The Richmond Castle in Kalutara is a magnificent example of British Indian architecture. Built in 1896 at the turn of the century the castle was the home of a long and elaborately named regional governor who was later known as a philanthropist; his name ran, Padikara Mudali nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamige Don Athur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena nee 1888.
The placement of the mansion sets the stage for an imposing sense of splendour. Placed on top of a hill amidst 42 acres of surrounding grounds the Richmond Castle rises majestically resonating imperial grandeur.
The two storied colonial edifice boasts 15 rooms, 99 doors, 38 windows and a single roof housing the entire complex. The windows are decorated using stained and coloured glass depicting intricate classical designs such as the grape wines. Italian and Scottish mirrors and glass are also found adorning the interior of the mansion.
It is believed that two shiploads of teak were imported from Burman for the construction of this spectacular structure. The intricate wood work and carving characteristic of the house still remain fresh and unsullied. Richmond Castle was once famed for palatial luxury.
Complete with a dancing hall, grand dining rooms, stables, guard rooms and separate workers quarters, the mansion used to entertain aristocrats, noblemen, British higher-achy and the upper echelons of society at banquets and parties.
The expanse is said to have had a picturesque garden lined with beautiful beds of exquisite flowers. Today it cultivates local vegetation like coconut trees, mangusteen, veralu, guava, mango and rambutan and various types of citrus. Because the proprietor was also a lover of nature he adorned his garden with classical marble statues, some of which are still on display at the castle.
Bounded by the Kalutara-Palatota Road, the property was known to have been a circuit bungalow for the high ranking officials during the period of British colonization. Today it serves as an educational centre for the less fortunate children of Kalutara and is considered an admired tourist attraction.
The castle’s history is one of prestige and eminence. It is said that Governor George Anderson was once requested by the royal family of England to appoint a regiment of forty armed soldiers to guard the mansion and its inhabitants. However the tale of the Mudaliyar who owned Richmond Castle of Kalutara is a sad one. The Mudaliyar’s marriage proved to be childless and dissapointing. Having ended the marriage he donated the castle to the Public Trustee for the welfare of the children of Sri Lanka. Afterwards the Mudaliyar lived by himself in a quiet room at the Queen’s Hotel in Kandy; here he died alone in 1947.
Kalutara is a city abundant with cultural and religious significance and provides a multitude of tourist attractions for locals and tourists alike. Due to constant tourist traffic within the city, it is home to many beach resorts Sri Lanka Kalutara. Facing the scenic western coastline Avani Kalutara Resort is one such famous hotel in Kalutara. Its close proximity to the key attractions of Kalutara makes it all the more suitable for a blissful stay in Kalutara.