The Royal Palace of the Kandyan Kingdom
The remains we see today of the Royal Palace of Kandy is the residence of the last king of Kandyan Kingdom, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (1797 - 1814). But the original palace has been burnt and destroyed several times and rebuilt again by subsequent kings.
The first palace was built by King Vickramabahu III of Gampola Kingdom (1357-1374) and by Senasamatha Vickramabahu (1469-1511) of the same. Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592 - 1603) also occupied this palace thereafter and each of them probably made various improvements to the existing palace.
During the period of King Senarat (1603 - 1634), the Portuguese attacked the Kandyan Kingdom and destroyed the palace. Rajasinghe II who accented to the throne in 1637 probably rebuilt it and all the subsequent kings upto 1815 (the year which the kingdom fell under British rule), used this as their Royal Palace. By the time of the last king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (1797 - 1814) the palace comprised of many buildings scattered spread among the premises. After the British invasion, the palace was used by the british government agents.
Today only the front entrance of the old palace situated on the left hand side of the Temple of Tooth Relic remains and the building houses the Museum of the Department of Archeology. The queens quarters are used as the District Courts today, The building today known as "Palle Vahala" which houses the National Museum was used by the Queen and the princesses during the last king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (1797 - 1814). "Meda Vahala" which was used by the relations of the King, houses the Folk Museum today. "Maha Gabadawa" (the royal stores) and the "Aramudale" (treasury) of the last king was probably destroyed by the British and a building to house the Karachchi has been built. Now it houses the High Court.
The "Dalada Maligawa" ( Temple of the Tooth Relic) is also part of the palace complex. The "Ulpange" (queens bathing pavilion) which stands on the edge of the Kandy Lake near the Temple of Tooth Relic was converted to a library by the British invaders and now it is been used as a police post.
Primary Source : "Kandy"
Images of the royal palace from greatmirror.com
Created July 1, 2007