Lunuganga bells


Geoffrey Bawa’s Lunuganga garden is an emphatic celebration of bells – specifically out door bells. According to the book “Lunuganga” there are 14 bells scattered through out the garden Each a fusion of symbolism and utility.

Every Lunuganga bell has a distinctive sound. I was told that Geoffrey Bawa used the bells to indicate his location in the garden to household staff. Usually to summon meals and drinks to specific spots.

The bell in the image below for example, was pointed out to me as the one he rang to summon his morning lime juice.

Lunuganga bell over well

It hangs over a well opposite one of the garden’s many pavilions. The blue pavilion I think. For those with the book, the well is on the map on page 171. There’s a picture of the well and possibly the pavilion on p 173.

This examples hangs somewhere near the “Black Pavilion” which is near the border of the property.
Lunuganga near black pavilion

I doubt if this Cubist looking contraption works but its installed on the wall near the raised “guest” house. I’m tempted to call it a door bell though I’m sure to be off the mark as usual.
Lunuganga door bell

Geoffrey Bawa’s brother Bevis Bawa had a similar though less prolifically stated taste for bells. The specimen below hangs over the entrance to Bevis Bawa’s Brief Garden.

Bell at entrance to Bevis Bawa's Brief garden

Bells are one of many motifs that indicate a shared aesthetic between the two estranged brothers. That though is another longer post…

Visiting Lunugaaga

Contact the Lunuganga Trust and get the details about the visiting the place. You may also have to “book” yourself in advance as a visitor. I have heard much convoluted gossip about the many changes the operation of the place has gone through. The only consistent strain seems to be that the Lunuganga Trust had fought some hard battles in the difficult business of keeping Lunuganga viable yet true to the spirit in which Geoffrey Bawa left it.

Some more Lunuganga related links:

Visiting Bevis Bawa’s Brief garden

I have blogged about getting to Bevis Bawa’s Brief garden with directions with pictures of the key land marks along the route. Hopefully they are still current.

For some background, check out Java Jones has an insightful post about Bevis Bawa’s days at Brief. There is a much older article on infolanka that covers the history of the Brief garden.

Both places have a fee for entry. Chances are they won’t be getting any cheaper. If you’ve been to Lunuganga and/or Brief recently, feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below.

Note I’m not affiliated with the people running either of these places. They certainly are not paying me to write this 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Lunuganga bells

  1. Pingback: Lunuganga bells
  2. All I can say is Wow. both yours and Javas articles, I read with a great wanting. Not being the fault of either of you, I am still thirsty!

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