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Ussangoda

Ussangoda
Ussangoda is one of the six serpentinite sites in Sri Lanka (Weerasinghe & Iqbal, 2011). Situated in the geological boundary between the Highland and Vijayan Complexes in Hambantota District, it is considered the largest serpentinite body found in the country (Rajapaksha et al., 2012).

Historical value
Merely due to the different environmental features of this place, locals have tended to believe that this place has a history linked with King Ravana, a mythical figure depicted in the Indian epic Ramayanaya. According to them, Ussangoda has been used by Ravana to land his chariot named Dandumonara (Abeyawardana, 2004). However, the authenticity of the Ramayanaya is controversial and hence it is today dismissed as a myth by Sri Lankan scholars (JRASSL, 2014).

Pre-historic human remains have been discovered from this site (Abeyawardana, 2004).

The site
The site is a flat plain extending in an area of about 3.49  km2 (349.077 ha). The southern boundary of the plain is a cliff, approximately 30 m AMSL, overlooking the Indian Ocean (Weerasinghe & Iqbal, 2011). The highest point on the plain is 34.5 m AMSL (Weerasinghe & Iqbal, 2011).

The types of rocks occurring in Ussangoda are ferro-laterite, serpentines and ochre red soil rich in ferric oxide (Tennakone et al., 2007). Of them, most of the rocks contain significant amounts of nickel and lesser quantities of cobalt, manganese and chromium (Tennakone et al., 2007). The vegetation around the plain indicates the signs of metal toxicity (Tennakone et al., 2007).

Ussangoda National Park
Ussangoda was designated as a National Park under the Forest Conservation Ordinance (Chapter 469) by a government gazette notification published on 6 May 2010.

Ussangoda Ussangoda .
Attribution

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.105.
2)  JRASSL, 2014. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka New Series, Vol. 59, No. 2, Special Issue on the Ramayana (2014). https://www.jstor.org/stable/i40203619. pp.1-112.
3) Rajapaksha, A.U., Vithanage, M., Oze, C., Bandara, W.M.A.T. and Weerasooriya, R., 2012. Nickel and manganese release in serpentine soil from the Ussangoda Ultramafic Complex, Sri Lanka. Geoderma, 189, pp.1-9.
4) Tennakone, K., Senevirathna, M.K.I. and Kehelpannala, K.V.W., 2007. Extraction of pure metallic nickel from ores and plants at Ussangoda, Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 35(4). pp.245-250.
5) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary. No: 1652/49. 6 May 2010. pp.1A-2A.
6) Weerasinghe, H.A.S., Iqbal, M.C.M., 2011. Plant diversity and soil characteristics of the Ussangoda serpentine site. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 39(4). pp.355-363.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 19 February 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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