Martin Wickramasinghe is a famous award-winning author, literary critic, and journalist of the 20th century. Within Sri Lanka he is considered as a pioneer of Modern Sinhala Literature.
He was born on May 29, 1890 in the town of Koggala as the sole child of the family. Martin’s family was the village headman’s family in the Southern Province. His formal education was halted midway and by fourteen years of age he was forced to find employment.
Wickramasignhe began his career as a novelist in 1914 with Leela. There are three of his books that every Sri Lankan is encouraged to read; Madol Doova, Lay bare the roots and the uprooted (Part 1) – The village. After Gamperaliya, Yuganthaya and Kaliyugaya followed behind and created a trilogy. They were also made into films later by Dr. Lester James Peries who was a famous film director at the time. The film won several famous international awards. Wickramasinghe authored 104 short stories and 14 novels in his lifetime.
His life as a journalist began in 1920 for Lakehouse Group of newspapers. He wrote for daily Dinamina, moved to Lakmina and then to Silumina. His outstanding work created tourist attractions as time went by. He was proficient in Sinhala, English, Sanskrit and Pali.
Martin Wickramasinghe died on 23 July 1976.
Martin Wickramasinghe Museum Complex
Wickramasinghe’s ancestral house has been transformed into a museum of his life and Sri Lankan Folk life. The museum is situated on the Galle-Matara main road. There are two parts to the museum complex. The Wickramasinghe Trust had developed part of it into a museum which depicts artifacts from historical to modern times. Another part of it is maintained; some spaces which have been frequently used by Martin Wickramasinghe. As Martin Wickramasinghe’s work was closely related to folk life, the museum contains artifacts related to various old crafts.
If you wish museum tours can be booked ahead of time to secure a good visit. Make sure to visit the museum to witness a glimpse of Sri Lankan life from the past.
Boat Rides in Koggala
The novel Madol Doova is written using a real setting. Therefore, both local and foreign tourists who come to Koggala do not forget to visit a couple of islands including Madol doova at Koggala lake. The literature aspect to the islands makes it a much more interesting boat safari around the lake.
There are few boat rides available which takes the visitors to the islands. There are 8 islands in total.
- Madol doova
- Madin doova
- Rock Island
- Birds Island
- Cinnamon Island
- Temple Island
- Kadduwa Island
- Punchi doova Island