Villa Escondite stands in the midst of an ancient Capital that reigned for over 200 years. At its height the Kotte kingdom was one of the strongest the island had known for centuries. In 1419 Parkramabahu VI succeeded in subjugating the Jaffna Kingdom and ruled over a united island- the last native king to control all of Lanka.
Withstanding internal intrigues and breakaway kingdoms, Kotte continued to be the island’s major power for over a century, but the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 soon led to the kingdom’s collapse. The once mighty city was thoroughly looted by both the Portuguese and rival local kingdoms. Its decline was so sudden and complete that is virtually disappeared from history.
The shame of its intrigues with and sacking by a foreign power means the Kotte doesn’t hold an exalted place in the national memory like the much more ancient Anuradhapura. But the complexities of historical judgment aside, searching for remnants of a lost Kingdom in a modern suburb makes for a great day out.