Geoffrey Bawa Gardens
At a distance of 11 km from Bentota Railway Station, Geoffrey Bawa Gardens is a beautiful garden located at Dedduwa. It is one of the most attractive gardens in Sri Lanka and among the top places to visit in Bentota while holidaying in Sri Lanka.
Popularly known as Lunuganga Garden, the garden was architected by Sri Lanka's most famous architect, Geoffrey Bawa. The estate had been used as a cinnamon estate during the Dutch era and then a rubber plantation under the British. In 1949, Geoffrey Bawa bought it from its owner intending to convert the estate bungalow into a weekend house and create a tropical version of a European renaissance garden. Even today, one can visit the cinnamon farms and various other cinnamon harvesting rooms inside the garden.
The 15-acre property is located on the banks of the Dedduwa Lake, in Bentota. Bawa named the estate Lunuganga, which in Sinhala means Salt River. The Lunuganga Estate is where Geoffrey Bawa poured forty years of his life into creating an idyllic garden paradise. Inspired by Italian Renaissance and English landscaped gardens, the estate features unfolding courtyards, lily ponds, romantic pavilions and rows of frangipani.
The garden is divided into various sections including the red terrace, the glass room, the water garden, the yellow courtyard, the broad walk, etc. The red terrace is known so because of the colour of the top soil which turns out to be red. The water garden consists of a small lake in the middle of the garden and is a perfect place for resting amongst tall bamboos and rustling leaves. Also, the house and gardens contain many works from artists such as Donald Friend and Laki Senanayake as well as artifacts from Asia and Europe.
After the death of Bawa in 2003, the garden is open to the public. Visitors can go for a garden tour which starts at 9.30 AM and continues till 6 PM except for an hour-long break that takes place in the afternoon. The tours consist of a group of 15-20 individuals accompanied by a trained guide. As the tour moves on the guide explains the history of the garden, various other facts, and information.
Today, the buildings on the estate are run as seasonal country house hotels. Due to its view of the garden and top-class facilities, the hotels tend to be full of visitors so reservations must be made in advance.
Timings: 9 AM - 1 PM & 2 PM - 6 PM
Entry: LKR. 1500 for Person