill over 1,500m (meters) appears in
   
the Central Ridge forming the shank on which
are some of the highest mountain peaks in Sri

FIGURE 03: (Left): Lithotectonic boundaries of Sri Lanka (Coory 1984; Kroner et al 1991;
Kehelpannala 2003; 2017), and FIGURE 04: (Right): Depicts the Main Geological Zones, includes

WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2056
No Mountain District Province Summit (m) Co-ordinates
     
     
     
     
(Agrabopat Hills)
5 Sri Pada Ratnapura
Sabaragamuwa
  
     
     
     
     
     
     
12 Waterfall Point Nuwara Eliya Central 2,074
     
   
   
     
Source: National Atlas of Sri Lanka, 2007, Survey Department of Sri Lanka.
FIGURE 05: Physiographic regions of the Central Hill Country (E.K Cook 1931).
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 057
The property comprises the Peak Wilderness
Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park
     

in the Central Hill Country (out of 14 Mountains
     

1). To the northwest of the shank is the Matale
hills, with Knuckles range (1,863 meters, in
Table 1) forming the high points, on either side
of this central mountainous anchor-shank is two
plateaus, the Hatton Plateau to the west and the
Uva basin (or Welimada Plateau) to the east
 

mountain wall, because here it presents a sheer
drop of over 1,200 metres to the southern
   
portion from the massif to the southwest lies
the Rakwana hills and the Bulutota massif
averaging 900 metres, the intervening tract
being occupied by the upper tributaries of the
Kalu and Walawe rivers.
Sri Pada Mountain (Samanala) is located in
the southern reaches of the Central Highlands
in the Ratnapura District (Sabaragamuwa
Province) and Nuwara Eliya District of the

mountain peak of Sri Lanka (2,243m), and has
about 40 km northeast of the city of Ratnapura
and 32 km southwest of the city of Hatton.
The surrounding region is largely forested
hills, with no mountain of comparable size
nearby. The region along the mountain is a
wildlife reserve, housing many species varying
from elephants, leopards, and including many
endemic species. At higher elevations there is
a series of isolated cloud forests, harbouring
         
Although the range constitutes approximately
0.03% of the island’s total area, it is home to a
  
biodiversity. Sri Pada Peak is important as a
watershed. The districts to the southern and
      
precious gemstone such as emeralds, rubies
FIGURE 06: Nanuoya Mountain area from close to the Nanuoya Railway Station. Image
©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015
FIGURE 07 (Left) : Kirigalpotta Mountain, dead end. Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2013.
FIGURE 08 (Right) : Kunudiya Rock from Geththampana - Erathna trail to Sri Pada Peak. Image
©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2014.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2058
and sapphires, for which the island has been
famous, and which earned for its ancient name
of Ratnadvipa.
The Knuckles Mountain Range lies in
central Sri Lanka, in the Districts of Matale
and Kandy and the isolated Knuckles range

 
More than 34 percent of Sri Lanka’s endemic
trees, shrubs, and herbs are only found in these
forests. The range takes its name from a series
of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the
massif which resemble the knuckles of clenched
    
Kandy District. The Sinhalese residents have
traditionally referred to the area as Dumbara
Kanduvetiya meaning Mist-laden Mountain
Range.
The higher mountain area is often robed in
thick layers of cloud and the range is of great

the rest of Sri Lanka as the conditions of all the
climatic zones in the country are exhibited in
the massif. At higher elevations there is a series
of isolated cloud forests, harbouring a variety
        
percent of Sri Lanka’s endemic trees, shrubs,
and herbs are only found in these forests.
 
UNESCO natural world heritage list in 2010 as
  
12 and 14).
FIGURE 09: Morning view of the Sri Pada Mountain from Colombo (Ragama). Image ©Aravinda
Ravibhanu 2018
FIGURE 10: View of the Sri Pada Mountain from Maussawa. Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2018
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 059
FIGURE 11: Cloud forest morphology in Sri Pada Mountains. Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2014.
FIGURE 12: Seven Sisters Mountain Range in Knuckles area (view of the western side of Sri
Pada) Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015
FIGURE 13 (Left) : Knuckles Mountain Range from Pitawalapathna. Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu
2015. FIGURE 14 (Right) :
© Aravinda Ravibhanu 2014
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2060
FIGURE 15: (Left) Highly weathered rocky face of the Bambaragala water fall. FIGURE 16:

FIGURE 17 (LEFT) : Part of a Norton Bridge Mountain Range close to upper Laxapana. Image
©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015. FIGURE 18 (RIGHT) : A South East Mountain range from Horton
plains at world’s end trail. Images ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015
      
Tower at Yatiyantota is very fantastic calm
  
      
the 14th highest mountain in Sri Lanka situated
at 2,034 m above MSL. The mountain got its
name from the native language of Sri Lanka,
Sinhala as the peak of the mountain has a shape
of hump of a bull. Another popular mountain
peak named Balathoduwa is also situated close
to Gommolli Kanda.
Gommplli Kanda and Balathoduwa peaks
are visible from World’s End of Horton Plains
National Park on a clear day without heavy mist.
Sri Lanka’s highest waterfall - Bambarakanda
      

ranges in Central Highland in Sri Lanka is
important as geotourism heritage sites, e.g.
Norton Bridge Mountain Range, South East
Mountain range from Horton plains, world’s
end trail at Horton plains national park etc.

     
the rivers, tanks, bunds and elephant infested
jungles Govinda hela was once the unreachable
fortress of King Buwanakabahu of 6 century
AC, the rulers of Eastern Digamadulla when
the tyrant Invading King Kalinga Maga was
ruling the ancient Rajarata, the kingdom of
Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. The mountain
re-discovered by Colonial British was named
    
Hela, a protected forest reserve, has probably
the largest number of ebony trees in a single
location. At every nook, corner and turn amidst
hundreds of rocks stand sentinel, both aging
and young ebony trees, with mature specimens
dark black in colour. Rocks of all sizes – small,
large and giant, some forming deep caverns –
dominate the forest. Trees with vines snaking
around their trunks and thick scrub complete the
image of the wilderness.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 061
The forest reserve is the home to numerous
species of birds as well as large families of
wild boars, who tend to surprise the unwary
travelers. The two km trek upwards is not for
the weary and faint-hearted and the likelihood
of getting lost without a proper guide is high in

19). After crossing two bridges and traveling
nearly half km the trek tends to become perilous
with many steep rocks and high slopes. The
  
back when the climbers had to negotiate uneven
rocks and a rope ladder to reach to the top.
Gladly the conditions have changed for better
with newly constructed cemented steps at some
parts and aluminum ladders installed over the
rock faces. After the daredevil climb, the view
from the top and cool breeze compensate the
attempts, the weariness, and the aching limbs.
The ruins scattered on the top are the remains of
a palace and a monastery but the main attraction
is the ‘Hulan Kapolla’, a space between two
rocks through which a gushing wind blows,

of a strong blast.
Inselburgs
Inselbergs are isolated rocky outcrops
consisting generally of Precambrian granite
     
      
domical hills standing in isolation as inselbergs
or forming components of massifs. The
geomorphology and the geology of inselbergs
     
Inselbergs of Sri Lanka have stood out against
the levelling process of nature largely because
they are made of resistant granitic rocks
containing large proportions of quartz, one
of the most indestructible of rock-forming
minerals (Cooray, 1984). In Sri Lanka, bare
rock mounds or turtle back shaped inselburges
are scattered in the II - Second Planated Surface
(Katupotha 2013). The relief of this Planated

terrain, Rolling and Hilly Terrains. Sigiriya,
Yapahuwa, Etugala, Pidurangala and Lakegala
(near Meemure) in Sri Lanka are spectacular
and typical examples of inselbergs.
The geographical setting of the area around
the Dambulla Archaeological Site comprises of
a part of the ll - Planated Surface (Katupotha,
        
article the mid-portions of the drainage basins
of the Dambulu-Oya and the Mirisgoni-Oya are
considered here as the environs of Dambulla. The
area comprises an undulating nature extending at
an elevation of about 150m above the MSL. The
land has been moderately dissected by a number
of non-perenial streams draining the ridges and
valleys lying northwards from Matale Hills of
the Central Massif and covered with numerous
cap-rocks indicating the long period of sub-
areal denudation (Chandrasena, 1983). They
have withstood sub-areal erosions over a long
period of time and have helped the ancients in
carving out rock cisterns, ponds and lakes. The
availability of Crystalline Limestones in nearby
ridges extending from Naula through Sigiriya
to Habarana, has helped the early monasteries
FIGURE 19: (Left) Govinda hela was once the unreachable fortress of King Buwanakabahu of six
century AD. Image © Jinadasa Katupotha. FIGURE 20: (Right): Samanala Wewa Reservoir view
form world’s end trail at Horton plains national park. Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2014
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2062
in procuring suitable rock types for fashioning
images and moonstones etc. Quartzite veins
have in many cases provided favorable sites for
the location of dams of numerous reservoirs.
The geographical features of the area
have helped the ancient settlers to develop
an extensive agricultural land-scape and to
support a large number of population, in the
area in and around the Archaeological Site
      
