Wales Park in Kandy is known by many names: The Royal Palace Park, Wace Park or Rajawasala Park. Situated on top of a hill, the park covers approximately 2 hectares of land and is known for its majestic views of the surrounding city and Kandy Lake. It was established by King Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe, the last king of the ancient Sinhalese monarchy, who was deposed by the British in 1815. The British subsequently renamed the king’s park to “Wales Park” in honour of the Prince of Wales in Britain.
The hill on which the park was founded was known to the British as Castle Hill, due to its history as the site of an ancient Sri Lankan king’s palace. The park eventually fell to problems that stemmed from its neglect, but it was restored in 1880 by Herbert Wace, the Government Agent of the Central Province and acting Colonial Secretary.
The park is well-maintained and features plenty of walking trails and woodland areas. It also contains a Japanese field gun that had been captured by the British in Burma during World War II, and presented to the city of Kandy by Lord Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander of the South East Asia Theatre. The field gun is displayed under a pavilion and guarded by statues of lions, and its display is separated from the main walkway by a small moat.