Kandalama: the Untold Story unveiled | Sunday Observer

Kandalama: the Untold Story unveiled

11 June, 2023
Pic: Chinthaka Kumarasinghe
Pic: Chinthaka Kumarasinghe

Kandalama: The Untold Story, a captivating book by Prema Cooray, was launched with great enthusiasm at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Thursday (8).

More than just a coffee table book, this magnum opus delves into the remarkable journey behind the creation of one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic hotels. With its focus on architecture, aesthetics, and socio-political challenges, the book sheds light on the captivating tale behind Geoffrey Bawa’s masterpiece.

Spanning over 270 pages, Kandalama: The Untold Story delves into the genesis of the Kandalama Hotel, from never seen before photographs, news articles and Bawa’s original designs; all taking shape during one of the nation’s most tumultuous periods. From the early stages of the separatist conflict to the later years of the Marxist uprising, Cooray’s book stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the men and women who defied all odds to construct this architectural marvel.

The release of this book comes at a timely juncture as Sri Lanka’s tourism industry grapples with fresh challenges arising from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis experienced last year. The pages of Kandalama: The Untold Story serve as a source of inspiration for those working in the tourism sector, providing invaluable insights into the resilience and determination to overcome adversity and make dreams a reality.

Beyond its relevance to the tourism industry, the book appeals to individuals across various disciplines who seek inspiration and motivation. Kandalama: The Untold Story offers thousands of reasons to persist and pursue one’s aspirations. Cooray’s meticulous research and vivid storytelling ensure that readers are not only captivated by the narrative but also empowered to persevere in the face of challenges.

With its launch, the event showcased the significance of the book as well as its potential impact. Dignitaries, scholars, and enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds attended the ceremony, expressing their admiration for Cooray’s dedication in unraveling the hidden narrative of Kandalama Hotel’s inception.

As the book finds its way into the hands of eager readers, it is expected to become a cornerstone in Sri Lankan literature, offering a unique perspective on the intertwined relationship between architecture, history, and human tenacity. Kandalama: The Untold Story stands as a testament to the power of dreams and the extraordinary accomplishments that can arise from unwavering determination and vision.