Dambulla descend abruptly to the valleys of
    
the narrow pediments of rock-wastes located
      
small tank irrigation system, most of the human
settlements would have been scattered as
hamlets throughout the area while Dambulla
as the center of religious activities and other
central functions would have had a relatively
larger concentration of population.
Sigiriya or Sinha giri is an ancient rock
fortress located in Inamalu Korale in the northern
Matale District in the Central Province. Sigiriya
rock outcrop site was declared a UNESCO World

BCE, Buddhist monks occupied Sigiriya, but
it is said that it was only after King Kasyapa
seizing the throne in 1527 yr. BP, the palace
       
Although, the Sigiriya rocky mass is situated
rising about 364m above MSL, on the Second
Planated Surface, the surrounding area stretches
in an undulating terrain with heights between
100m and 150m (Katupotha and Kodituwakku
2015). Rock-shelters created by erratic boulders,
granite tors and corestones are also located in
the same Planated Surface. Sigiriya Rock is the
number one tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and
the main reason most tourists travel to Sigiriya.
But it was another adventure that captivated me

While Sigiriya Rock is rich in history and
has some pretty dramatic features such as the
lion’s paw and the mirror wall, Pidurangala Rock
has a much more natural feel, despite also boat
rock shelter type temple, and is the best viewing
spot of Sigiriya Rock as it is only slightly lower.
Pidurangala is a popular spot for sunrise and
FIGURE 21: The largest and best preserved cave temple complex in the country, the Golden
Temple of Dambulla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
FIGURE 22: Top of the Sigiriya rock shows the
present situation. Image ©Tharinda Elvitigala
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 063
you can enjoy 360-degree views of not only the
valleys but also Sigiriya Rock. Many travelers
wake up for the sunrise at Pidurangala and then
head to sunset on top of Sigiriya Rock.
Pidurangala is a massive inselburg formation
located a few kilometers north of Sigiriya. It has
an interesting history closely related to that of


by tourists. Whilst Pidurangala appears larger
than Sigiriya; its upper surface is steeply sloped
and was not suitable for large-scale building
activity. The rocky outcrops that surround the
central rock gives one indication of what the
FIGURE 23: Top of the Sigiriya rock shows the
present situation. Image ©Tharinda Elvitigala
FIGURE 24: (Left) and 25 (Right) : Jungle swathes the eastern face of the Sigiriya rock, topped

© Jinadasa Katupotha 2014.
FIGURE 26: Way to Sigiriya rock. Image © Tharinda Elvitigala.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2064
area around Sigiriya may have looked like prior
to its clearing and preparation as a royal citadel.
The Pidurangala area has been occupied on and

monks who lived in the caves around the site
      
when King Kasyapa (477- 495 AD), who built
Sigiriya, moved monks living around Sigiriya
Rock to a newly refurbished and enlarged temple


(Katupotha 2014).
Yapahuwa was one of the ephemeral
capitals of medieval Sri Lanka. The citadel of
Yapahuwa lying midway between Kurunagala
and Anuradhapura was built around a huge
granite rock rising abruptly, almost a hundred
meters above the surrounding lowlands. The
rock fortress complex of Yapahuwa is situated
in the North Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is
approximately between southeast of Mahawa,
midway Kurunegala and Anuradhapura, which
      
FIGURE 27: Load Budda’s repose statue at Pindurangala cave. Image © Tharinda Elvigala.
FIGURE 28 FIGURE 29
(Right): Very tight folding pattern can be seen on huge rock Yapahuwa. Images © Tarinda Elvitigala.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 065
28 – 32). The original name of this Buddhist
Heritage is Yapahuwa, but now this is called as
Yapahuwa which is a kind of distortion of its
genuine etymological sense.
Lakegala is situated near the Border
between Kandy and Matale Districts. There
are several access points to Lakegala rock, but
the safest access road is from Meemure Village

       
1218m high, and it is in the Knuckles mountain

Ritigala Mountain:
The ruins of Ritigala monastery are located
on the eastern side of the mountain at the foot of
the gorge which separates the main peak from
the northern ridge. The ruins cover an area of 24

reservoir is a feat of engineering with a bund of
polygonal plan completing a circumference of
366 meters. The construction of the reservoir is
credited to King Pandukabhaya (437 -367 BC).
The reservoir, possibly served a ritual bathing
purpose.
FIGURE 30 (LEFT) : A Trail Journey to Yapahuwa Kingdom. FIGURE 31: (Right): Highly
metamorphosed (fold) rocky patches can be seen in the main rock. Images ©Lasath Poldoowa and
Tarinda Elvitigala.
FIGURE 32 (Left) and FIGURE 33 (Right) : Lakegala, view from Meemuree village. Images ©
Jinadasa Katupotha 2017
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2066
The edge of the reservoir is followed in a
clockwise direction to arrive at the other bank,
and cross the bed of the stream feeding the
reservoir. The steep steps here onwards lead up
to a beautifully constructed pavement, a stone
path 1.5 meters wide that meander upwards
through the forest, linking the major buildings
of the monastery. The stone cut path is laid with
interlocking four-sided slabs of hewn stone
      
intervals along the pavement allow for rest.
Raised platforms formed by retaining walls
of massive stones are found in pairs, linked
together by a stone bridge. The main axis of the
combined platforms is set exactly east west. The
structures were then most possibly roofed and
divided into rooms. These are believed to be
used for solitary practices such as meditation,
as well as congregational functions such as
teaching and ceremony. Over a stone bridge
lie interlocking ashlars and the ruins of a
monastery hospital, where the medicinal herbs-
leaves and roots-grinding stones and huge stone
cut Ayurvedic oil baths can still be seen. The
pavement continues straight ahead to reach one
of the round-abouts. About 20 metres before
       
the right, leading through enormous tree roots
to a lookout, reached by a stone high above a


placing a stone slab between two rocks.
With the exception of a few broken granite
Buddha statues in a number of caves, Ritigala
has none of the traditional icons of Buddhist
 
Vihare (temple) was founded near Ritigala at
the foot of the mountain in the second century
BC. The Aritta Vihare was founded a century
afterwards. Royals proved generous patrons.
In the ninth century AD, King Sena made
endowment of the monastery, a larger complex
higher up the slope for a group of Buddhist
ascetics called the Pansukulikas (rag robes)
monks who devoted themselves to extreme
austerity in search of supreme enlightenment.
Carving (rock pieces) to be found at Ritigala
is in the form of decorated urinals that consist
of urine cup, drain hole and foot supports. It
is believed that these decorated stones were
meant to depict the architectural and ritualistic
excesses of the traditional monastic chapters
to which the Pamsukuilikaa (monks devoted
to extreme austerity) were opposed. It is also
argued that the act of urination on decorated
urinal stones was for them a symbolic act of
dissociation. However, Ritigala complex is
available as geotourism and geoarchaeological
site mainly used by granitic gneissic rocks
of Wanni complex and easily be promote as
tourism destination site.
FIGURES 34 : Ancient library building, and (Left) FIGURE 35 (Right) : The ascending footpaths,
however, through rugged terrain clear into glades of sacred spaces for those souls in search of
enlightenment. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha 2017.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 067
FIGURES 36A (Left) : Aerial view of Danigala
Circular Rock. FIGURES 36B (Right) :
Danigala Chithra Lena - Linear chamber
entrance and left wall representing sections
of the Petroglyphs includes anthropomorphic
    
Sumanarathna and Aruna Bandara.
Danigala Inselberg complex

       
rock situated in near Kandegama in the
Polonnaruwa district. The sky view of the rock
      
     
weathering conditions since past million years
period. A part of the northwest slop direction of
Danigala inselberg is known to have interesting
petroglyphs found in Chithra Lena. The type
of symbols (bind rune coding) and petroglyphs

Sri Lanka during an archaeoastronomical and
geological preliminary survey by South Asian
Astrobiology and Earth Sciences Research
unit of Eco Astronomy Sri Lanka with the
     
Polonnaruwa-Alahana Parivena Project). These
petroglyphs are mute science prints of an
ancient cultural vestiges of a by-gone society,
now perceived and assessed as art (Blum 2002;
Kumara 2013). The predominant forms found
are likely compared with other sites in Sri Lanka,
but still quite not similar due to the process of
the engraved recorded. However, few of bind
ruins coding in Danigala petroglyphs are quite
similar to archaeoastronomical ruins symbols
of Shamans as well the engraving technique
dominantly found to be close to the petroglyphs
of Edakkal Caves, Wayanad, Karnataka in
India. archaeoastronomical beliefs associated
with the petroglyphs discovered in the Danigala
Chiththra lena rock-shelter (Sumanaranthna
A.R.,2020)
Waterfalls
Morphologically, a cascade of water
falling from a height, formed when a river or
   
Likewise, a waterfall is a place where water
         
drops in the course of a stream or river in
tropical areas. On the other hand, waterfalls also
occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a
tabular iceberg or ice shelf. There are over 100
of waterfalls in Central Mountainous area and
  
