Hambantota District is part of the traditional south known as Ruhuna. In ancient times this region, especially Hambantota and the neighboring areas was the centre of a flourishing civilization. Historical evidence reveals that the region in that era was blessed with fertile fields and a stupendous irrigation network. Hambantota was know by many names “Mahagama” “Ruhuna” and “Dolos dahas rata” about 200BC, the first Kingdom of Sri Lanka was flourishing in the north central region of Anuradhapura.
After a personal dispute with his brother, King Devanampiyathissa of Anuradhapura, King Mahanaga established the kingdom of Ruhuna in the south of the island. This region played a vital role in building the nation as well as nurturing the Sri Lankan Buddhist culture.
When the Kingdom of Ruhuna was established it received many travelers and traders from the Far East , Siam , China and Indonesia and sought anchorage in the natural harbor at Godawaya, Ambalantota, in Hambantota.
The ships or large boats these traders travelled in were called “Sampans” and their anchorage came to be known as “ Sampantota” (which is now known as Godawaya) After some time the area become to be called “Hambantota”.
Around the years of 1801 and 1803, the British built a Martello Tower on the tip of the rocky headland alongside the light house overlooking the sea at Hambantota. The builder was a Captain Goper, who built the tower on the site of an earlier Dutch earthen fort.The tower was restored in 1999, and in the past, formed part of an office of the Hambantota Kachcheri where the Land Registry branch was housed. Today it houses a fisheries museum.

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Ruhunu Tourist Bureau (office)

Address:No.153B,S.H.Dahanayaka Mawatha, Galle , Sri Lanka
Telephone: +094 912224072
Fax: +094 912224075
E-mail: ruhunu.tourism@gmail.com
Website: www.visitruhuna.sp.gov.lk