The serene and tranquil town of Tissa, short for Tissamaharama, was the capital of the ancient Ruhunu Kingdom in the 2nd century B.C. Tissa, named after King Kavantissa who did much to develop this sacred town also built the sprawling Tissawewa lake as well as the Debarawewa lake located near by. These lakes still serve as a valuable resource to the surrounding villages. The town's landscape is dominated by gigantic semi-circle shaped ancient Buddhist dagobas. Several ancient Buddhist temples including the Maha Stupa, Sandagiri dagoba and monastery complex, Yatala and the Menik dagobas are all located nearby as well as an archeological Museum that provides a glimpse into the ancient Ruhunu kingdom.