Bolgoda a Living Lake
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Bolgoda Living Lake

Natural beauty and utility value

The eco system that prevails in the lake sides of Bolgoda is greatly rich in bio diversity. It is a rich Mangrove habitat with wide biodiversity of fauna and flora.

Climate

The rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. However, in the months of May and October there are two peaks, when most of the surrounding areas become seasonal swamps These provide the fish, seasonal breeders in particular, with a spawning area filled with allochthonous foods.

Nature Gallery

Sri Lanka is a country that is bestowed with enchanting natural beauties that one would not dare miss out to see from their living sight. The country is also home to some of the finest lakes in the world that are bound to take you on a ride to unseen heavens. One such lake is the Bolgoda Lake.

Bolgoda Lake is a lake with history, a lake that not only provides habitat to the Mangrove forest and supports rich biodiversity, but a lake that echoes in the minds of the people with all its beauty and charm who have ever visited it. Geographically, Bolgoda is the largest fresh water lake in Sri Lanka. The 347 sq km lake is situated close to Colombo city, and is one of the most preferred destinations in Sri Lanka if one wants to go on a nature related adventure. Like any other lake of its class, Bolgoda Lake attracts various species of birds and is very popular as a bird watching site in the country. Also the lake provides a breeding ground for a number of flora and fauna species, making it aesthetically beautiful and relishing.

Tourists, local travelers can take a boat ride, deep into the lake and experience this wonder of nature upclose and personal. Popular among people is the traditional boat ride that combines the Sri Lankan culture and history with the elegant beauty of the lake; a perfect setting for a perfect holiday with the utmost peak of relaxation, calm and quietness of this ever green sanctuary.

Location

The Bolgoda lake, which has a surface area of 347kms is the largest natural lake in Sri Lanka situated in the out skirts of the city of Colombo,Bolgoda, presumed to be the largest natural lake in Sri Lanka, covers almost two thirds of the Kalutara district, extending from Anguruwatota to Piliyandala. It is also the largest fresh water lake in Sri Lanka The lake's depth is said to range from 20-50 feet.

The North Lake, parts of which belong to both Colombo and Kalutara districts, is the larger .It is fed by Weras Ganga and Bolgoda Ganga which bring water from the South Lake. It discharges to the sea through the Panadura estuary. The South Lake is situated in Kalutara district and is fed by PanapeEla It is connected to the sea via ThalpitiyaEla .

The BolgodaGanga , the channel which connects these two water bodies, is joined by RambanaEla , which drains the water of MahaOya in to the lake system. This lake system drains a substantial area (about 374 Km 2 ) wedged between the western part of the Kalu and Kelani river basins.

History

In the Dutch period of Sri Lanka's history,(1624 - 1798) Bolgoda Lake was extensively used to transport people and goods from the upp stream of Kalu Ganga, particularly, from Ratnapura District. It was utilized as a very popular and convenient mode of transport of logs from the Sinharaja forest, in the upper reaches of the river to the many timber mills in Moratuwa. The islands profound served as resting places for the ferrymen.

During the British period, Bolgoda Lake was a very particular hunting ground for birds and as a place of recreation for the British officers and adventurers who were stationed in Colombo city. Some aspects of the history of Bolgoda Lake is shrouded in mystery, one of which is woven around a prince called Reevidev, who lived in the Bolgoda area during the time of king Parakramabahu II's reign.

The prince, who was said to be a voyeur, was in the habit of observing women bathing on the lake. It is said that the granite seat from which he is believed to have observed the women could still be seen when the water level in the lake is low.

A belief about the AnguluEliyaDevale , mentioned above, is that, it never goes under water even when the lake is filled to capacity. There is also a legend about a large fish on the lake with luminous fins, which had been spotted by people near the devale, long ago.