The wondrous island of Sri Lanka has many spectacular coastal towns each with their unique sense of beauty usually featuring pristine beaches and distinct historical heritage. The major town of Kalutara, is also one such example. Kalutara used to be a major spice-trading centre and attracted some wealthy settlers who built lavish abodes, such as the infamous Richmond Castle, which attracts many tourists and locals alike during their excursions in Sri Lanka. Kalutara is still a very popular locale, and with her many luxurious attractions such as Taprobana Wadduwa, Kalutara still retains a high traffic in regards to travellers.
Coming back to Richmond Castle, a place that is considered spectacular in terms of architecture, was built around the time of 1896, by a wealthy land-owner and philanthropist known as ‘Padikara Mudali’. Rumour has it that the construction plans for Richmond Castle were based off those a London architect had made for a Maharaja’s palace.
Although referred to as a ‘castle’, Richmond Castle is technically a fruit-garden estate, that occupies a land-mass of forty-two acres. The building however is just as lavish as any castle, and initial construction required two ships worth of Teak imported from Burma. The entire building features exquisite carvings and designs, from the windows depicting grape-vines to the intricate decorations carved into the interior walls.
The gardens of the estate once featured a vast spectrum of flowers but have since been replaced by various fruit-trees such as coconut, mangosteen, guava, and a series of citrus strains. During his adult-life, ‘Padikara Mudali’ was quite unhappy since he was child-less, and ended up giving his properties to the Public Trustee for the Welfare of Children.
If you happen to find yourself in Sri Lanka, be sure to take a trip to Kalutara to enjoy serene beaches, tropical splendour and if you choose to, a visit to the historical Richmond Castle.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+