Dharmaraja College (Kandy)

Dharmaraja College is a government boys' school situated in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

The school was started in 1887 by the name Kandy Buddhist High School in a cadjan shed in the Natha Devalaya premises with 12 students (Abeyawardana, 2004). The foundation for the establishment of the school was laid by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907), an American who played a major role in the revival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the latter part of the 19th century (Abeyawardana, 2004). Andiris De Silva was the first principal from 1887 to 1890. The school was later renamed as Dharmaraja.

Sir D.B. Jayatilaka (1868-1944), a scholar who spear-headed the nationalist movement in the country became the second principal of the school from 1890 to 1898 (Abeyawardana, 2004). In 1915, during the time of the principal K.N. Billimoria (1902-1932), a two-story building for the school was completed at the Kandy city premises and in 1923 the school was shifted to another site (Abeyawardana, 2004). Billimoria was an instrumental figure in acquiring a 22 hectare site for the school where the college is now functioning (Abeyawardana, 2004).

William Gopallawa (1896-1981), the first and only Non-Executive President of Sri Lanka is a past student of Dharmaraja College (Abeyawardana, 2004).

At present the school has common facilities such as class rooms, laboratories, libraries, play-ground, indoor stadium, swimming pool, quarters for teachers, hostels for students and a museum. Classes are conducted for boy students from grade 1 to grade 13 in three levels; primary, post primary and secondary. The Annual Big Match of the school which is popularly known as Battle of the Maroons is held since 1893 against Kingswood College, Kandy.

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.25-26.

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This page was last updated on 5 March 2023

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