Dunuwila Walawwa in Kandy (මහනුවර මහ නගරසභා ගොඩනැගිල්ල වූ දුනුවිල වලව්ව)

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It is said that there were 18 Walawwa’s within the city of Kandy during the period of the last king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe ((1798-1815).

  1. Dunuwila Walawwa (දුනුවිල වලව්ව) – Currently used as the Kandy Town hall. Gone through some modifications
  2. Ehelapola Walawwa (ඇහැලේපොල වලව්ව) – Currently part of Bogambara Prison Complex
  3. Ellepola Walawwa (ඇල්ලේපොල වලව්ව) –
  4. Moladanda Walawwa (මොලදණ්ඩ වලව්ව) – destroyed
  5. Nugawela Walawwa (නුගවෙල වලව්ව) – destroyed
  6. Mullegama Walawwa (මුල්ලේගම වලව්ව) – destroyed
  7. Kapuwatta Walawwa (කපුවත්තෙ වලව්ව) –
  8. Wegodapola Walawwa (වෑගොඩපොල වලව්ව)  –
  9. Meegasthanne Walawwa (මීගස්තැන්න වලව්ව)-
  10. Mampitiya Walawwa (මාම්පිටිය වලව්ව) – Basic structure of the Walawwa still survives. Today this building is known as the Royal Bar and Hotel on Raja Veediya
  11. Arawwawala Walawwa (ඇරැව්වාවල වලව්ව) –
  12. Arapola  Walawwa (ඇරෑපොල වලව්ව) – destroyed
  13. Molligoda  Walawwa (මොල්ලිගොඩ වලව්ව)  – destroyed
  14. Dullewa  Walawwa (දුල්ලෑව වලව්ව) – Changed by the British and then converted to Queens Hotel today
  15. Ratwatte  Walawwa (රත්වත්තේ වලව්ව) – Chandra Silk House today
  16. Pilimathalawa  Walawwa (පිළිමතලාව වලව්ව) – Currently the President’s House is located here. Another part is used as the Governor’s quarters.
  17. Dehigama Walawwa (දෙහිගම වලව්ව) – Destroyed. Now Central Finance Building
  18. Eramuduliyadde Walawwa (එරමුදුලියද්දේ වලව්ව)
  19. Giragama Walawwa (ගිරාගම වලව්ව) – not generally listed as part of the 18 walawwas.

The known history of the Dunuwila family goes back to the time of King Rajasinghe II (1635 – 1687). Dunuwila Nilame from this lineage was a courtier of the Kingdom of Kandy during the period of the last king of Kandy, Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe (1798 – 1815).

During the time of kings, elephants played a major role in the palace. The king generally had a designated elephant as the Royal Elephant whose only task was to carry the king. There were others who were used in war and in heavy work.  Thus the Royal Elephant Stables were looked after by a specially designated noble family with the honorary title of  Gajanayake. Dunuwila Adhikaram was Nilame in charge of the stables and thus was also called the Duniwila Gajanayake Nilame.

Dunuwila Nilame’s residence called Dunuwila Walawwa was also located close to the Elephant stables to monitor the elephants in the royal stables. But after the invasion of Kandy by the British in 1915, the Elephant stables were destroyed and the land which was owned by the Asgiri Maha Viharaya was taken by the British Government and given to the Muslims to build a mosque. Today this is known as the Meera Macaam Jummah Mosque which lies next to Gedige Maha Viharaya.

The Walawwa was taken over by the British in 1815 and in 1848 it was taken over by the police. Then on October 31, 1861 government paid 3000 pounds and used it for government offices. Then again the British government has purchased the land outright for 3000 pounds and used as as the Kandy Municipal Council.

The building which stands today shows a mixture of Kandyan, Dutch, and British architectural styles. Burmese Teak has been used as timber but probably not in its original form.

Also See

Map of Dunuwila Walawwa in Kandy

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travel Directions to Dunuwila Walawwa in Kandy

Kandy can be reached from Colombo on the old Colombo – Kandy road (option 1) which is scenic but heavy in traffic, especially on Fridays and Sundays. However, the new Central Expressway (option 2) has opened up a new route which is longer but less cumbersome.

Route 1 from Colombo to KandyRoute 2 from Colombo to Kandy
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel Time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
Through : Walapane – Raja Mawatha
Distance :100 km
Travel Time : 3.0 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Distance from Kandy Dalada Maligawa to Dunuwila Walawwa in Kandy
Distance :  900 m
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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