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2068
in Sri Lanka, e.g. Most Beautiful Waterfalls
in Sri Lanka are Bambarakanda, Diyaluma,
Bopath Ella, Devon, Ravana, Bakers, Hunnas
Luxapana, Aberdeen, Dunhinda (Badulla),
Diyaluma (Koslanda), Elgin (Hatton Plateau)
and Perawella or Bomburuella, Mohini Ella-
Behind the scenes of Sama viharaya (see some

medium and small-scale waterfalls advantage to
say the proud of the country. These are found
to occur, especially to the west, south and east
and are perennial owing to the heavy rainfall on
 
in their falling volume occur as a result of
variation in the seasonal rainfall. Similarly,
seasonal waterfalls occur in the Dry Zone and
Intermediate of Hilly lands of Sri Lanka. Thus,
the waterfalls are found in areas with bands of
hard and soft rock (otherwise known as resistant
and less resistant rocks). The hard rock takes
       

rates.
FIGURE 37 (Left): Long range view of Luxapana water fall at Kiriwandenita Image ©Jinadasa
Katupotha.. FIGURE 38 (Right): Luxapana water fall view from middle of the Lakshapana waterfall
trekking. Image © Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015. FIGURE 39: (Left, down) Devon Waterfall Devon

Talawakele, Image © Jinadasa Katupotha.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 069
FIGURE 40 (LEFT) : Diyaluma fall. It is situated 6km away from Koslanda on Colombo-Badulla
highway. Image ©Jinadasa Katupotha. FIGURE 41 (RIGHT) : Dry session, close to Warnagala
dam. Warnagala Waterfall is situated in the Kuruwita – Erathna track which leads to the Sri Pada.
Image © Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015.
FIGURE 42 (Left) : Seetha Gangula via Erathna Trail: FIGURE 43 (Right): Warnagala waterfall
is situated in the Kuruwita – Erathna track which leads to the Sri Pada Mountain Range. It is 40
meters in height and has got its name with the colour. Images ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015.
FIGURE 44: Maapalana Ella, near Palabaddalala, Rathnapura. According to legends, the fall
gets its name from a local nobelsman (maapaa) who used to bath at this fall. Image ©Aravinda
Ravibhanu 2014.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2070
FIGURE 45 and 46: Olu Ella. Image © Jinadasa Katupotha 2017 Olu Ella is the 6th tallest waterfall
in the country and the tallest in the Kegalle District. This is also the highest waterfall in connected
to the Kelani River. Image ©Arvinda Ravibhanu 2016
FIGURE 47: Bopath Ella is the most visited waterfall in Ratnapura District. But not many foreign
tourists. Images © Arvinda Ravibhanu 2014.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 071
Pihimbi Ela fall is a seasonal tributary of the
Kiri Oya, which is connected to the Minneriya
Tank and located on the Second Planated

mean annual rainfall of the area varies between
1,250 and 1,500 mm and monthly rainfall from
October to December varies 300 - 600 mm
and other months are evidently dry. Likewise,
monthly temperature of November to January
shows the 25o C – 27.5o C and other months
are > 27.5o C. Tropical Dry Mixed Evergreen
forest is the foremost type and forms climate,
topography as well as the regional geology and
soil.
There are two main rock veins occur over the
study (a) Dolomitic marble and calc-granulite
or gneiss in the Highland Complex, and (b)
Garnet sillimanite biotite gneiss ± graphite
pelitic schist or gneiss. Morphologically, top
of the waterfall is at 167m and lower part is
163m above from MSL, and is located over the
dolomitic marble limestone formation, which is
being eroded. When a river crosses a band of
 
rocks erode less than the softer rocks. Due to
this reason, the waterfall is formed at the site of a
Knick point. Water and its load gain velocity by
falling at a waterfall thus increasing erosion at
the bottom of the fall. Once a depression forms,
currents cause pebbles to swirl around within it,
increasing the erosion forming a plunge pool.
FIGURE 48 (Left): The Kota Ganga Ella is a cluster of cascading waterfalls on Knuckles Mountain
Range. Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2018, FIGURE 49 (Right): Gomalu Oya is a Branch of
Seethawaka River, and mini fall is located at Ambalampitaya. Image ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2015.
FIGURE 50 & 51: Pihimbi Ela, after the
heavy rain. Images ©Jinasada Katupotha 2014.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2072
This fascinating waterfall of the Pihimbi Ela
occurs only during the northeast monsoon season
from November to January. When light rains
occur during May and June the resultant stream
 
form a waterfall. During other months, the study
area is completely dried out. This nature has
geologic and, geomorphic and environmental
      
Geoarchaological and Geotourism values, by
virtue of its location within the Sigiriya and
Minneriya Protected Areas of the Highland
Complex of Sri Lanka.
Geocavings (Speleology)
There are several ways of classifying caves
due to formation and evolution. Accordingly,
solutional caves are generally formed in
limestone or other similar rock such as gypsum
or dolomite. They form when acidic water
dissolves the rock, seeping through the bedding
planes. Lava caves are also called primary
caves because they form at the same time as the
 
a hollow tube, which results in the cave, but not
in Sri Lanka. Sea caves are formed by the sea,
due to the constant activity of waves. They can
be both over and under water.
Geocavings are very fascinating features
in rocky caves especially in limestone caves.
The study of caves is called speleology, and
the exploration of caves is called spelunking.
Caves are famous of their dripstone features
called speleothems, the most well-known of
which are stalactites and stalagmites. Scientists
and cavers who explore with serious purpose
continue to call themselves speleologists. Caves
are formed by the dissolution of limestone.
Rainwater picks up carbon dioxide from the
air and as it percolates through the soil, which
turns into a weak acid. This slowly dissolves out
the limestone along the joints, bedding planes
and fractures, some of which become enlarged
enough to form caves. Caves can be dangerous
    
rocks and physical exhaustion are the main risks.
     
and time-consuming, and requires special skills,
training, and equipment.
     
value due to the fact that they represent one of
the best archives for all the Quaternary and allow
for extremely accurate paleo environmental and
paleo climatic reconstructions. It is possible to

cave when transforming it into a show cave; but
to reach this goal it is important to follow strict
rules before and during for the geotourism. Cave
tourism is becoming increasingly important to
tourism development and as such tourists are
motivated to visit cave for its inherent natural
landscape features. This captivating activity
is relatively new to Sri Lanka and is rather an
unusual experienced not to be missed. Sri Lanka
FIGURE 52 (Left): Batadombalena pre historic cave, view from outside. FIGURE 53 (Right):
Batadombalena pre historic cave, view from inside. Images ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2013.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 073
is dotted with many caves from the Ritigala
Mountains in the north to the central hills and
the southern hillocks of the South. The most

at Kuruvita (Sumanarathna 2016, Sumanarathna
et al     
     
uncovered inside this cave at Belilena and
Pahiyanlena.
The Rakwana mountain range, which is
located in the margins of the northern side of
Sinharaja, a UNESCO world heritage site,
is an area having rich bio–diversity. The
recent excavations of the alluvial deposits in
Sabaragamuwa geological basin associated with
northern side of Sinharaja area revealed that the
existence of caves in the vicinity of Pannila
mountain. The cave formation is seen within the
rocks of crystalline limestons (marble), which
is popularly known as ‘Pannila Hunugala’ is of
550m in length and 350 cm height at its entrance

      
57). Stalagmite and stalactites of 2.5 m height
at the core of the cave was believed to be
formed after re-crystallization of pre-existing
crystalline limestones the basement rock-in the
Highland Complex of Sri Lanka belongs to the
Precambrian age (Sumanarathna et al 2016).
FIGURE 54: Wavulpane cave located in Bulutota Rakwana range is one of the archeological site
located in Sri Lanka. The cave is about 278 metres above MSL.
FIGURE 55: Coolant conditions makes magical light in side of Rakwana pannila marble cave.
Images ©Aravinda Ravibhanu 2016.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2074
Pahiyangala caves lies in Yatagampitiya,
which is a remote village about 5 km away from
Bulathsinhala (40Km along Piliyandala-Horana
road), in the Kalutara District. Excavation
has proved that these caves were inhabited
by prehistoric cave men some 40,000 years
ago (Osahn et al 2019 & 2020). This cave
is known to be the most ancient pre-historic
human settlement in Asia. Pahiyangala caves
lies in Yatagampitiya, which is a remote village
about 5 km away from Bulathsinhala (40Km
along Piliyandala-Horana road), in the Kalutara
District. Excavation has proved that these caves
were inhabited by prehistoric cave men some
40,000 years ago (Osahn et al 2019 & 2020).
This cave is known to be the most ancient pre-

