Bolgoda Lake - Sri Lanka's only natural lake

Bringing us all things Sri Lanka, straight from the elephant's mouth, is travel blogger and all-round island girl Demi Perera. Demi is the creator and editor of her own popular e-zine Girl Travels World. In her spare time she loves to recline on her hammock under a coconut tree. What we have here is a match made in heaven... 👏👏👏


Sri Lanka is famed for its staggering natural beauty. The island's beaches, national parks and hill country are, understandably, renowned around the world. Lesser known however, are its lakes, some of which are over 2000 years old. The most notable fact about them? None are natural except one - Bolgoda Lake which sits 45 minutes outside the commercial capital Colombo.

aLife around Bolgoda Lake goes back to the time of King Parakramabahu II who ruled the Kingdom of Dambadeniya in the 13th century. At the time, a Prince named Reevidev lived in the area around the lake. Legend has it that the Prince Reevidev was a voyeur who watched women bathing in the lake from a hidden place. A granite bench which surfaces, when the water level of the lake drops, is said to be where the prince sat to watch his unwilling subjects.

Bolgoda Lake is also home to many small islands. The most revered by the locals is Angulu Eliya, a tiny island, which never goes under the water even when the water levels are at its highest. Finally, we ask what kind of a lake it would be without mysterious creatures lurking beneath its surface? Villagers in the area speak of a large fish with rainbow fins that live in the lake. A great deal less scary than Nessie, if I may add.

Away from legends and voyeurs, today, the lake is a hive of activity. It's the perfect place for families and friends to gather for jet skiing and boating to parasailing and fishing. Local fishermen regularly fish here and it's even possible to join them if you wish. There are also fine dining restaurants, private members' clubs and beautiful hotels, with panoramic views, where you can stay surrounded by the tranquility of nature. Although no women bathe in the lake today it remains a place of beauty not to be missed.