Adisham bungalow, a masterpiece of architecture in the mountains

Adisham Bungalow is located in Sri Lanka’s hill country near the town of Haputale. Adisham Bungalow is a quite unpopular tourist attraction and located many kilometres off the tow. This hidden 18th centre stone structure is still in very good shape and very well preserved. Even though Adisham Bungalow is a bit far for a one day tour from Colombo, it can be explored on a Sri Lanka 2 days trip to hill country resorts such as Bandarawela, Nuwara Eliya and Ella.

Adisham bungalow is an off the beaten path tourist place

The importance of this tourist attraction is not known to most people on the island. It is largely neglected by foreign travellers. Adisham bungalow is so unpopular among the foreign travellers, I have never seen Adisham bungalow included Sri Lanka tour itinerary. We have crafted many thousands of Sri Lanka tour packages for travellers around the world and none of them so far have shown interest to visit Adisham bungalow.

I thought of making this in order to make little awareness at least among the local people. So that some of us may visit this beautiful mansion and see the beauty of it.

Adisham is a stately stone mansion built in 1931 by Sir Thomas Lister Villers, an English planter. Adisham bungalow is a masterpiece of architecture in the mountains and visited by a large number of travellers every year. Adisham bungalow is the living memory and life story of Sir Thomas.

Adisham bungalow is converted to a monastery

Today it is a monastery run by the benedict’s type of monks of Roman Catholic Church. Beautifully situated, in tranquil surroundings, Adisham is certainly a “must-see” for those holidaymakers or chance visitors, who haunt the hills from time to time in search of a peaceful resorts, far from the madding crowd and the heat of the city.

Location of the Bungalow

The bungalow is located on a peaceful site, surrounded by a forest called Tangamale Forest Reserve. This alienated bungalow is located about 3 KM from the city of Haputale and it is well over 5000 ft above the sea level. This land commands the view over the cross hills and valleys of the central mountain range of Sri Lanka.

On a day, with a clear view, it provides the view of Haggala, Pidurutalagala, Totapola Kanda, Udupussellawa range, Diyatalawa, Namunukula and other several places. The entire house provides a breathtaking view over the Namunukula valley.

The creator of Adisham bungalow

The creator of the bungalow is known as the Thomas Lister Villiers. Thomas Lister Villiers came to Sri Lanka after his studies in England and joined the Albatray state as a trainee in Bogawanthalawa. 1896 he married, Everly Hope, the daughter W.H Walker, a well-known planter in Ceylon.

Everly Hope was a well-talented painter and undertook many exceptional artworks. Even today some of her fine examples are decorating the Adisham bungalow. The garden of the bungalow occupies 10 acres of beautifully landscaped land. The garden layout shows the British characters and beautifully designed with pathways for walking.

The characteristics of the Bungalow

Adisham bungalow is the dream home of Mr Thomas. Every stone of the House represents the untiring effort and ambition of Mr Thomas. Construction of the bungalow was commenced while he was working as the chairman of Jorg steauart. The Indian workers were brought down and employed as the mansion was constructed. The entire house is constructed while keeping the British flair and elegance.

The roof of the house is covered with imported flat Burma teak panels; doors, windows, floors and other wooden parts of the house are also made of the same wood. All the spacious rooms are built with fireplaces to keep the warmth.

Wind turbine fixed over the fireplaces on the roof pushes the cold wind down to the fireplaces. Furniture, silverware, glassware, linen, carpets and porcelain are all imported from England for the mansion. This mansion houses a very valuable collection of fine wooden furniture, rare books, old safe, elegant stone carvings and wood carvings.

The water system

One of the important unique features of the house is the water system. The water that leads to the tanks in the house from the mountains is directed to a boiler then sent through the pipes covering all parts of the house including the upper floor. There is no motor used for the distribution of water.

The construction of Adisham Bungalow

The first stage of the mansion was started with the purchasing of the Eco-state with his brother Godfrey in 1900. Thus Mr Thomas became a proprietor of a state. Later he joined George Stewart as a partner after succeeding eighteen years of career as a planter. He was a very successful entrepreneur and a powerful politician in the British Ceylon government. He was once elected as a member of the Colombo municipal council and played an important role to improve Colombo.

After a successful career as a planter, manager and a politician he returned to his home country at the age of 82. The house was sold to a local plantation company before he was leaving the country and the present owners bought it from the local company. It can be conveniently reached along a well-constructed road from Haputale. Today Adisham bungalow is visited by a large number of visitors due to its unmatchable architectural value.