Nine hundred meters above sea level, nestled in the pristine hills of Kandy, lies Villa Mahakanda. The name draws upon its association with the formerly well-known Mahakanda Estate, a tea plantation established during the British rule in Sri Lanka.
This 7,500 sq. ft., six bedroomed bungalow, built in 1979, for the late Mr. and Mrs. Luckshman Senewiratna - parents of the present owner Chula Senewiratna - was originally designed by the distinguished architect Nihal Amarasinghe. The architecture and design was influenced by the late Geoffrey Bawa - an architect and designer of international repute - and the well-known artist Lucky Senenayake.
This unique building has been redesigned and refurbished into a luxurious holiday villa by Chartered Architect Surindu Basnayake, who has also worked with the late Geoffrey Bawa, and his wife Architect Shevy. The sprawling gardens of over 50,000 sq. ft, which surround the Villa were landscaped by artist Ranjan Mathews.
The Villa maintains its innate simplicity, infused with contemporary design, which represents its transition from the bygone era into the present. This warm, cozy dwelling enclosed in pastoral surroundings is bound to attract intellectuals, scholars, researchers, authors, historians, families, artists and others alike, who want to spend time in a homely abode with additional comforts, slightly removed from the hustle of the Kandy town.
Villa Mahakanda is an old stone bungalow built on two levels, brimming with character and restored with total respect for its innate simplicity.
It consists of six rooms - two Deluxe Double Rooms, two Superior Deluxe Double Rooms, one Deluxe Family Suite and one Luxury Deluxe Double Room- and has the capacity to lodge up to fourteen guests in total. All rooms are furnished to excellent standards--equipped with a mini bar, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and room service. Most of the rooms have a stunning view of the rolling countryside and a panoramic view of the Hantane mountain range. The Luxury Deluxe Double Room also comes with its own private plunge pool.
The rustic look of the exterior and the ground floor has been achieved by using rock-exposed wall finishes. The inner walls are rough-finished cement, painted white, and alongside the original wooden beamed ceilings lend it a Spanish Colonial home appearance. The doors and windows are framed with broad, cement molding collars. The ground floor sitting area is laid with natural rock, hand cut and polished to give a rustic finish. The rest of the floors are with terra cotta tiles and polished brown cement.
Villa Mahakanda has a fully equipped kitchen and a café style dining area that opens out into a terrace that is perfect for guests to relax with a glass of beer or wine after a long day of sightseeing. There is also an indoor lounge, in which one can sit and watch the world go by; as well as an airy drawing room with a two-century old English piano that guests who fancy some tuneful distraction are free to run their fingers on. The Villa also houses a library of vintage books and periodicals from Sri Lanka. A long outer verandah runs along the side of the house facing the mountain range.
In addition, we have private dining facilities in candle-lit corners; and the rambling gardens that have been laid out with foot paths, nature study areas, a herbal garden and many a tranquil spot for meditation or contemplation.
The discovery of a natural spring under the rocks within the perimeter of the bungalow allowed us to utilize the stream of water to create two ponds. The water which collects in these ponds is carried through separate rock canals, and ends up forming a larger, natural rock pool. There are three further natural rock ravines, one within the Villa and the other two marking the western and eastern boundaries of the property.
Villa Mahakanda’s locale speaks for itself. You will wake up to the songs of native birds and feral population of barking deer against the backdrop of the babbling spring. As you watch the sun rising up from behind the distant mountain range, you might be tickled by the antics of the toque macaque, (better known as the “Temple monkey”), as they prance around the treetops in the adjoining forest. On a clear day, Adam’s Peak is also visible in the distance.
Villa Mahakanda is a short ten-minute drive from the Galaha intersection near the world famous Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. The ‘Royal Botanical Gardens’ is one of Kandy’s must-see locations and attracts nearly 2 million visitors each year. It stretches across 147 acres of land and contains a vast range of trees and flowering plants – many of them endemic and some that are centuries old.
Twenty minutes from the Villa takes you to the Old Town Square of Kandy with its famous Temple of the Tooth--the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the scenic Kandy Lake, The Kandyan Art Association and a wide range of artisan stores that sell valuable artifacts. While being close enough to access the “magic” of Kandy, it is far enough to get away from the hustle and bustle of city dwelling
For a day’s outing to take in some of Sri Lanka’s sights, you could also visit some of the following places:
05 minutes from the Hindagala Raja Maha Viharaya, an important part of local history, which gives rise to many ancient legends and amazing wall paintings. The Vihara Geya (the temple house) is built under a natural large rock.
10 minutes to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Renowned for its collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.
20 minutes to the Dalada Maligawa which houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.
30 minutes to Gadaladeniya Rajamaha Viharaya with an ancient monastery is found on the flat rock at Diggala in the district of Kandy. According to an inscription there, this temple was built by King Buwanekabahu IV in the year 1344.
45 minutes to Lankathilaka Viharaya, located at Udunuwara Hiyarapitiya village of Kandy & Embekke Raja Maha Viharaya the Temple dedicated to God of Kataragama with magnificent Sri Lankan architecture in wood.
2 hour drive of 69 kilometers will see you in Nuwara Eliya, also known as Little England at an altitude of 6,128 ft. where the weather is chilly and nice.
Water from the rocks…….
The discovery of springs under the rocks within the bungalow has resulted in trapping the streams to build two ponds which collect and discharge the water into open rock canals, finally containing the water in a large, natural rock pool. There are also three natural rock ravines, one within the Villa and the other two mark the western and eastern boundaries of the property.
For your taste buds….
Our Chef dishes’ out authentic Sri Lankan and Western cuisine, with many ingredients sourced from our very own gardens or from the nearby villages, thus ensuring that food served is free of agro chemicals. These include, home roasted coffee, free-range eggs, fresh milk and cream, home made jams and pickles and home made bread.