Quaint, Whimsical Havelock Place Bungalow

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Words : Lakmini Wijemanne
Photos : Nirmala Dhananjaya

It is hidden in the jungle:not the concrete jungle of the city, but a real jungle of tress, vines , bird call and gurgling water… It is right there in the busy township, but once you enter the little decorative iron gate, it feels as if you have entered a different world. Gone are the sounds of vehicles competing for road space, gone are the sight of concrete buildings, gone are the hot winds that make you double tired, gone is the sun’s heat that makes you want to hide…..What you experience inside is a cool, green oasis that envelopes you in its luxurious cool comfort in the midst of its shady spaces, lulling you to think (at least for a short while) that you have managed to escape the harsh city-scene.

The Havelock Place Bungalow is quaint in the essence of the word. Once you enter the premises, you have entered a different world which reminds you of a time capsule! As their little brochure informs, the title deed to the plot of land where the bungalow is built, was transferred to the Havelock Building Company by Governor Havelock in the year 1892 for a payment of Rs. 1307/-

The present owners came into ownership of the premises in the mid 1980’s when they lived there.  The two colonial styled houses built on the land was where siblings of the family lived till the 1999 when it opened to the public.  Since then, its been one of the best kept secrets of the city – a secret known only to a handful – some local and some foreign. There has never been any loud advertising to inform the public of this quaint little hide-out, but through word of mouth it has got popular among a clientele who loves its whimsical atmosphere and the fact that it still retains the homely, ethereal look and feel that makes the visitors feel you are not in a public place, but in one of your friend’s houses.

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