Hambantota district is a very important are with archaeological value. The remains of oldest man in South Asia are found here. These are found at Minihagal Kanda in Yala and Pathiraja in Bundala which dates back to over 125,000 years. Archaeological evidence of prehistoric open habitats, cave habitats and shell middens are found in this district. After the prehistoric era, there is evidence of a megalithic culture belonging to a proto historic era. Important archaeological evidence of early habitats along the Kirindi Oya and Walawe River basin and spread of habitats prior to urbanization are found in the district.
This area was once an important administrative unit of Ruhuna Principality of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. During the times of foreign invasions this area had served as a refuge for Kings. Sithulpawwa, Yatala, Sandagiriya and Rambawa are among the Buddhist temples here built by the Kings of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Kingdoms. The Hambantota district is another region in the south that has attracted archaeologists exploring a lost world.
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
This is the second international airport in Sri Lanka. This new airport may facilitate the development in both the Sothern and Eastern regions of Sri Lanka.
Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port
This first phase of the port was opened in 2010, is built inland and operated by the Sri Lanka ports Authority. The port of Hambantota will service ships travelling along one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, the East-West shipping route which passes six to ten nautical miles (19 km) south of Hambantota.
Bundala National Park
The park lies on the southeastern coast in the Southern Province, about 275 km from Colombo. It stretches from the vicinity of Bundala Village in the east to Hambantota Township in the west. Part of the northern boundary is contiguous with the A 2 main road.
This is the first Ramsar Site declared in Sri Lanka and it is the most important wetland for birds outside the Northern Province. The park’s lagoons are amongst the most important wintering areas for migrant shore birds in the country, regularly accommodating over 15,000 of them at any given time. It is the last refuge of the greater flamingo in this part of the island, besides being important for elephant and a variety of threatened reptiles. Dense thorny scrub provides a natural barrier to the winds that would otherwise accelerate desertification in this arid countryside.
The Madunagala hermitage is a beautiful location, situated on and around a rock in the shades of the thick jungle. Consisting of caves where Buddhist monks are in deep meditation the hermitage also comprises of ancient pools that aid nature’s flow of water. The temple is situated in the midst of the thick jungle haunted by wild animals. Elephant, Bear and Leopard prowl the roads after dark, so that tourist and pilgrims who come to give alms are told not to leave human settlements after 6:00 pm.
The temple is surrounded by outcroppings of rock. The atmosphere is perfect for contemplation and meditation. Visitors could see across to another hilltop “Karamagala” where monks live in solitude. The monks of Madunagala Viharaya retreat into the jungle and meditate in niches cut in the rock. If the monks permit you too could stay there for a few days of meditation.
You can see how the salt is produced when you pass Hambantota town and proceed towards Tissamaharma.
Ussangoda National Park
Ussangoda National Park is the newest and the 21st National Park declared in 2010 and encompasses places of archaeological, geographical and biological value. Ussangoda is geologically an unusual place due to its unique soil structure and rare flora. The ground here is characterized by a brick-like hard quality with a reddish colour. There is no thick vegetation other than shrub and few species of grass.
There are several archaeological sites of pre-historic times. Serpentinite spots of a green and pink colour can be seen at the beach (Serpentinite is a rock composed of one or more serpentine group minerals). Archaeologists have identified this site as an open pre historic habitat. It is also identified the stone tools made of chert found here belong to the medieval proto historic era. Visitors can walk around the park up to the beach.