Hambanthota Government Agents Bungalow Archaeological Site – Bungalow of Leonard Woolf – හම්බන්තොට දිසාපති නිල නිවස

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The plaque by the Department of Archaeology about the Government Agents house
The plaque by the Department of Archaeology about the Government Agents house

Leonard Woolf came to Sri Lanka as young civil servant in 1904 started off his service in Jaffna. He was a Cadet in Jaffna from 1905 to 1907. He was also a Cadet in Kandy from 1907 to 1908. Then he was transferred to Hambantota as Asst. Govt. Agent as from August 27, 1908 until he left the country in 1911.

He was the husband of well known author Virginia Wolf and his sister Bella Woolf, is the author of “How to See Ceylon” probably the first travelers hand book on Sri Lanka which was published in 1914.

Leonard Woolf is best known for his fiction “Village in the Jungle” in 1913 which was a set in jungle village in the deep South and was rated the most artistically successful novel set in Sri Lanka.

The novel describes the lives of a poor family in a small village called Beddagama (literally, “The village in the jungle”) as they struggle to survive the challenges presented by poverty, disease, superstition, the unsympathetic colonial system, and the jungle itself.

Written two decades before George Orwell’s much better known anti-imperialist novel “Burmese Days“, The “Village in the Jungle” has been described by Nick Rankin as “the first novel in English literature to be written from the indigenous point of view rather than the colonist’s.” Victoria Glendinning described it as “a foundation novel in the Sri Lankan literary canon”, but the novel remains little known in the wider world.

This work was translated into Sinhalese as ‘Baddegama’. Dr. Lester James Peiris turned it into a film in 1980.

The official bungalow used by Leonard Woolf in the early 20th century when he was the AGA of the Hamanthota District lies on a small hillock by the Hambanthota fisheries harbor overlooking the sea.

Also See

Map of  Hambanthota Bungalow of Leonard Woolf

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Travel Directions to Hambanthota Bungalow of Leonard Woolf

Route from Colombo to Hambanthota Bungalow of Leonard Woolf Route from Matara to Hambanthota Bungalow of Leonard Woolf
Though : Galle – Matara
Distance : 284 km
Travel time : 6 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Tangalle
Distance : 85 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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