Puppet Art Museum (the museum is temporary closed)
In the past, performers used to travel from village to village to perform puppet shows for young and old people alike. The performances were related to old stories. With the absence of radio and television you can imagine that the performances were a popular attraction. The puppet museum houses a great number of puppets, being arranged in well maintained and attractive galleries, showing the real life situations in which the stories had taken place. Even when not performing they are very handsome artifacts, giving a good image of old Sri Lankan village life. The seven puppet galleries are a reflection of famous Sri Lankan stories, such as Diktala Kalagola, Madduma Bandara, Vidura Jathakaya, Wessanthara Jathakaya and Saliya Aspkamala. As the explanation is only in Sinhalese, it would be recommendable to search for some more information about these stories. As soon as more information is available about these old stories, it will be added to this website. It is worth to mention the special gallery of masks. Masks have also been an important part of the Sri Lankan culture and many interesting species are exhibited in the Puppet Museum. You can read more about the mask traditions under the header Ambalangoda, the most famous town of mask making in Sri Lanka.
A visit to the Puppet Museum is worthwhile a visit; it is a small hidden and unknown gem and should be discovered by the greater public, both by locals and tourists.
The Puppet Museum is situated very close to the Zoological Garden in Dehiwala, just a few 100 meters away in the same street in northern direction, on the corner of Council Avenue and Kotagama Sri Vachisara Mawatha. Coming from Colombo on the Galle Road, turn left at Williams Grinding Mills; the museum is situated on the corner of the first street to the right. Puppet performances can be organized, but it should be arranged in advance ( tel. 0723232519). The entrance tickets cost Rps. 500 per person for tourists, Rps. 150 for locals, School children Rps. 50 and for a performance you must pay Rps. 250 per person and for school children Rps. 100 per person. Opening hours: from 09.00 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. (closed on Mondays and Poya Days (Full moon)).