Belilena is a one of famous and hugh caves
   
from the Kitulgala town. It holds evidence of a
lost generation of Sri Lanka 12,000 years old;
this cave is belonged to the Balangoda Man,
described as Homo sapiens balangodensis by
Paul E. P. Deraniyagala who found here ten
skeletons of these people, who lived 2000 feet
above the sea level. The fossils are believed to
be more than 32,000 years old. Archaeological
excavations are done here by Deraniyagala
 
back to a very early period, as shown by recent
cave excavations as well as those carried out at
other sites. The earliest settlement dates back
to around 32,000 years ago. Skeletal remains,
microsites, bone implements, charts and food
remnants have been found in local caves.
Evidence of prehistoric animals has established
that hippopotamus, rhinoceros, lion and three
species of elephant lived in the area.
Ma-Lena a marble cave, which is located at
western foothill of the peak wilderness mountain
range is an underground cave complex. The
cave is situated in Guruluwana, Siripagama of
Rathnapura District and close proximity to Kalu
   
the cave belongs to wet zone of the country.
Though it has several entrances to the cave,

as the main and largest. North entrance opens
to a higher elevated chamber complex while the
other opens to a complex of chamber situated
at lower elevation. Both chamber complexes
are connected by vertical tunnels and small
chambers at various places. The cave complex
was hydrologically active. Geologically, the
cave is made up of impure marble of Highland
Complex. The grain size of the marble varied
FIGURE 56 (Left): Real Speleothems. Stalactites & Stalagmites of Rakwana Pannila Marble Cave.
FIGURE 57 (Right):
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 075
from place to place. The formation of cave
      
weathering process. The chamber walls and
ceilings were seen nicely polished by the

brimpools, cave curtains, stalagmites,
stalactites, cave pearls, siliceous deposits, cave


in thousands of numbers.
FIGURE 58: 
Bulathsinhala, in the Kalutara District. Excavation has proved that these caves were inhabited by
prehistoric cave men some 37,000 years ago. This cave is known to be the most ancient pre-historic
human settlement in Asia. Image © Pathmakumara Jayasingha
FIGURE 59: Kitulgala Belilena holds evidence
of a lost generation of Sri Lanka 12,000 years
old; this cave is belonged to the Balangoda
Man. Image © Padmakumara Jayasinghe
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2076
Alawala Pothgul Viharaya is an important
archaeological cave site which is situated in
Attanagalla DS division of Gampaha district
       
Alawala is a pre historic cave considering the
facts which was found by the excavations.
       
temple premises. Most important excavated pre
historic cave is located middle of the mountain.
Pothgulkanda is a matching site for the cultural
tourism and archaeological tourism. Temple
needs a proper plan for developing cave tourism
here.
Mineral Resource as Geoheritage
Rock is a solid mass consisting of one or
more minerals and mineral is a solid substance
      
crystal structure and chemical composition.
Locations of enormous number of mineral
deposits of Sri Lanka presently being exploited
and mining as basic industries. Despite their
high environmental and landscape impact,
abandoned mining sites may represent a
potential source of income considering their
possibility of being re-used as geoheritage and
geotouristic resources after rehabilitation.
FIGURE 60 (Left) and 61 (Right) : Ma-Lena which is located at western foothill of the peak
wilderness mountain range is an underground cave complex. Images © Pathmakumara Jayasinghe.
FIGURE 62 (Left): Alawala rock shelter. FIGURE 63 (Right): Excavations trench at Alawala pre
historic site. Images ©Pathmakumara Jayasingha.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 077
Mining tourism is one of the niche forms
of tourism, in recent years has become an
opportunity for the regional development. In the
article, it has been presented comparatively other
forms of tourism, and in particular attention
on mineral was drawn to the various aspects
      
areas in the country, for e.g. graphite mining
    
Hambantota, Elephant pass and Rigam; gem
mining and lapidary at Ratnapura and other
sites; Phosphate at Eppawala; Collection of
ilmenite at (Pulmudai – East coast). The present
study examines the way tourists perceive
visiting mines and other geological object.
In fact, mining sites can rightfully be
     
cultural monuments of mining heritage, they
(i) can provide access to geological rarities
and spectacular scenery; (ii) allow a more
comprehensive vision of geological features
by unveiling the exposition of rocks, minerals,
geological structures, and stratigraphic units;
and (iii) have several natural, ecological, and
landscape potentials (Marescotti et al 2018).
Mineral resources and their economic values
      
these mineral mining sites have geotourism
value.
Gemstones: Gems are valuable because of
scarcity, high hardness, chemical resistance and
its beauty. Sri Lanka is famous for high quality
blue sapphires and star sapphires. Various
varieties of gemstones such as corundum
(blue sapphire, ruby, yellow sapphire, pink
sapphire, white sapphire, star sapphire,
etc.,), spinel, garnet, grossularite, tourmaline
(complex boro – silicate), zircon, chrysoberyl
(cat’s eye), beryl (aquamarine) and quartz are
available in Sri Lankan gem beds. Other than
the above-mentioned gem varieties, rare gem
varieties like cordierite, andalusite, apatite,
    
are also occasionally found in Sri Lankan gem
beds. The extensive mining locations are found
      
Monaragala, Matale, Matara and Hambantota
Districts.
Graphite: Sri Lankan graphite is very
famous in the world for its purity (97 – 99 %)
and found in Highland, Kadugannawa, Vijayan
and Wanni Complexes. Chemically graphite is
Carbon (C), and it is very soft. Graphite is a good
electricity conducting material, and is used in
electrical industry as carbon brushes in motors,
electrodes, high temperature electrical elements
under reduction condition, etc. It should be
noted that the hardest material in the world is
diamond and its chemical composition is also
FIGURE 64 (Left) & 65 (Right): A deep gem pit and operation system by local people at
Bubuladeniya village. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2078
Carbon (C), but its crystal structure is cubic
system. Diamond has not been reported from

mined at Bogala, Rangala (both in Kegalle
District) and Kahatagaha (Dodangaslanda in
 
& 67) is over 400 meters deep and Kahatagaha
mine is about 650 meters deep.
The processed graphite products including
graphite nano particles and nano tubes, are
very expensive. The latest product developed
using graphite is graphene, which has a wide
application in electronic industry. Presently,
raw graphite is exported at around US $ 1 per
kg where as the price of graphene is over US
$ 6,000 per kg. If it is possible to improve
such industry that is very useful for mining
geotourism.
Ilmenite Mineral Sand Deposits: The major
minerals in this deposit are ilmenite and rutile.
Other associated minerals are zircon, monazite,
garnet, sillimanite and few other heavy minerals.
This is the only commercially exploited mineral
sands deposit in Sri Lanka, although several
other mineral sand deposits are available as
beach mineral sand deposits. Some of them are
along the beach north of Mullativu, Trincomalee
(Nayaru & Nilaveli), Induruwa (Galle district)
   
& 69). A well-known mineral sand deposit in
Sri Lanka is at Pulmoddai, north of Trincomalee
and Mannar Island.
The important chemical element in ilmenite
and rutile is Titanium. Titanium minerals are
used to extract the Titanium metal and also
to produce the titanium pigment. Titanium
FIGURE 66 (Left) & 67 (Right): Graphite mines at Bogala. Photos: Copyright. © GSMB)
FIGURE 68 & 69: Well-developed ilmenite mineral sand deposit at most point of Talai-Mannar,
Palk Bay side. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 079
metal is strong, light weight, and can stand
high temperatures. Therefore, it is used in
the air craft industry and also in space travel.
Titanium pigment, rutile, is extensively used in
the paint industry to impart whiteness, opacity
and brightness. It is also used in paper, rubber,
plastic and other industries. In addition to the
above-mentioned garnet sand’ rich beach sand
deposits are available in the Southern coastal
area (Dondara and Hambantota). All these

Apatite deposit: Chemical composition
of apatite Ca(PO)    
    
hydroxide. Apatite is also called as rock
phosphate. Rock phosphate is commercially
used as a fertilizer to provide Phosphorous (P)
to plants, and P is needed for the physiological
processes of plants. The rock phosphate deposit
in Sri Lanka is at Eppawala in the Anuradhapura

on area over 7.5 km and the estimated quantity
is over 50 million tons. The PO content of this
apatite deposit is around 35%, but its solubility
is low to use as a phosphate supplement for
short term crops like paddy. Powdered rock
phosphate is used as a fertilizer for long term
crops like Tea, Coconut, and Rubber etc. The
solubility could be improved by mixing with
sulfuric acid to convert phosphate in to supper
phosphate. This reaction improves the solubility
by about 20%. The solubility could be further
improved by the action of phosphoric acid, and
converting it to triple supper phosphate. The
treatment of rock phosphate with these acids is
not an environmentally friendly process. The
Eppawala apatite deposit is presently being
mined and ground to powders by Government
owned Lanka Phosphate Ltd.
Dolomite, Calcite and Magnesite deposits:
These are known as crystalline limestone and
also as marble. Dolomite is a combination of
calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate
and its magnesium content may go up to 22
percent. Calcite and magnesite are nearly pure
calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate
respectively. The term dolomitic limestone is
also used when MgO content is 10 to 18 percent.
Generally, crystalline limestone is white in
colour, but other colors like ash, green, yellow
etc., are also found as small pockets.
Crystalline limestone deposits are scattered
throughout the Highland – South Western,
Vijayan and Wanni complexes. Some of the
well-known localities for limestone deposits

