A group of like minded philanthropists from Yatiyana, Minuwangoda spear headed by a renowned native medical doctor W.P. Ranasinghe commenced the Sri Anuradhapura Sisilapana saha Aharadhana Samithiya(Sri Anuradhpura soft drinks and Food donation society) for the benefit of thousands of pilgrims who come to Anuradhapura during the month of June to celebrate the introduction of Budhism to Sri Lanka. Success was music to the like minded philanthropists , and philanthropists with connections to Minuwangoda area from Anamaduwa, Alawwa and Divalapitiya also joined the group.
With the success of the food donations the group requested the then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Sir John Kothalawala for a block of land to put up a shelter for the pilgrims who come to Anuradhapura. In 1955 the government of then Prime Minister Sir John Kothalawala was generous enough to donate a half an acre of land on Jayanthi Mawatha.Anuradhapura, and a shelter was built in 1955. It was called Sri Rathnmali Vishramashalawa.( Sri Rathnamali Pilgrims Rest).
The main objective of the Pilgrims Rest was to provide comfortable shelter for the pilgrims who come to Anuradhapura, and to provid food and soft drinks on Poya days . Day by day, new buildings with comfort erected over the years from the donations of thousands of pilgrims who flock to Anuradhapura everyday.
From 1985 to 1994 all facilities of the Sri Anuradhapura Sisilapana saha Aharadhana Samithiya was taken over by the government. During this period it was being used as a rehabilitation center for terrorist suspects.
In 1994 June all facilities were handed over to the the Sri Anuradhapura Sisilapana saha Aharadhana Samithiya in a dilapidated condition. All facilities were renovated with unstinted support and goodwill of the pilgrims who have used the facilities.
We are proud to say the facilities include seven air conditioned rooms. Sixty one rooms with fans and other sanitary facilities, four halls for large groups and a cottage with two rooms. Further, the local authorities have recognized the Sri Rathnamali Pilgrims Rest as the best pilgrims rest in the area.