The Martin Wickramasinghe Museum

The Martin Wickramasinghe Museum

The name Martin Wickramasinghe is deeply embedded in the hearts of every Sri Lankan. During his lifespan, this prolific Sri Lankan novelist published 14 novels and 104 short stories. These books have since been translated into English, Tamil, Chinese, Russian and other European languages.

Today, the memory of this great author is enshrined in a vast historical complex located in Koggala, a few minutes south of Galle. This includes the house where he was born and a sprawling folk museum. On display at the museum are vintage vehicles, horse-buggies, clothes, jewellery, tools, utensils and other items that were once an integral part of traditional Sri Lankan life – the inspiration for Wickramasinghe’s stories.

Of course, the main exhibit is the author’s house. This two hundred year old abode has been restored to its original simplicity, with much of the original furniture still preserved and left exactly as they were when he was alive. With a recently added Hall Of Life displaying his personal belongings, letters, photos and awards, this quaint little house tells the story of the storyteller.

Martin Wickramasinghe died in January 23rd, 1970. His remains are interred along with that of his wife, Prema, on a grass-covered mound next to the house. The Martin Wickramasinghe Museum is a must visit for anyone interested in Asian literature, as well as Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.

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