72 & 73), Ratnapura, Balangoda, Badulla,
Bibile, Welimada, Ambilipitiya, Hambantota,
Kataragama, etc. The dolomitic limestone
is the most abundant type of material, while
calcite is occasionally found as pockets within
dolomite and dolomitic limestone. Well known
FIGURE 70 & 71: Rock phosphate deposit and phosphate manure production at Eppawala.
Images © Jinadasa Katupotha.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2080
occurrence of calcite deposits are in Balangoda
and these are mined for calcite other calcite
pockets found in other areas are too small.
Dolomite is presently being mined and
powdered for use as a fertilizer to provide
  
content should be higher than 18%. This
powdered material is also used to stabilize the
soil and to adjust the pH value of soil. Dolomitic
limestone is mined to produce quick lime and
slaked lime for the building industry.
This burnt lime is marketed as quick lime
or as hydrated lime powder after adding water
or as slaked lime, as a paste. This dolomite
lime became important as a substitute for coral
lime, since coral mining has been banned to
protect coastal erosion. Other than the above-
mentioned major uses, dolomitic limestone is
also used as a minor raw material in ceramic
and glass industry. Powders are also used in the
   
      
Sri Lankan crystalline limestone cannot be cut
into marble slabs due to its coarse crystallinity
nature. Calcite is softer than the other two
varieties (calcite is 3 and other two are around
4 in the Moh’s scale), and hence it could be
ground easily. Therefore, calcite powder is used
     
  
soft abrasive materials, etc.
Limestone Deposits:
     
coastal area from Puttalam (several kilometers
into the country) is covered with Miocene
age hard compacted sedimentary limestone.
Calcium carbonate content varies widely from
low values to over 95 percent. Sand is present
as large particles of impurities. Most of the
area of the deposit is covered with a thick over
burden. The only limestone quarry in operation
        
km away from Puttalam. It is an open cast mine
for the cement factory at Puttalam. The CaCO3
content of the limestone should be more than
75% for use in cement manufacturing.
Vein Quartz Deposits:
Chemical composition of quartz is SiO
and the name vein quartz is used for the quartz
deposits in the form of a vein, which had
originated due to igneous activities. Vein quartz
deposits of high purity (over 98 percent Silica)
are found in many parts of the country; mainly

Pelmadulla, Embilipitiya, Ratnapura, etc. High
purity quartz are important to produce fused
quartz and Silicon, which are used in computer
chips and other electronic devices.
Feldspar Deposits:

sodium and calcium, and occurs due to igneous
activities as veins or dykes (as pegmatites).
       

79 & 80), Namaloya, Koslanda, Balangoda etc.
FIGURE 72 & 73: A patch of limestone (Dolomite) deposit (quarry) and a limekiln at Digana
(Kandy) area. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 081
In Owella (Rattota) deposit feldspar occurs

      
      
boundaries. This deposit occurs up to more than
   
of the major raw material in ceramic and glass
industries.
FIGURE 74 (Left) : A Miocene limestone bed at Aruwakkaru. Overburden soils are designated as
Red Beds in eonian origin. FIGURE 75 (Right) :
Jinadasa Katupotha
FIGURE 76 (Left) 77 (Right) : Damshila Quartz mining site and at Galaha (Kandy District).
Images © Sandun Dalpatadu.
FIGURE 78 (Left) 79 (Right) : Damshila Quartz mining site and at Galaha (Kandy District).
Images © Sandun Dalpatadu.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2082
Mica: Mica is a group of minerals of
      
magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), sodium (Na)


in Sri Lanka are phlogopite (Mg rich mica) and

also occur in certain areas (Kabitigollawa).
Some of the mica deposits are found in
  
Maskeliya, Haldumulla, Kabitigollawa,
Balangoda etc. One of the underground mines
is at Wariyapola, Matale for Phlogopite and
muscovite was mined in Kabitigollawa.
Mica mining in Sri Lanka has been reported
even prior to 1900. During the Second World
War period the demand for mica increased.
Presently the important commercial variety
is muscovite, which is white or colorless.
Phlogopite is also in demand if it is in large
   
and powders. Mixing and processing of mica has
to be done with extra care, to avoid contact with
  
of mica tends to adhere to eyes, lungs, etc, and
  
high temperatures, high di–electric strength,
and is an electrical insulator. Because of these
properties sheet mica is used in electrical and
electronic industries.
FIGURE 80 (Left) :          
FIGURES 81 
FIGURE 82 :
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 083
Silica Sand: Silica sand can be grouped in to
three types, river sand, sea sand and industrial
sand. River sand is a material derived from
weathered rock and transported by running
water. River sand, if not excavated, will be
carried to sea and accumulated in shallow
sea and beach. River sand is mainly used in
building construction, especially for concrete,
since it does not contain chloride and sulphate,
    
steel in concrete. Due to the rapid growth of the
construction industry, river sand was extracted
extensively creating a shortage of river sand.
Because of this reason it has become a necessity
to use sea sand for construction. Now sea sand
is pumped to form domes and allowed to wash
away chloride and sulphate by rain water, till
sand become good enough to use in building
construction. Washed sea sand is characterized
by the presence of high shell content.
White colour high purity (over 98 % SiO)
Silica sand deposits are found in Marawila,
Nattandiya and Madampe (in Chilaw District)

sand is extracted from Nattandiya and Madampe
areas for use as a major raw material in glass
and ceramic industries.
Iron ore: There are few iron ore deposits
discovered in Sri Lanka, but they are small
deposits compared to the known world iron ore
deposits. Iron ore deposits of Sri Lanka were
divided into three broad categories such as
primary iron ore deposit (Magnetite deposits),
FIGURE 83 (Left) & 84 (Right) : Mined mica processing processes is undertaking. Images ©
Sandun Dalpatadu.
FIGURE 85 (Up) & 86 (Down) : Silica sand
deposits, located within the intermediate zone at
Nattandiya. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2084
Secondary iron ore deposit (Hydrated iron oxide
ore deposits), and Seruwila copper-magnetite
type ores. The only Magnesite deposit so far
 
is also surrounded with dolomite. The quantity
of Magnesite is estimated to be about 4,000 tons.
An interesting iron ore is located at Palawatte,
Buttala in Uva province, Monaragala district. It

The hydrated type of small iron ore
deposits are scattered in Sabaragamuwa
Province (Ratnapura, Rakwana, Balangoda,
Kalawana etc.) and in the Southern Province
(Ambalangoda, Akuressa, Deniyaya etc.). These
deposits are in the form of small hillocks and as
scattered boulders of about 2 – 4-meter width,
but not extended in depth. The most important
of these deposits are located at Dela, Naragolla,
Opatha and Poranuwa in Ratnapura District
and Wilpita in Galle District. Three magnetite

are at Wilagedara, Panirendawa and Seruwila.
The Wilagedara deposit is too small to be
mined. The deposit at Panirendawa has been
estimated to contain around 5.6 million tons
of magnetite, but they are four separate blocks,
and these occur underground about 25 – 170
meters below the surface. Therefore, excavation
of this deposit is costly and not economical.
The Seruwila deposit extends below to about
70 meters from the surface. The iron content is
high, but considerable amount of copper (in the
form of Chalcopyrite) is also associated in this
magnetite ore. Therefore, the direct smelling
process cannot be used to extract iron from this
ore.
Clay: Clay is not a primary mineral and it
is a product of weathering of primary minerals.
Chemically it is hydrated aluminosilicate. Clays,

mixed with water. Clay deposits are basically
grouped into two types.
i. Primary or residual or in–situ clay deposits
        
formed due to weathering of primary rock
minerals or due to action of hydrothermal
solution on primary minerals mainly feldspar
and mica. These deposits are characterized by
large grain (particle) size compared to secondary
clay deposits and also by the presence of other
mineral particles like quartz, feldspar, mica,
ilmenite etc.
ii. Secondary or sedimentary clay deposits:
When rocks are weathered some of the rock
     
converted to clays. These clays are carried away
FIGURE 87 (Left) & 88 (Right) : Uva-Wellassa Iron deposit at Kukurampola-Buttala. This deposit
lies in an area of 64 Square Kilometers. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 085
by air, water and glaciers (mass of ice) and get
deposited in river banks, river mouths (delta)
lakes, sea etc. to form sedimentary clay deposits,
and these processes of transportation and
sedimentation continue for a very long period.
  
