3 hr 44 min (223 km) Colombo – Katunayake Expy
4hr 54 min (181km) Embilipitiy – Panamure – Bulutota Rd
To reach this stately home (walauwa), visitors can first travel to Embilipitiya and them follow the B115 to Ka-Ella Junction passing Panamure along the way. From here visitors can then turn right and proceed towards Kolonne and around four kilometres on, the famous Maduwanwela Walauwa will be on your right-hand side.
The date of the original structure is 1877 and its Chief Occupant at inception was Maha Dissava Wickramasinghe Wijesundara Ekanayake Abeyakoon Mudiyanse Ralahamillage Sir James William Maduwanwela, also known as the ‘Black Prince of Sabaragamuwa’.
Visitors can take their time to explore the grounds and the various structures. There is a mini courthouse and day-prison towards the rear that was used to dispense justice by the Dissava who was also a magistrate. There are various rooms for storing staples and supplies including a curious room for ladies that were menstruating.
The numerous meda midulas are mini gardens that dot the layout. A high level of carving skill can be seen in the permanent pirith mandapa (Buddhist ceremonial structure) towards the front.
Early mornings are especially nice and cool with the rays of sunlight cutting through a variety of colourful glass panes.
21 Courtyards (Meda Midula)
121 Rooms at its peak
Crushed ceramic mosaic tiles with the imprint of the British Queen
Largest Walauwa in Sri Lanka
Original land span was some 16,000 acres