In the past Habaraduwa (හබරාදූව) was called “Habaraduwa” (හබරදූව). It has been changed gradually and the name “ Habaraduwa” (හබරාදූව) is in use today. It is mentioned in the Kokila Sandeshaya that in the 15 th century Iron Wood trees (Na trees) were found in this Habaraduwa area. It further described that the leaf buds of these Iron Wood trees became Red in colour for goddess to apply Laksa on their feet.
Archipelago in Koggala Oya, Rumassala Hill, Walle Devalaya, Ranwella Purana Viharaya and Hirigal Devalaya are few places of historically important.
Rumassala hill traces its roots to the great Hindu epic Ramayanaya. In the epic, the incredibly powerful medicinal herbs which can relieve diseases are grown in Rumassala reserve. It was believed that there was an incredibly powerful medicinal herb in the Rumassala Hill used to heal Rama who had been wounded by Lakshman. In 545 AC Cosmos Indicaleustcs makes a citation about Galle in his chronicle. Further Hanuman was sent to India to fetch the medicines from the Himalayas in order to heal injured soldiers in the battle of Rama and Ravana. While Hanuman was lifting a part of Himalayas, a chunk of it “fell down”and that is called the “Rumassala” whereas the area is known as Unawatuna.
Walle Devalaya is located on the East end of the Rumassala Hill. As a past driven practice ancients made vows to God at Walle Devalaya before going to sea. Two centuries since the ancients claim that the salts brought from Hambanthota to Walle Devalaya through sailing ships were distributed by bullock carts. The name Rumassala derives from “Ramassala”, i.e the path used by fishermen.
It was believed that the present Unawatuna hospital had been the official residence for Dutch Governer at that time. Flowers were grown in the residence by the Governer and today it is famous by the name of “Malwatta”. In the past Governers of the Malwatta used to visit the coast through Unawatuna Dutch Lake by the boat.
In order to visit Ranwella Purana Viharaya one has to proceed about 3 k.m from Habaraduwa city and then turn left nearby Kathaluwa junction. Ranwella Purana Viharaya is located about 1 km ahead from the left turn. This viharaya was built by Kandy King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe.
Sri Lanka’s first newspaper was originated at this Viharaya in June 1860. Rev. John Murdoch and James Nicholson who published the great work “ A Classified Catalogue of Printed Tracts and Books in Singhalese”, noted that the said newspaper was printed in Lankopakara press and published by a personage named W. Eaten. This was published weekly in the size of a foolscap page. The newspaper, consisting of features like maps and colour combination was prepared at a remarkable level with an objective of betterment of the Buddhists and the Sinhalese.
The newspaper “Sarasaviya Sandarasa” which was published at Lankopakara press in 1881 has a historical significance. It is observed that renown of this newspaper was excelled by the greetings of the journals like Lakrivi Kirana, Saddarmalankaraya etc., which were published simultaneously. Dinamina newspaper originated in 1909 with the assistance of few people at Galle region is the only newspaper which has existed so far. Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thero, Ven. Migettuwatte Gunananda Thero, Veteran Novelist Piyadasa Sirisena, Veteran Writer Martin Wickramasinghe, Pandit Batuwanthudawa, Pandit Dodanduwe Dharmasena are to name some illustrious scholars who contributed to the rejuvenation of journalism. All these scholars were inhabitants of Galle. Out of them veteran writer Martin Wickramasinghe was born in Habaraduwa Divisional Secretariat Division.