(particle) size and contaminated with organic
matter. The main clay minerals present in clays
are Kaolinite, Montmorillonite and micaceous
clay minerals. Properties of these clay minerals
 
clay are governed by the percentage of these
clay minerals in the deposit.
Kaolinite is comparatively less plastic and of
high refractoriness (stand for high temperatures
of about 1600o C). Montmorillonite is highly
plastic and of less refractoriness. Hydrous
mica clays give intermediate plasticity and
refractoriness. Clay is the main raw material
in the ceramic industry. Two varieties of
clays, that is Kaolin and Ball clay, are mixed
to obtain the required properties. Kaolin is
the name given to pure white clays composed

weathering of feldspars in granites, pegmatites
and feldspar rich gneisses (Cooary, 1984).
Kaolin (also known as China clay) consist of
mainly Kaolinite and deposits are formed by
weathering of feldspar. Well known Kaolin
deposits in Sri Lanka are located at Metiyagoda
and Boralasgamuwa. Boralasgamuwa deposit
has already been extracted and exhausted, but
there are few more deposits nearby but cannot
be mined because the area is urbanized.
A new Kaoline deposit has been found in
Millaniya (Bandaragama) and extraction has
already started. Kaoline is mainly used in the
ceramic industry and also used in paint, rubber,
paper and some other industries. Ball clay
deposits are a kind of sedimentary clay deposit
     
plasticity and is usually gray in colour but turns
    
added to the ceramic body mixture to improve
the plasticity. There are ball clay deposits in
        
know ball clay mine is at Dediyawala (Kalutara)
which has been mining for the last forty years.
Alluvial clay deposits are formed by
sedimentation of clays in river banks and lakes.
These are characterized by the presence of high
organic matter and impurities. Some of the
alluvial deposits in the dry zone of Sri Lanka are
characterized by comparatively higher amounts
of montmorillonite. Alluvial clay deposits
are wide spread in the country and are being
mined in a small scale for brick, tile and pottery
industries.
Rock (stone) deposits: Rocks (stones)
        
(dimension stone) are used in building industry
with or without polishing. The commercial

         
FIGURE 89 (Left) & 90 (Right) : Kaolin mining at Mitiyagoda. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2086
also used to produce monuments and also as
paving blocks. Other than the above-mentioned
purposes, rocks are crushed in to pieces to be
used as coarse aggregate for concrete and road
construction. These types of quarries are wide
spread throughout the country.
The city of Anuradhapura, today the
provincial capital of the North Central Province
served the ancient Sinhala kings as a capital
between the 3rd century BCE and the 10th
century CE.1 Thus, it is one of the oldest
continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The earliest written sources began to appear
in the 5th century BCE, 2 and Anuradhapura
has remarkable architectural remains make it
one of the most important archaeological sites
in the cultural landscape of Sri Lanka. Similar
rock products places can be seen in various
places in Sri Lanka. Rocky boulders detach for

Gal Ketayam is famous n Keragala, Gampaha

Other than the above mentioned mineral
deposits, there are few rare minerals deposits
in small quantities, e.g. wollastonite and
     
to excavate economically. Wallastonite could
        

   
veins of 2 to 7 - centimeter width, in the calc
gneisses in Ambalangoda and Galle areas. Two
FIGURE 91 (Left) & 92 (Right) : Granite rocky quarry at Ingiriya. Like these mining sites blasts

FIGURE 93 (Up) & 94 (Down) : Rocky
     
monuments and carving of rocks at Darshana
Gal Ketayam in Keragala. Images © Jinadasa
Katupotha
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 087
serpentine deposits occur at Udawalawe and
Rupha (Walapane). The Udawalawe deposit is
dark green in colour and occur at several meters
below ground. Rupha deposit is associated with
marble, and is also called green marble, and is
exposed to the surface.
Special other sites
Rose Quart Range (Namal Uyana)
Rose Quartz Mountain Range at Jathika
Namal Uyana is located at Galkiriyagama
(Madatugama - Pubbogama - Andiyagala
Road), Sri Lanka. The Jathika Namal Uyana
in Sri Lanka is the biggest Na tree (ironwood)
       
& 96). The forest is home to a large bed of
fossilized plants and is a nature reserve for
animals. The Na tree is endemic to Sri Lanka
and the replanted woodland is over 250 acres
in range. This mineral deposit is located in
the Wanni complex has a history of over 550
million years. This exclusive natural place has
been taking forward to the consideration of the
world around 30 years before from today, by
a great Buddhist hermit, Venerable Wanawasi
Rahula Thero.
The rose quartz mountain consists of is
larger than 972 hectares and was declared open

2005. The rose quartz mountain is well known
for its healing properties, archaeological reserve
with ruins of ancient monastery and palace and
diverse wildlife.
Kudremalai Point
In northwestern, northern and northeastern
Sri Lanka are composed of Miocene age
 
beds. However, this massive Miocene belt is
generally about 20 km wide and overplayed by
the red soil layer which commonly addresses
as Red Earth formation. This belt is bound on
the seashore and on the land, border is near to
the 30m contour. The composition of the Red
Earth layer is extremely uniform and containing
quartz, clay and iron oxide with a small amount
of ilmenite, magnetite, spinel, zircon, garnet
and monazite (De Alwis and Pluth, 1976).
      
soil layer, (2) ferruginous Red Earth layer,
(3) weathered limestone and (4) limestone
basement on the surface of the Kudiramalei
       
like a step cutting. Surface soil layer consist
with coarse sand, silt and mud matrix and also,
very few quartz pebbles were found on its body
    
This layer is 3 m in height (Wilpattu National

Ussangoda
About the occurrences of serpentinites are
known to occur in the Precambrian rocks of Sri
 
99 & 100), Ginigalpelessa and Indikolapelessa
(both in the south central) and at Yodagannawa
(in the north central). Integrated geophysical,
geological, geochemical and drilling surveys
FIGURE 95 (Left) & 96 (Right) : Namal Uyana Rose quartz range at Galkiriyagama. Images ©
Jinadasa Katupotha.
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2088

According to a geochemical analysis of the
soil overlying the Ussangoda deposits, the
average Ni and Cr content are of ~1000ppm and
~7700ppm, respectively. Core drilling revealed
that the serpentinite is ~100m thick and dips
steeply (~700) towards west. Higher Cr and Ni
values in the soil suggests supergene enrichment.
The soil is ~40cm thick and consists of hematite
rich clayey sand associated with pebble layers.
         
grained and cover an area of ~3 km 
relations and drilling show that the serpentinite
is concordant to the host garnatiferous biotite

at the contact (Ranasinghe, 1987).
Akurala emerged coral reef patches
Emerged coral reef patches occur at or above
Mean High Water Spring (MHWS) level and are
located on the small headland mostly cemented
to beach rock in the vicinity of Akurala,
Hikkaduwa, Dadalla, Koggala, Aranwala,
     
102) . Upright branching and massive coral of
these buried and emerged corals indicate that
they have thrived on palaeo-bays or lagoons,
when the sea level was higher than at present
level. C14 dated of samples from emerged reef
patches have been clustered around 6200-5800
and 2600-2300 yr BP (Katupotha 1988 a and b).
FIGURE 97 (Left) & 98 (Right) : Highly weathered Miocene beds (Left) and windblown red sand
layer overlain on the Miocene rock at the Kudiramalei Point. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha.
FIGURE 99 (Left) & 100 (Right) :
Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 089
Shell Deposits
Large inland shell deposits are found in the
area between Tangalle and Kirinda (southern
coast). These can also be used as sea level
  
103 & 104). Shell deposits particularly along the
rims of emerged coastal embayments and lagoon
   
3,570±60 B.P. (Katupotha, 1988b; Katupotha
and Wijayananda, 1989). The depositional
pattern and compositions of these deposits
indicate that they probably accumulated by
three processes, namely:
(a) The bulk of the valves piled up by
wave action on the rimes of coastal embayment,
following the coastal progradation since Late
Holocene, around 4,000 BE.
 
marine or brackish pools, and they were
deposited in situ during the same; and
(c) Shells on the coastal hills and dunes
were left by early inhabitants during their daily
activities.
Geographically, the Gulf of Mannar was
one of the most abundant sources of natural
pearls in the world for more than two millennia.
Pearls were the most valuable aquatic resource
in Sri Lanka and were exploited since ancient
times, more than 3500 years’ time. Under the
right conditions, millions upon millions of
pearl-producing bi-valve molluscs Pinctada
genus of saltwater oysters mainly Margaritifera
vulgaris) populated the low-lying shoals and
rock and coral formations of the Gulf of Mannar
        
wondrous island, because it’s endowed plethora
of resources such as an abundant biodiversity,
gemstone, rich culture, great history, varied
landscapes and many more. The pearl beds of
South India and Sri Lanka constituted one of the
two major sources of pearls in the world, rivalled

from the Gulf of Mannar were also considered
among the best in the world and fetched a high
price in Europe. The area to the north of Kal Aru
coast, the pearl shell deposit can be found along
the northwestern coast.
FIGURE 101 (Left) & 102 (Right) : Emerged coral reef patches at Akurala (Hikkaduwa) and
Polhena (Matara). Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
FIGURE 103 (Left) & 104 (Right) : Mined and cleaned shells at Kalametiya area (Left). Discarded
pearl shells after removing of pearls from mollusks at KalAru coastal area, Northwestern Coast
(Right). Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2090

during the Dutch and the British colonial
rule (Katupotha 2019). Discarded pearl shell
deposits can be seen from Kudremale point to
     
