Coffee Planters Fountain in Kandy (මහනුවර කෝපි වගාකරුවන්ගේ වතුරමල)

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Kandy, the last capital of Sri Lanka, was declared as an world heritage city in 1988. With 2500 years of flourishing buddhist heritage and British architecture since 1815, it a city you will find little jewels everywhere you turn.

Walking pass the car park of Dalada Maligawa towards the Natha Devalaya, you will come across this beautifully crafted fountain reminiscent of the British architecture.

Shortly after the British occupation of the Kandyan Kingdom, coffee was introduced as the main plantation. This was followed by the formation of a separate organization by the coffee planters.

Soon Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was one of the biggest coffee producers of world.  The coffee production peaked in 1870 with over 275,000 acres being cultivated. When the Prince of Wales announced his plan to visit this hill city, the coffee planters of the country had built this fountain to commemorate this event.

The fountain built in form of a Coffee Flower  has been manufactured by . George Smith &co. at the. factory in Glasgow using the metal alloy pewter. It has been imported in parts, assembled and completed in Kandy and activated for first time for the visit of the prince.

The plaque at the fountain reads ;


This fountain still remains in its original form and is used during ceremonies in Kandy. During the annual Esala Perahera this becomes one of the main water sources for the numerous elephants in the pageant.

This monument is now maintained by the DFCC Bank.

Various Figures found in the Coffee Planters Fountain

Cherubs – A cherub is a supernatural being in the Bible. For the word commonly used for winged babies in artwork. There are 2 types of Cherubs in the fountain. The 4 Cherubs around the outer octoganal pool carries a urn and a paddle. There are 4 more Cherubs holding a crocodile at the center column of the pool.

The urn and a paddle sculpture was a unique design of the Smith and co. have been done using so that the same kind of sculptures could be found in various other ornamental fountains that were undertaken by this cooperation. The cupid with the paddle and urn could be found at Tobermory harbor in Mull, Aitken memorial fountain in Govancross and at Stewart memorial fountain in Kelvin grove park in England.

The cherub is leaning on to the paddle in his right side and he holds it with both of his hands. And he looks downward as if in a somber mood. He is sitting on an urn which has its mouth towards the front of the statue. The mouth of the urn is in a leafy form and is made with a hole in it to flow water that is pumped to it. The urn is a flat bottomed one with a round shape and it is positioned on a grove like place with leaves and vegetation around it. The cherub or the boy is half nude with curly short hair. His tunic is placed on his thighs and a corner of the tunic is held by the boy in his hands. This cherub is associated with the things such as flowers, paddles and urns which signifies the innocence of life.

The second type of cherub is holding a baby crocodile with its mouth opened with both hands with the crocodile resting on the left thigh. This cherub signifies the masculine strength and the evils of human life. water to the pool is pumped through the mouths of the crocodiles.

Fish – Four fish are found on the center column. These fish are called dolphins. They are winged creatures adding a angelic tone to the fish. The mouths have holes to pump water out. The scaly bodies and the upturned fins of the Dolphins make these images very lively and also create a surrounding that suits a water fountain.

Herons – There are three herons above the fish in the center column of the fountain. Two of the heron sculptures are looking upwards and one is looking down towards the water.


  1. Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
  2. Biyanwila, A. (2021) ‘Art Of A Heritage: An Analysis Of The Ornamentation And The Foreign Artistic Influences On The Coffee Planters’ Fountain In Kandy’, ANCIENT CEYLON Journal of the Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka, (27), pp. 31–42.

Also See

Map of  Coffee Planters Fountain in Kandy

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Travel Directions to Coffee Planters Fountain in Kandy

Route 1 from Colombo to KandyRoute 2 from Colombo to Kandy
Though : kadawata – Warakapola – Ambepussa – Mawanella
Distance :120 km
Travel time : 3.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Katunayake Expressway –
Distance :150 km
Travel time : 3.20 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Route From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
Though : Walapane – Raja Mawatha
Distance :100 km
Travel time : 3.0 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Route from Kandy Rail Station to Coffee Planters Fountain in Kandy
Distance :  1.1 km
Travel time :  15  mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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