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Maduwanwela walawwa

  Province Sabaragamuwa
  District Rathnapura
  Nearest Town Kolonne
  Museum type Historic & Archeological site
  Established in -
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If you are interested in discovering about noble families in the history of Sri Lanka, Maduwanwela Walawwa is a place which you must visit in your life. Maduwanwela Walawwa was the official residence of Maduwanwela family. It was built by “Maduwanwela Maha Disawe” after facing a strange experience at that place (when he went on hunting one day he has seen a rabbit was chased by a fox. But all of a sudden, the rabbit has started chasing the fox. Supposing that it was a victorious place, he has built his mansion at the same location.)

But the most popular owner of this mansion was Wickramasinghe Wijesundara Ekanayake Abeykoon Mudiyanse Ralahamilage Sir James Williams Maduwanwela who was known as Maduwanwela Disawe, even among British rulers. Sir Francis Molamure became the owner of this mansion after the inherits of Maduwanwela family. Construction work of this huge mansion was started in 1700 and was completed in 1905. This place consisted of 121 rooms and 21 central gardens during its glorious era, though 43 rooms and 7 central gardens only remains at present.

When you enter this great mansion, you will find that it has very low door frames at each entrance. So when the British Agents visit this place, they had to bow their heads to enter this house which meant to honour the Disawe.

Once you enter this place you will be able to see several significant places. One of this mansion’s central gardens has been beautified by tiles (taken from breaking Dutch plates). At one end of this garden, there is a tile of Queen Victoria placed on floor, which is supposed to be treaded unknowingly. According to the archaeologists, there has been a secret upper floor (attic) which enables some one to move over each room secretly. Most of the rooms of the mansion have many similar characteristics, though they differ from each other by fewer aspects span.fullpost {display:inline;}

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A separate Pirith Mandapa, shrine room, machine room, living room, dining hall for nobles, court hall also still remains there to be seen. The lively portrait of the Disawe in the living room is a special one which makes you to think that Disawe looks at you, from whatever the direction or angle you face the picture.

The water management system of the mansion has been based on a special well (Kumbuke Linda) which releases water with a high pressure.

If you need to visit this mansion with historical value, firstly you will have to get to Pelmadulla, from Rathnapura. Then get to Madampe junction, which leads you to Rakwana. Then get to Sooriyakanda to Kolonna Maduwanwela. It is a place really worth visiting as it depicts a grand picture about the nobles in our history.


Maduwanwela walawwa was the residence of "Maduwanwela Disawa" who was a regional ruler in English Era ( 1796 - 1945 ). It was located near a rural town known as Kolonne, in Rathnapura District.

This walawwa was said to be built by Maduwanwela Maha Mohottala in 1700 AC, when the country was crowned by the king Wimaladhrmasuriya, the 2nd (1687 ~ 1706). Later it was upgraded by Maduwanwela Wijesundara Ekanayake Abekoon in 1725 and Maduwanwela Disawe in 1877 ~ 1905. In 1905, it was consisted with 121 rooms, 21 court yards and three security walls. A court complex was also added to the Walawwa at that time.

As per the folklore; the upstairs was built imitating the same of Ehelepola walawwa at Rathnapura (Where the museum is located). At the living room, a 3D painting of Disawa; which you feel you were been watched by him; was displayed, along with a photograph of Kalawane Kumarihami.

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