Ratnapura National Museum (ජාතික කෞතුකාගාරයක් වූ රත්නපුර ඇහැලේපොල වලව්ව)

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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 of King Sri Wikrama Rajasinha. Following the brutal execution of his entire family by the King, he aided the British in finally launching a 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 into a museum and is now known as the Ratnapura National Museum.

The museum which was opened on 13 May 1988 includes exhibits on prehistoric archaeological inventions, natural heritage, geological, anthropological, and zoological artefacts and models relating to the Sabaragamuwa Province. The weaponry on display includes 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 moulds 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 of an elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamuses found at various points around the Ratnapura district.

The grounds of the museum contain a paleo 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.

Also See

Map of Ratnapura National Museum

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Travel Directions to Ratnapura National Museum

Distance from Colombo to the  Ratnapura National Museum
Distance :  87 km
Travel time : 2.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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