Rajamanthri Walauwa

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Rajamanthrilage Walauwa (රාජමන්ත්‍රී වලව්ව) or manor house of Rajamanthri is situated in Kandy, Rajawella (රජවැල්ල) Sri Lanka. Rajamanthri House is a twelve-room, 200-year-old mansion built by the last Chief Minister of the Kingdom of Kandy in 1804. It was fully restored and opened by Prince Seimon Naide Rajamanthri in 1944 at Rajawella, Kandy. The manor house was converted to a resort villa and the estate was divided for various business purposes such as resorts, shopping complexes, international schools, sports grounds, cinema halls and garment factories. The shopping complex began in 1985. The manor house still remains in Rajawella City, managed by two sons of Prince Julius.


The villa was built in 1804 by the Chief Minister of the final King of Kandy. The kingdom at that time forbade anyone except royalty to use roofing tiles. However, Prince Rajamanthri built a replica palace with two sprawling stories of terracotta tiles for himself. Two hundred years later, Geoffrey Bawa's protégé, Prince Julius Rajamanthri from Radala caste, began work on a sensitive restoration that has kept the essence of the villa intact while bringing it into the 21st century. The manor house has since been converted into a resort villa. The estate is a major producer of: coconuts, rubber, pepper, cardamom, ginger, cocoa, areca-nut, coffee, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, orchids and teak. An existing factory has been remodeled into a garment factory in recent times.

Meaning of walauwa[edit]

In Sinhala, walauwa means mansion. The English terms for walauwa are "manor" or "manor house", a large house with larger lands. The Walauwa and its owners were supported by the larger lands and estates they possessed. These either were land grants from kings since the beginning of the Sinhalese kingdom until the Kandyan era or government service during the Colonial era, or were acquired by a successful enterprise and passed down though generations.[1] The owners were the landed elites of Ceylon; as such they gained a status of power and wealth.

There is another theory[citation needed] that walauwa means a place where a judgement was given.[2] Those people who occupied the walauwa had the authority to pass judgement over people with the authority provided by Royal Decree. Mansions replaced the walauwa in the urban areas towards the latter part of the nineteenth century.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sri Lanka - Decline Of The Sinhalese Kingdom". Countrystudies.us. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  2. ^ "Civil Appeal. 23 Of 2013". Kenya Law. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Sinhalese social organization : The Kandyan Period by Ralph Pieris (Ceylon University Press 1956) ISBN 955-9170-37-6
  • An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies by Robert Knox; https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14346
  • Social Change in 19th century Ceylon. Patrick Peebles. 1995, Navrang ISBN 81-7013-141-3
  • The Mahavamsa
  • The adaptable peasant: agrarian society in western Sri Lanka under Dutch rule, 1740–1800, Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, ISBN 90-04-16508-8, p. 201
  • Sri Lanka Walauwa Directory by Dr Mirando Obeysekara (Samanthi Book Publishers) ISBN 955-8596-47-7