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Rumassala , known to colonialists as Buona Vista, is the subject of many legends. It is featured in the Ramayana, as the home of the beautiful Queen Sita.

According to the Ramayana it is also said that Hanuman dropped a chunk of ‘Himalaya’ at Unawatuna (Onna Vetuna – ‘here it fell’) to form the present mountain, where many medicinal plants still grow. There is a major magnetic anomaly near Unawatuna, which Arthur C. Clarke attributes to a meteorite strike, and it is said that satellites lose their orbits with unusual frequency overhead. The Portuguese had a dreadful reputation in Sri Lanka as looters and pirates, are said to have given false light signals from Rumassala to lure unsuspecting Arab trading ships onto the rocks.