considerable revenue from pearls of Ceylon, e.g.
from March 1828 to May 1837 alone Sterling
Pounds 227,131 were credited as revenue into
the Ceylon Treasury on account of the pearl
      
today.
Beachrock
Beachrock is a distinctive formation
which forms a series of parallel reef at many
locations along the coast around Sri Lanka.
The best exposed reef occur along the western
and southern coasts, and have, so far, been
noted that Chilaw, Negombo, Pamunugama,
Colombo, Kaikawala, Aturuwala, Beruwala,
Galle, Ahangama, Matara, Hambantota and
 
similar to those found along the coasts of Brazil
(Katupotha 1989), Uruguay and Hawaiian
Islands (Cooray, 1968). Each submerged reef
on the western continental shelf represents a
former strandline. The beach rock at Pitipana-
Negombo above from the supratidal level has
been dated at 2,470±70 and 3,460±160 yr BP
(Katupotha 1988 a).
Erratic Boulders: As a glacial deposit, an
         
size and type of rock native to the area in which
it rests. Erratic can range in size from pebbles
to large boulders such as big rocks (hundreds to
thousands of metric tons in weight). Geologists
identify erratics by studying the compositions
and orientation of surrounding rocks in
comparison to the composition and orientation
      
to the Pliocene-Quaternary climate changes,
the earlier glacial sedimentary deposits in Sri
Lanka have disappeared from greater part of
Sri Lanka. However, there are no Pleistocene
glacial deposits in Sri Lanka, but scattered
erratic boulders and patches of ice-rafted
      
older than Pleistocene Glaciation. Likewise,
 

      
  
   
(Katupotha 2013).
Dambatenna popular tea factory was built
in 1890 by Sir Thomas Lipton, one of the most
     
tour through the works is an education on the
processes involved in the fermentation, rolling,
drying, cutting, sieving and grading of tea
located in Dambatenna geomorphological site.
It’s probably the most comprehensive tea-factory
FIGURE 105 (Left) & 106 (Right) : Highly eroded beach rock at Chilaw coastal belt. Emerged
beachrok reef at Mullativu coast. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 091
and its surrounding tour, and afterwards you can
sip a cuppa. Dambatenne is 9km northeast of
Haputale. Buses from Haputale pass the factory
every 30 minutes. Sir Thomas Lipton was used
to enjoy the view from this place when he was at

Islands
There are six major kinds of islands: (a)
continental (b) tidal, (c) barrier, (d) oceanic,
   
categorized as continental by the Island Directory
Tables of the United Nations Environment
Programme (1998). As a continental island,
Sri Lanka Maritime claims: the territorial sea
12 nm (nautical mile), contiguous zone 24
nm, exclusive economic zone 200 nm, and
continental shelf as 200 nm or to the edge of the
continental margin.
Due to the Postglacial Transgrssion, Mannar
and Palk basins and the 1st Planated Surface
were submerged (Katuptha 2013). Accordingly,
Sri Lanka and India appear as separate land
masses. Because of sea level rise many massifs
type low mountains and ridges, peaks, hill and
rock outcrops were submerged. Some of them
are emerging as island and islets, which are
occurring above present levels (Katupotha 2018).
As mentioned above, surrounding Sri Lanka, it
is possible to see submerged Rocky Mountains
and ridges, peaks, hill and rock outcrops and
reefs. As a Precambrian rocky block, Sri Lankan
land mass of the above submerged features and
emerged features also were belonged to same
rock types, e.g. Pigeon Island on the northeast
coast, Little Basses reef (Kudarawana Kotte)
and Greas Basses reef (Maharawana Kotte) in
FIGURE 107 (Left) : Erratic boulders Potuvil Lagoon area. Image © Jinadasa Katupotha (Katupotha
2013). FIGURE 108 (Right) : Erratic boulders at Nakolagane.
FIGURE 109 (Left) : Land use pattern followed the landscape in the Dambatenna area. FIGURE
110 (Right): Sir Thomas Lipton was used to enjoy the view from this place when he was at
Dambetenna estate. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2092

islands and islets of Koddiyar Bay (Trincomalee
District), Seenigama Dewalaya (southwest
coast) and Babayrian Rocky islands, west coast
and on submerged 1st planated surface. Besides,
hundreds of rocky outcrops can see as emerging
features during the low tide level (Katupotha
2018). Presently most of those features
appeared as erosional remnants and nearby sea
      
reefs of beach rock or sand rock reefs. Some
barrier islands form when ocean currents pile
up sand on sandbars parallel to coastlines or in
front of the lagoon mouths and mainlands, e.g.
the Battalangunduwa island chain formed such
a way. Eventually the sandbars rise above the
water as islands. Coral islands are low islands
formed in warm waters by tiny sea animals
called corals. Organic and inorganic material,
like rock and sand, helps create coral islands.
The islands of the Bahamas, in the Atlantic
Ocean and Caribbean Sea, are good examples
of such coral islands. When consider the
      
e.g. Neduntivu (Delft), Pungudutivu, Iranativu,
Kayts can identify as low islands, formed
following the PTG (Katupotha 1988a 1988b
and Weerabaddana et al 2016). Another kind
of coral island is the atoll. An atoll is a coral
reef that begins by growing in a ring around
the sides of an oceanic island. As the volcano
slowly sinks into the sea, the reef continues to

Indian Oceans. Although, in Sri Lankan coastal
waters no such slowly sinks volcanos based
coral islands, like Bahamas, Maldives, Lakadiv,
somewhat similar types can identify in the

Bridge (Adams’s Bridge).
Concerning to Sri Lanka some islands, e.g.
    
Nilwella Island in southern coast and Babaryan
Island in southwest coast can identify as bedrock
and coral related islands.
Many islands of Sri Lanka, especially from
Palk Bay, Gulf of Mannar, Dutch Bay and
Puttalam lagoon are made up of sand, coral
 
Poly Motu Concept (Bourdeix 2011). The Poly
motu concept (poly=many, motu=island) is to
use the geographical isolation of dedicated sites
for conservation and reproduction of individual
varieties of plants, trees and even animals.
Multifunctional land management strengthens
the links between people, landscape and
biodiversity. It gives a special cachet to the sites,
generates incomes and promotes ecotourism
activities.
Blowhole at Kudawella
The set of mechanisms that operate along
a coastline, bringing about various combination
      
       
activity. Both agents are given rise to distinctive
   
and the blow hole (a chamber with a relatively
   
FIGURE 111 : Shallow and well protected bathing place at Pigeon Island. Image © Jinadasa
Katupotha
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 093
water and spray are forced when waves are
driven against the coast) (Allaby and Allaby,
1991). A typical example including these
features can be observed at Nakulugamuwa

Blowhole is also the name of a rare geologic
feature in which air is blown through a small
       
between a closed underground system and
the surface. It is estimated that the closed
underground passages have a volume of at least
seven million cubic metre. Wind speeds can
approach 48 km per hour. Another well-known
example of the blowhole is the natural entrance to
the Wind Cave. La Bufadora is a large blowhole
located in the Punta Banda Peninsula of Baja
California, Mexico. It consists of a littoral cave
with an opening that has a recurrence eruption
interval of 13 -17 seconds, ejecting water up to
35m SL.
Hot spring
     

114 & 115) and Mahaoya are well known to

temperature ranging between 34°C and 56°C
and lie close to the boundary between Highland-
Vijayan lithologic Complexes (Premasiri
et al 2006) consisting mainly of crystalline
metamorphic rocks (Cooray, 1984). The hottest
springs lie at Kapuralla (56°Q, followed by
Mahaoya (55°Q; Mahapelassa (44-46°C) and
Marangala-Wahawa close to Padiyatalawa (42-
45°C); Nelumwewa which was known earlier
as Madawewa is now under a lake, and records

