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Ratnapura (rŭtˈnəpŏrə) [key] [Sinhalese, = city of gems], town (1995 est. pop. 46,000), SW Sri Lanka. Located in a rubber- and rice-producing area, Ratnapura is Sri Lanka's major precious-stone center, with ruby and sapphire mines and an important gem-cutting industry. The region also has graphite deposits. It is also an administrative and commercial town. A hill topped by a Portuguese fort dominates Ratnapura. Near the town is the noted temple of Maha Saman Dewal, sacred to Buddhists and Hindus.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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