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Accommodating exceptionally able students

Dharmaraja College, Kandy is one of the premier Buddhist schools in the country boasting a prolific history of more than 120 years since 30 June 1887. Dharmaraja College, as well as the other Buddhist Schools in Sri Lanka, owes its existence to Col Henry Steel Olcott, philanthropist and the founder of the Buddhist Theosophical Society.

Having read a printed version of the Panadura Vaadaya of 1873, a public debate between Buddhist and Christian representatives on the correctness of each belief, Col Olcott was really impressed of the teachings in Theravada Buddhism, which were in line with his vision as a theosophist.

The British Administration opposed the felling citing that it would be an action against Buddhism. Many of the local nobles supported Mudaliyar Mohottige and the school by enrolling their children in, having faith in the staff and headmaster. The school had around 80 students by then, and Sir Jayathilake’s popularity as a leader and his multi-disciplinary fluency and knowledge boosted enrolments as well as the quality of the school.Wadugodapitiya Punchirala Korale, felled and removed the tree in one night, and levelled up the plot for the building. However, by 1890, the necessity of a more qualified principal emerged and appointed Sir D. The foundations of transforming Dharmaraja from a mere educational establishment to one of the best schools in Sri Lanka were laid by Sir Jayathilake.It was under this pretext that in the morning of Thursday, 30 June 1887, Dharmaraja College, under the name of 'Kandy Buddhist High School', was opened. Sir Jayathilake was appointed the deputy principal of Ananda College in 1898, and later went on to become the Governor of Ceylon. Banbury succeeded Sir Jayathilake as principal and he brought forth a campaign to raise funds for a permanent school building, travelling even in remote villages collecting donations.This occasion was graced by Sir Olcott, Mudaliyar Divakara Mohottige and several Kandyan nobles including Dullawe Adhikaram, Wadugodapitiya Punchirala Korale, T. He used the money to build a single storied building near the city premises of the school, which was later named the 'Banbury Building' in his honour.One of the most notable events during his time was officially changing the name of the school to Dharmaraja College.Banbury left to India in 1899 to further pursue his studies.Wilton Hack took over from Banbury, and took over the challenge of developing the school's resources. Though he himself was not a Buddhist, he was an acclaimed scholar and continued to guide the school along Buddhist principles and attitudes, while giving more emphasis to improve the standard of the education.Later in 1899, following the retirement of Hack, C. He won high acclaim from the Educational authorities. Billimoria gave priority to shaping Dharmaraja into a strong institution which could ably compete with the other Missionary Schools at that time.Dharmaraja’s golden age began with the appointment of K. They recruited many able educators as dedicated as them towards heightening the standards of Dharmaraja, and also identified the need of developing the physical resources to match the educational achievements.The founder of the Scout Movement, Lord Baden Powell visited the 'Lake View Park International Scout Centre' of Dharmaraja College twice during this period.It is a unique distinction held by any Sri Lankan school.

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