Who wants to escape the concreteness of Colombo and step into another world where you would feel like living in a country house of England?
Just about 4km away from Haputhale town you can find this religious house with the serene atmosphere which spreads throughout the mountains around and well famous as “Adisham Hall”, “Adisham Bungalow” or else as “St.Benedict’s monastery”.
You can take a Colombo- Badulla (Root no 99) bus and get down from Haputhale and take a taxi to Adisham or if you want to make it a comfortable and breathtaking journey you can take 1st class sleeper or an observation car from Fort station to Hputhale and then take a taxi to Adisham.
Let’s get to know about some history of Adisham. This place was designed in Tudor and Jacobean style in 1931 spreading across 10 acres(40, 000 m2) by English noble Sir Thomas Villers, Former Chairman of George Steuart Co. In his era this place was hosted for many key personalities of the colony for various purposes. And in 1949 Sir Thomas sold this beautiful piece of art to Sedawatta mills and again 1961 this place was purchased by Roman Catholic Church who run thin premises as a monastery in present days. But this place is open for visitors as it is a worth watching place in Sri Lanka.
The bungalow is made out of dynamic granite stone walls which makes the house look so honorable along with its narrowed windows and chimneys. This luxurious house is covered with Burma teak and all the materials including linen, furniture , carpets, porcelain, silver, glassware were imported from England which makes the place so unique. There are many spacious rooms with fireplaces including Blue room used by Sir Thomas and Horse Shoe Room used by Lady Villers along with various precious antiques.
Not only the house, but also the orchards are eye catching due to their rareness in Sri Lanka. In the time when this land was purchased by priests, this place was having half-wild strawberries, Seville oranges and Guavas from the original Villers’ orchards. Then they developed those and now this place has English tea, multi colored cabbage roses, strawberries, apples and Victoria plums. And also varieties of orchids, roses make the Adisham so eye catching for everyone who comes by. Monks with the help of village workers now produce natural and delicious jams, cordials, syrups, chutney and jellies which does not contain artificial or natural flavors. Soursop, mixed fruit, Mango, Ginger, Pineapple, Strawberry, Passion, wood apple, tomato, peach, amberrella, guava, nelli are some of the fruit varieties you can try out in the Adisham shop at Bungalow premises ,on the outlet on the way to Bandarawela and the other outlets in Sacred Heart Church in Rajagiriya, Barefoot, No 706, Galle road, Colombo 03.
The birds sanctuary which provide habitats for chirping green barbets, blue magpies, horn bills, paradise flycatcher and so on.
Even though this place is not for commercial purposes, if you are an admirer of Christian culture or if you need to spend some time in exceptional solitude and beauty where the best mountain views are ahead of you in the cold climate you can stay in Adisham. But you should know this place doesn’t provide hotel facilities and you have to obey the rules of Adisham community as well. With prior to at least 3 weeks ahead of booking and by making an advance payment which will not be refundable, you can stay at Adisham. It would cost you about Rs. 3000 per head for day with meals and children are only charged with Rs.1500 for a day. Hot water, blanket, bed sheets and towels are provided and liquor or smoking is prohibited in public places, parlor or dining room. The visitors are asked to maintain silence as much as possible. The rooms are having an attached bathroom as well. Of course it a lot more than the amount you pay for this serenity.
So plan your next trip to cold and beautiful Adisham which will make you another unforgettable journey on your travel diary.