Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe, the king of Kandyan Kindgdom was captured by the British on the 18th February 1815 at Medamahanuwara after his own officials including Eheylapola Maha Adhikaram ( who was one of the main conspirators who helped the British to take over Kandy ) joined the British to help take hold of Kandy.
On 6th March 1815 the king, his family and relatives were brought to Colombo by the British. Its is said that that king was kept at a location close to the Galle Face Green until 24th January 1816, almost a year before being deported to Vellore India.
The cell identified as the holding cell of Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe lies on the intersection of Bank of Ceylon Mawatha and the Janadhipathi Mawatha within the Ceylinco Building car park area but visible to the road. Painted in bright yellow and orange, this is a roughly 8×5′ building with a 2 feet thick wall. The roof is designed with a fish scale design.
On the outside lies two plaques describing the capture of the king Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe and the significance of the building as the holding cell of the king.
Inside the cell is decorated with various pictures including paintings of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe and his queen Venkata Rengammal.
Though this building is generally accepted as the holding cell of the king, it has been argued by many that there is no way that the king was kept at this location. Based on the writings and communications during this period the English seems have given the due respect for the king and said to kept him in a spacious house. After his departure, there has been certain communication with UK on releasing the house which was used for the king to to another party. It has also been thought this might be a guard house of a demolished building of the Echelon Square where the military barracks were situated in Colombo fort during the time of British occupation.
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Map of Prison Cell of king Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe
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|Route from Galle Face Roundabout to Prison Cell of king Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe|
|Distance : 1.5 km|
Travel time :10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map