Sunday, March 24, 2019

National Museum of Kandy

Ivory images, Kandy National Museum
National Museum of Kandy, Sri Lanka is one of the museums administered by the Department of National Museums. Presently, the museum has a large collection of artifacts (approximately 4000 items) mainly representing the subject areas of history and ethnology of the Kandyan period (1592-1815 A.D.).

The museum has been established in an old building called Palle Vahala (Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019). During the reign of King Sri Vickrama Rajasingha (1798 -1815 A.D.) this building was used as the quarters of the royal queens (Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019; Rajapakse, 2016).

The first collection of artifacts deposited in the Kandy museum belonged to Mr. John Andy Dickson, the Government Agent for Kandy who served for the British government in 1832. He had a large number of antiques mainly collected from Kandy and Matale Districts in his residence and most of them were artifacts belonging to the subject of ethnology. On retirement, he donated this collection of artifacts to the Kandyan Art Association. The re-donation of these artifacts by the Kandyan Art Association became the basis of the establishment of the present Kandy Museum. 

The museum was declared open to the public on 27 August 1942, by a Gazette notification published under the Gazette No. 

Museum building
The building has been built according to the architectural traditions of the Kandyan period (Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019). The attractive large roof, center courtyard and windows, the stone-paved floor, lime-plastered walls, and large doorways can be identified as the main architectural features of this building.

Crown of King Rajasinghe II (replica)
Replica of the crown of King Rajasinghe II The original crown of King Rajasinghe II (1629-1687 A.D.) was exhibited in this museum since its establishment, but the crown was stolen in 1961. 

This replica was made akin, out of copper and gold gilt in 1972, on the order of Mr. Willium Gopallawa, the then president of Sri Lanka. Several parts belonging to the original crown have also been added to this replica.

Reference: National Museum of Kandy

Colour paintings on wooden planks, Kandy National Museum Standing Buddha image, Kandy National Museum
1) Embuldeniya, P., Karunarathna, K.G.M., 2019. Significance of developing museums in Sri Lanka as tourist attractions: with special reference to national museums. EPRA International Journal of Research and Development. Vol. IV. Issue 2. pp.14-21.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. p.39.
3) The notice board at the museum.

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This page was last updated on 23 February 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


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