Old Welekade Market

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L Manju - wikimedia.org

Uva was recognised as a separate province on 1st of February 1886, and its first government agent A.A King saw the requirement of a new market building and initiated building this cross shaped market. It is regarded as the only Colonial building in Sri Lanka for its architectural features, shape, central high roof. Many erroneously refer to this as the Badulla Dutch Fort.

Being built on a Paddy field it was called the Wele Kade, which means market in the paddy field in Sinhalese. The building is unique with four longer corridors combined in the center with another four smaller entrances creating an octagonal inner space. The roof has two distinct levels, the central upper roof and the angular lower roof with clay tiles. It is known as the first public colonial building in the Uva province.

The market is situated in between the Badulla General Hospital and the Badulla Police Station down the Keppetipola road. If you are in Badulla and got about 20 minutes this is an interesting piece of architecture to check out.