FIGURE 112 (Left) & 113 (Right) : Sea water spraying upwards rocky hole called blow hole at
Kudawella head land is a unique feature. Images © Nadun Nandana.
FIGURE 114 (Up) & 115 (Down) : Well
preserved hot springs at Knniyai in Tricomalee
use for local tourists. Images © Jinadasa
Katupotha
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2094
Pothole
A pothole is a circular or cylindrical hole in
the riverbed which is produced by the force of
water and abrasion. A pothole is formed when a
circular current of water carrying small pebbles
and sediment begins to wear away a rock
surface. In Earth science, a pothole is a smooth,
bowl-shaped, or cylindrical hollow, generally
deeper than wide, found carved into the rocky
bed of a watercourse. Other names used for
riverine potholes are pot, (stream) kettle, giant’s
kettle, evorsion, hollow, rock mill, churn hole,
eddy mill, and kolk. Although somewhat related
to a pothole in origin, a plunge pool (or plunge
basin or waterfall lake) is the deep depression in
a stream bed at the base of a waterfall.
Geologists associate potholes with large
volumes of very turbulent water. Most often
they are thought to be associated with the
meltwater of a glacier. The sediment being
moved by the glacier, along with the structure
of the underlying bedrock, together created the
potential for potholes. Such potholes can be
found in many European countries including
      
emerged, and due to the retreating of ice sheets
      
potholes. Regarding the hydrological parameters
like discharge, suspended load, stream power,
velocity has been considered and some normal
attributes like slope, bedrock character, rocky
exposed on the riverbed, etc.
In Sri Lanka, pothole morphology can
be found as riverine potholes and stream bed
potholes rocky river beds as well as in coastal

and 117). It is possible to infer that such giant
holes to be associated with the meltwater of a
glacier. During the snowball earth, the landmass
of Sri Lanka also coved by thick glaciers. By
Oligocene Period (33.9 - 28.1 ma), the Central
Highland of Sri Lanka was covered by ice caps
(Katupotha 2013). Due to the climate change, the
glaciers on Second and Third planated surfaces

of meltwater streams and southern wave action
with 2m - 3m wide and about 4m deep. The river
bed potholes are dominantly seen in Highland
Complex around waterfall morphology. It is

sizes in the upper catchments of Bothpath Ella,
Diyaluma, Dunhinda, Laxapana waterfalls.
Similarly, branches of Mahaveli river at the
Horton Plain National Park also represent many
potholes without a high rapid slope. Branches of
the Kelani river at the Kithulga and Seethawaka
Ganga (Irahandapana area) are the best place to
study the complex of potholes.
FIGURES 116 (Left) and 117 (Right) : The pothole located along the southern coast close to Hotel
Jetwing Yala. Images © Chamara, 2015.
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 095
Ibbankatuwa Ancient burial ground

kilometers before the Dambulla town on the
Kurunegala-Dambulla Road. The Ibbankatuwa
        
Archaeological Department. The site is reached
by traveling about 500m in to this road. The
area where the tombs have been found is about
15×15 meters. About 10 tombs have been
unearthed and each tomb is separated by four
stone slabs and covered by another slab on the
top. According to the way of interment two
distinct burial customs, urn (bodies were placed
in urns and interred) and cist (ashes of deceased
 
Iron Age burial ground has been dated to 750
BC to 400 BC. Excavations have revealed that
each tomb containing personal belonging such
as clay pots, beads, necklaces, etc, similar to
the practices in ancient Egypt pyramids. The
gemstones found in some necklaces are only
found in India indicating links to India during
this time. Currently, the tomb site has been
designated an archaeological protected site in
Sri Lanka.
Cremated remains along with grave goods
and tools used by deceased, have been found at
the site in large terra-cotta urns and cists as well


copper and gold artifacts, beads, necklaces, etc.
The gemstones found in some necklaces are not
naturally found in Sri Lanka which indicates
that they may have been imported. The site was
developed in to a tourist attraction in 2017 and
was formally open to the public
Rajagala
Rajagalathenna (Rajagala) a famous
archaeological site is rugged and heavily
forested mountain situated 316m above MSL,
in a sparsely populated part of the Eastern
Province, Sri Lanka which has an important
archaeological value. This site is only second to
the Mihintale monastery in Anuradhapura and it
spreads over 650 ha, and it consists more than
600 prehistoric ruins, monuments and artifacts,
and nearly 100 of them are ancient Stupas
       
from Ampara Town is about 24 kilometers north
of Ampara - Maha Oya Road (A27), via Uhana
and the village of Bakkiella.
The Bogoda Wooden Bridge
The Bogoda Wooden Bridge was built in
the 16th century during the Dambadeniya era.
This is said to be the oldest surviving wooden
bridge in Sri Lanka. The bridge is situated at 7
kilometers (4.3 mi) west of Badulla. All parts
of this bridge were constructed from wood,
       
       
kingdom of Kandy. The bridge was built across
the Gallanda Oya, which linked Badulla and
Kandy on an ancient route.
The Bogoda Bridge is over 400 years old
and made entirely from wooden planks, which
are said to have come from one tree. It is an
exclusive construction as it has a 2.4 meters tall
tiled roof structure for its entire span of nearly
15 meters length with a 1.5 meters breadth.
Wooden fences of the bridge are decorated in
various ancient designs and have been erected

FIGURE 118 (Left) & 119 (Right) : An ancient burial site located near Ibbankatuwa Wewa in
Galewela DS, Sri Lanka. Source: Department of Archaeology. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
WILDLANKA [Vol. 8 No. 2096
The structure of the bridge is standing on
a huge tree trunk 11 metres in height. Jackfruit
(Artocarpus heterophyllus) logs and Kumbuk
(Terminalia arjuna) logs were mainly used
as the constructive material of the bridge.
  Diospyros ebenum)
timber and Milla timber were used for the
wooden decorations.
Rivers and Marine Entrances
The hydrographic pattern is a function
essentially follow the relief and geologic
structure in When carefully investigation of
geological structure, associated fault and fold
systems and their orientation, microrelief,
elevation, etc. emphasized that there is no actual
radial drainage pattern exists in Sri Lanka (Silva
and Katupotha 2018; Katupotha 2019). Many
river estuaries in Sri Lanka are beautiful tourist
     
barrier Delta Estuaries with Seasonal Rivers
in northwestern coastal stretch can be used as
geotourism and ecotourism purposes.
FIGURE 120 (Left) : Ruins of the Daana Shalawa at Rajagala. Image ©Pathmasiri Kannagara.
FIGURE 121 (Right) : Old meditation house at Rajagala. Image ©Pathmasiri Kannagara.
FIGURE 122 (Left) & 123 (Right) : The Bogoda Bridge is over 400 years old and made entirely
from wooden planks. Images © Jinadasa Katupotha
FIGURE 124 : Bentota Ganga (river) mouth
is an extremely beautiful place as a tourist
destination site. Image © Jinadasa Katupotha
June, 2020] GEOTOURISM AND GEOHERITAGE POTENTIALS: VISTAS AND UNIQUE 097
CONCLUSION
Tourism geology is a branch of tourism earth-
science. It studies the distributions, types, and
characteristics, causes of formation and changes
of varied scenic spots by geological theories,
methods, technologies and results. The relations
between geology and tourism science may be
evidenced in many aspects. Natural landscapes
including peaks, valleys, caves, stones, rivers,
lakes, waterfalls and springs are all generated by
geological processes and controlled by varied
geological factors. Complicated geological
      
landscapes. In particular, structural features
generated by tectonic activities, and their
natures, characteristics, scales and attitudes all
directly control the formation and development
of natural landscapes.
Anze Chen et al (1991) explain that the
relationship between tourism and geographical
environment has been under study overseas for
more forty years. The research on the occurrence
and change rules of tourism involves a range
      
factors leading to tourism, and the earth
    
beach, sunshine, view, landform and landscape,
scenic water and scenic forest, which stimulate
    
  
often controlled by some special rules. Such
rules govern the tourist movements from cold
areas to warm areas, from humid and rainy
areas to sunny areas, from developed areas to
countryside, from the urban to the country or
from the country to the urban.
Naturally-created these in-situ features
or places peaks, valleys, caves, stones, rivers,
lakes, waterfalls and springs are all generated by
geological processes and controlled by varying
land based and coastal geological factors in
Sri Lanka can be absorbed as geoheritages
     
this purpose, Department of Wildlife and
   
Survey and Mines Bureau, Department of
Tourism Developments, Universities, Local
Governments, Schools etc. should be engaged
positively to enhance geotourism concept.
Using these nature-based heritages of particular
geological importance, intended to conserve
the geological heritage and promote public
awareness of it, typically through tourism to
increase the income of the public and enrich

  
    
and searching new sites.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Our profound thanks go to Dr. Herath
Manthrithilake, Head, Sri Lanka Development
Initiative, International Water Management
Institute (IWMI), 127, Sunil Mawatha,
Pelawatte, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka for reading
the manuscript carefully and his valuable
comment and encouragement. Thanks are
to Prof. Pathmasiri Kannangara, University
of Sri Jayewardenepura; Dr. Pathmakumara
Jayasinghe (NBRO); Dr. Sandun Dapadadu,
Damsila Resources (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Thilak
Dahanayake and Mr. Priyantha Ariyathilake
(GSMB); Mr. Lasath Poldoowa (Lasa Advance
Systems, 47, Welikada Road, Rajagiriya); Mr.
   
Road, Colombo 5), Mr. Nadun Nandana
(Student of Ocean University) for supplied very
colorful, valuable and relevant photographs
and Mr. Sachith Gamage (Bsc, Uva Wellassa
University) for his assistance for the this
manuscript.
FIGURE 125 : Bentota Ganga (river) mouth
is an extremely beautiful place as a tourist
destination site. Image © Jinadasa Katupotha
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Received Date : 05th June 2020
Accepted Date : 25th June 2020
... Various scientists investigate the role of views and picturesque in geotourism (e.g. Chylińska 2019; Gordon 2016; Gordon and Baker 2016;Hose 2005aHose , 2010Katupotha and Sumanarathna 2020;Migoń and Pijet-Migoń 2017). ...
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