The Mansion was built in the 1920s by Punchi Banda Nugawela, Diyawadana Nilame of the “Temple of the Tooth” in Kandy. He was a chieftain in Kandy who was believed to have lived a lavish lifestyle during the early 90s. The design of this architectural masterpiece is fully European and the architect still remains a mystery.
The chieftain entertained on a grand scale and lavish style. Mahathma Gandhi stayed in this house in November 1928, occupying the large bed room adjoining the main stairway. During World War II, Louis Mountbatten the commander of British forces in Southeast Asia visited The Mansion. Gregory Peck, the actor, used this house when filming ‘Purple Plain’ in 1955.
Participants of the World Billiards Championships held in Ceylon in November 1967 played their exhibition matches at The Mansion on 23rd November 1967. Some of the outstanding players were L Driffield (England), F M Lafir (Ceylon), T Cleary (Australia). Mr Simon Marawanagoda a great enthusiast for billiards collected the autographs of the champions and its still displayed at The Mansion.
The main entrance door frame is believed to be the largest in Sri Lanka It was a common sight o see a baby elephant visit the dining room to snatch a banana from a guest. In 1950, this house was owned by Colonel Derrick Nugawela, who sold it to Captain Simon Marawanagoda. The Mansion has been the Marawanagoda family residence until late 1990s. In 1999 Mr.Rathnapala Marawanagoda decided to convert the Villa into a hotel