Founded in the 3rd century BC, “Tissa” (present – Tissamaharama) was the capital of the southern province of Ruhunu. Today, it serves mainly as a base for Yala and Bundala national parks, though it does have a few attractions of its own.
A large tank called the Tissa Wewa, 1 km north of the town, dates from the 3rd century BC. It attracts a huge diversity of birdlife. To the west of the tank are other reminders of Tissa’s rich history. Dating from 2nd and 3rd century BC, Menik Wehera and Yatala Wehera are thought to be part of what was once a monastery complex. The letter is a white dagobasurrounded by a wall, which is decorated with sculpted elephant heads. Between the tank and the town lies the Tissa Dagoba. It is said to have been built by King Kavan Tissa, father of King Dutugemunu, and is thought to enshrine a forehead bone of the Buddha. more