Situated 4,000 feet above sea-level in the tea district of Uva, a region famous worldwide for it's fragrant, delicately flavoured and aromatic tea, Viharagala Estate was established in 1861 by the British planting family of Sillery. Incorporating both Ormiston Estate and Viharegala Estate, it passed to Evan Ormiston in 1862, and thence to George Smythan Duff in 1896.
By the time the Duff Estate Company Limited purchased the property in 1897 , it had expanded to cover an area of well over a thousand acres. Built into a mountain-side, and set among six meticulously maintained lawns, Viharagala Estate Bungalow, the estate's spacious, 8 bed roomed plantation house, was originally built in 1876. A wide veranda that encircles the front of the house, commanding a panoramic view to the south and east of the Udawalawe valley extending over fifty miles to the sea, was added in 1911. The present dining room and service pantry were further additions, made in 1948 to render the house more functional without destroying its period character. The same aim has inspired all later renovations: for example, the original fire-places have been retained, and the original staff quarters still function today, linked to the main house by a covered stairway running along one side of a paved courtyard filled with flowers.