Built in 1903, Richmond Castle is a spectacular architectural construction of the period. A visit to Kalutara city would not be completed without dropping by at this spectacular castle which was designed and owned by the rich Mudaliyar Arthur De Silva Wijesinghe at that time. Spanning across 42 acres this palatial residence of the Mudaliyar is located on top of a hill. It is said that the mansion was built by the Mudaliyar Wijesinghe in time for his lavish marriage, but it is also believed that the castle was constructed as an arrogant reply to an offensive comment made by an Indian Maharajah regarding the country.
One of the outstanding features of this splendid man-made feat is its vast number of doors and windows. This expansive edifice boasts more than 35 windows and 100 doorways letting in ample light and ventilation. The castle consists of 16 rooms in all and in addition has a grand ballroom, a salon and a large front balcony overlooking the well-manicured and elegantly landscaped garden. The spacious ballroom adorned with intricately carved pillars and roofs is where the Mudaliyar and his wife hosted their social gatherings. Standing in its grandeur, this imposing castle immensely resembles Indian architectural features.
The beautiful garden which once boasts of numerous varieties of flowers now mostly contains bushes and trees such as guava, rambutan, mangosteen and mango. One of the remarkable features of this garden is its spectacular fountain in the middle of the lawn, in front of the mansion and the marble statues of angels scattered across the garden. It is said that the Mudaliyer and his wife were not fortunate enough to have children and as a result the Mudaliyer designed marble statues in the garden to watch from his balcony.
Before leaving the castle, the Mudaliyar has handed over the Richmond Castle along with his all wealth to the Public Trustee Department. Today the castle is no longer occupied by this wealthy family but functions as a makeshift school for underprivileged children coming from the poor families in the area. However the visitors to the castle can still see the portraits of the couple and their wedding photographs hanging on the walls of the castle.
Travellers heading down to southern coast should pay a visit to this magnificent castle located in Kalutara and it would certainly be a peaceful stop over on your way. If you are looking for a hotel in Kalutara to stay over, there are several luxury hotels and resorts along the beach. Nestled by the Kalu Ganga, Avani Kalutara Resort is one of the top hotels in Kalutara which would promise you elegantly appointed accommodation along with contemporary facilities.
Umanga Kahandawaarachchi is a passionate travel writer who writes under the pen name, Maggie Tulliver. Her field of writing covers a wide array of content and articles related to travel and hospitality industry. Google+