Sri Lanka has beautiful natural and man-made lakes. Rivers and lakes stem from the central highlands. Ancient man-made rivers serve as water reservoirs in the dry months for both humans and wildlife. The oldest of these are more than 2000 years old.
Lakes play an important role in this mostly-arid island. The water catchment has wider net of utility in the country. These lakes are used for irrigation, fishing and daily needs of the local community. We will discuss notable lakes recommended for tourists here.
Parakrama Samudarya (sea of Parakrama) is about a thousand year old lake covering 75 square kilometres. Parakrama Samudarya is located at Polonnaruwa. The big lake is a reservoir of water combining three ancient reservoirs and serves irrigation and fishing purposes. Parakrama Samudarya is one of the fishing ponds with large populations and diversity of fish.
Kala Wewa at Anuradhapura is one of the most ancient lakes in Sri Lanka built around 300 B.C. by King Dhathusena. This lake was built for irrigation and water needs of Anuradhapura city. There is a Buddha statue in a village on land between the lakes.
Udawalawe Dam is a lake located aside the Udawalawe National Park. This lake serves irrigation and fishing purposes and guarantees lush green neighbourhood around the year. Some part of the national park is situated on the land between the lake’s sections. For lake lovers, the scenery available here is very charming with neighbouring national park.
Beira Lake and Kandy Lake are two lakes that won’t ask you to go outside to enjoy the Sri Lankan lake beauty. Beira Lake in the heart of Colombo and Kandy Lake of Kandy city are two of the most approachable lakes in Sri Lanka with amazing facilities. There are many lake property options where you can enjoy a night stay. Lake entertainment and play like lake cycling and other lake sports are also available for these lakes.
Other recommended lakes are Bolgoda Lake, Diyawanna Oya Lake, Sembuwatta Lake and Ashwaubomay Lake. Ashwaubomay Lake is built for recreation and swimming. Perhaps it is the only clear lake for swimming as other lakes are filled with marine life.
Before you start exploring Sri Lanka lakes, here is a collection of lake maps that will guide you about where you should start and how should you plan your visit.
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