Providing insights into colonial times and distinctive architecture, Richmond Castle in Kalutara is a truly fascinating place to visit in Sri Lanka’s south coast.
Planning Your Visit
This attraction can be found in the Palatota area of Kalutara close to the Kalu Ganga (river). On weekdays, it’s generally open from 08:30am to 04:30pm, while guided tours are available too. Properties the likes of Anantara Kalutara Resort also offer excursions here which include a boat ride to this well-known site.
The Original Owner
Richmond Castle was constructed in 1896 by a landowner (Mudaliyar) by the name of Don Arthur de Silva; he was inspired by the design of an Indian palace belonging to the Maharaja of Ramnad. While it may be a far cry from the comforts of a modern luxury villa Sri Lanka has to offer, it does offer an interesting perspective of the lavish living standards of colonial times.
A Guided Tour
Today, the site is home to a children’s orphanage, though you can still get a guided tour. Apart from the blend of Western and Eastern architecture, those venturing inside will come across age-old antiques, stained glass windows, a staircase built from Burmese teak and a fascinating natural ventilation system.
A Charming Garden
Richmond Castle sits on a 42-acre estate which includes a garden area that lends to the site’s charm. Amidst this garden, you will come across Grecian-style statues of children which attests to the original owner’s love for little ones.