Kandy National Museum

National Museum of Kandy
The 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 artefacts (approximately 4000 items) mainly representing the subject areas of history and ethnology of the Kandyan Period.

The museum has been established in 1942 in an old building called Palle Vahala (Embuldeniya & Karunarathna, 2019; Rambukwella, 2014). 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. 

The 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.

The museum is used to display artifacts, mostly pertaining to the Kandy Period and the Kandy region (Rambukwella, 2014). They include various types of textiles, household items, ornaments, arms and armaments, brass, bronze and iron implements, Dutch and English coins and other items, Buddhist statues and decorative wood carvings, ivory and metal objects, wall paintings, panels and coins (Rambukwella, 2014). Majority of these artifacts are from the 18th and 19th centuries A.D. (Rambukwella, 2014).

Crown of King Rajasinghe II (replica)
Replica of the crown of King Rajasinghe II The original crown of King Rajasinghe II (1635-1687 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 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) Rambukwella, M.W.C.N.K., 2014. Heritage representation in culturally diverse societies: a case study of the Colombo National Museum in Sri Lanka (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies). pp.401-402.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 15 May 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Post a Comment

Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.