Koggala is a small but a beautiful village, which was surrounded by the lush scrub vegetation and vast tracts of coconut land with plenty of scenic spots, which is the place where Sri Lanka’s great pride Martin Wickramasinghe was born. The literary genius Martin Wickramasinghe who is well known as Opisara Gedara Punchi Mahaththaya by the villagers was born on 29 th of May 1891 as Bestian Wickramasinghe.
He was educated in English at Bonavista College till his father’s demise. His father’s death, lead him to work under a businessman where he sought time to read. For more than fifteen years he devoted his life as an Editor for three newspapers. The experience he gained through his editorial career guided him to contribute towards Short Stories, Poetry, Prose and variety of subjects ranging from Social Science, Biology, Philosophy, Buddhism and Fine Arts. He wrote fourteen novels first one being Leela. Seetha, Bhavatharanaya, Soma, Rohini, Irangani, Karuvala Gedara, Miringuwa are some of his novels. Gamperaliya, Kaliyugaya and Yuganthaya is a Triology which touched the hearts of the people of that era. Especially Gamperaliya and Viragaya are considered to be the greatest books of 20 th Century. Also a film was produced based on the novel “Gamperaliya”.
Martin Wickramasinghe’s another outstanding creation is “Madolduwa” which had made a sale of more than one million. It is still a favourite book of every child. It had been translated into several languages like Russian, Rumanian, Chinese, English, Japanese and it is very popular in those countries too. “Viragaya” is very popular among youngsters where the novel moves around a person who withdraws his all the desires and wishes because of his Buddhist empathy. Except seven books written in English about Buddhism and Sri Lankan Culture.
all the other books were written in Sinhala. This shows that he had taken an attempt to make other nationalities aware of the value of Buddhism and our culture. Martin Wickramasinghe is considered as one of the greatest author of 20 th Century. Also the Museum at Koggala stands as monument of to the memory of this great “Rishi of Koggala”.