Just so you know there are 03 Richmond Castles in the world. To avoid any confusion what we are talking about here is the Richmond castle in Kalutara, Sri Lanka.
If you stumbled upon here by mistake, here are the links to the other two so you won’t have to scratch your head and look up on Google again. Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire, Schloss Richmond in Germany
A Brief History
Richmond castle aka Richmond bungalow is an Edwardian mansion built by the late mudaliyar Sir Don Arthur De Silva in early 1900. This castle is said to have been inspired by an Indian mansion of a maharaja which the mudaliyar visited.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka he sent his men to study the building. After the building was finished he invited the maharaja and it is said that maharaja was utterly impressed by the craftsmanship and congratulated on mudaliyar’s endeavor.
Muldaliyar lived like in a king on his grandiose mansion with personal security guards, servants and went on to marry a noble lady with a majestic wedding. Even the queen of England attended this wedding along with elite officials of the English government, hence the use of term majestic. Imagine the clout he had.
But, proving the money can’t buy everything, the mudaliyar’s wife was unable to produce a child, and he is said to have been devastated by this. He sent his wife home and left the mansion to live in Kandy queens hotel until he died. Before leaving he allocated all is wealth to a child orphanage which is continued to date.
Read more about the history of Richmond castle.
Rumor has it that this mansion was called “Rich man’s castle” earlier and in turn became “Richmond Castle”.
Where is it?
Being one of the renowned places to visit in Kalutara, The castle is located just 3 Km from the city center in a peaceful area called Thekkawatta. Here is how to get there
Coming from Colombo
Go past the Kalutara Temple and take the first left to the riverside road at the junction with a clock tower
Coming from South
Drive towards the clock tower passing the police station and turn right onto the riverside road.
Going straight on the riverside road will bring you to the Palathota junction. Go straight in this road about another 2 Km until you reach a temple on the left side called “Bhikkhu Vivekaramaya” just pass this temple lies the estate of Richmond castle to the left.
You’ll see the grandiose gate immediately. The ticket counter is just right at the gate and there is usually an old guy at the counter. The Parking place is located on the estate so you can go right in.
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Visiting Hours: 08.00 AM to 04.00 PM
You’ll be amazed how less crowded this place is even on the weekend. Prices for the foreigners may seem high but considering the ticket income goes to the benefit of the orphaned children in the castle you should think this as a worthy cause. The pathway to the castle itself is a serene experience and walking is recommended to absorb the tranquil feeling of the atmosphere.
Go straight on the narrow road passing the parking place to the left and you’ll come up to the plateau which the castle was built upon. You’ll definitely feel strange out of the world feeling when you see it fit the first time because such a grandiose sight is so out of place in these rural surroundings.
Riverside Road, Kalutara 12000, Sri Lanka
+94 34 2 226548