Sin: හබරණ habaraṇa – Tam: அபரணை aparaṇai
‘Hunter’s Place’ NCP, Sri Lanka
From Sin: sabara/habara, ‘hunter’; ana, ‘place, grove, forest’.
It is possible that this refers to Sri Lanka’s indigenous hunter-gathering tribe, the Veddas.
Not much hunting these days but there are safaris into the Habarana jungle and the Minneriya Sanctuary where hundreds of elephants gather round the reservoir during the dry season.
There is a botanical alternative, Sin: habarala [Colocasia esculenta], ‘taro’, a tropical perennial plant with edible roots or tubers. Some suggest that the plant gets it name from the Vedda ‘hunters’ who used to gather and eat it.
There is a statue to King Mahasen in the centre of the town. Mahasen or Mahasena was a Sri Lankan king ruling from Anuradhapura in the 3-4thC . He built sixteen reservoirs including the 18.9 sq. km, 75 billion litre Minneriya Tank for which he was deified as Minneri Deviyo.
He also constructed the 122m Jethavana stupa, the world’s largest and one of the tallest structures of the ancient world.