Martin Wickramasinghe is a famous Sri Lankan author of classic novels, short stories and autobiographical writing that is even studied today. Born in Malalgama in 1890, his books often carried details of his village and the surrounding area. The Folk Museum Complex, located at his land, offers an intimate look into Martin Wickramasighe’s life and times. The Museum is partitioned into five categories. The house he was born in is partially restored and contains the original architecture, which some parts are said to be as old as 200 years. Some of the rooms are recreated to its original state and furniture, personal belongings and the ambience is as if it’s still a lived in house.
The Hall of Life carries a collection of photographs, paintings, sketches, souvenirs, awards and memorabilia of the author. One of the most interesting objects is his hand written manuscripts. Under a grass covered mound are his ashes and is named The Samadhi. The museum part of is a large high-roofed building holding thousands of artefacts of Sri Lankan rural life. Among these are religious artefacts, evolution of the Sinhala alphabet, writing utensils, drums, folk games, costumes, jewellery and many others.
Surrounding the house is a variety of indigenous trees and shrubs, giving a home to many birds throughout the year. Even though the outside is developing and is losing the touch of rural serenity, the gardens still take you back in time to the days when it inspired our author write authentic stories of those times.