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You'll find the Brief Garden 10 kilometres inland from Bentota. A barely controlled riot of a garden out of The Jungle Book, the grounds are a lovely place to get lost. The house, which used to be the home of Bevis Bawa, brother of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, has an eclectic range of artwork on display – from homoerotic sculpture to a wonderful mural of Sri Lankan life in the style of Marc Chagall.
Past visitors include Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier who stayed here in 1953 during the filming of Elephant Walk.
To get here, follow Mathugama Rd northeast inland from Aluthgama and branch northwest to the village of Dharga Town. From here you will periodically see yellow signs saying ‘Brief’, but as everyone knows this place, it’s easy enough to ask directions. There’s no public transport; a three-wheeler will cost around Rs 1000 return.