Ehelapola Maha Nilame was a courtier of the Kingdom of Kandy. He was the 1st Adigar (Maha Adikaram) from 1811 to 1814 under the reign King Sri Wikrama Rajasinha. Following the brutal execution of his entire family by the King, he aided the British to finally launch an successful invasion of the Kandy Kingdom and was instrumental in the Kandyan Convention that followed which led to the annexed the Kandy Kingdom to the British.
The walawwa (mansion) of Ehelapola Maha Adikaram used as the official residence when he was sent to Ratnapura to collect taxes has been now converted in to a museum and is now known as the Ratnapura National Museum.
The museum which was opened in 13 May 1988 includes exhibits on prehistoric archaeological inventions, natural heritage, geological, anthropological, zoological artifacts and models relating to the Sabaragamuwa Province. The weaponry on display include Sinhala swords of the late medieval era including a sword alleged to have belonged to Ehelepola, and a collection of old guns including a Vickers machine gun used during the First World War. The cooking utensils of the region include a tripod pan with three molds for preparing rice flour cakes known as kiri roti. Traditional Kandyan jewellery includes necklaces, bangles, anklets and earrings.
Among the pre historic fossils are fossils a elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamuses found at various points around Ratnapura district.
The grounds of the museum contain a palaeo biodiversity park, with life-sized animal sculptures of species believed to have existed in the region including Gavara, a close cousin of Bison now extinct.
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Map of Ratnapura National Museum
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|Distance from Colomboto the Ratnapura National Museum|
|Distance : 87 km|
Travel time : 2.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map