Kandy Lake Overview

Nestled in the heart of Kandy, Sri Lanka, Kandy Lake (Bogambara We) is a serene artificial reservoir that enhances the city's natural beauty. Constructed in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the lake is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a tranquil escape. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along its scenic promenade, soak in panoramic views of the city, and appreciate the cultural significance of this iconic water feature in the heart of the hill capital.

Kandy Lake is an artificial lake built by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1807. The lake, also called Kiri Muhuda or Sea of the Milk, is situated in the heart of the Kandy city. It covers an area of 6,544 sq. m. with a circumference of 3.21 km. The lake boasts of a small island at its center. A building, together with some earliest ruins is also located at the center of the lake.

The iconic serene lake is one of the greatest attractions for visitors for its lush green settings and pristine blue waters. It has several rest zones, where tourists can sit, breathe fresh air, and catch the glimpse of scenic beauty around them. Nature lovers and tourists can enjoy the picturesque surroundings and soothe their jittery nerves by taking a stroll around the 2.1 km pathway.

People generally stroll or jog the pathway in the evening, when the mercury drops considerably. It presents a beautiful sight at night. The palm trees in the middle of the lake add charm to the entire surroundings. Tourists can opt for boat rides and relish the experience.

One can hire the boat either for their party or join other passengers for a ride. The boat ride costs approximately Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000 for a 20-minute boating experience around the Lake. Visitors can look forward to gratifying their senses, by buying products ranging from balloons to cashew nuts from vendors roaming around the lake.

Owing to the pollution and other factors, which led to shrinkage of the lake, the management has declared it as a protected area and banned fishing at this spot. However, animal lovers and ornithologists can revel in watching birds, fishes, and huge monitor lizards.

How To Reach

There is no airport in Kandy city. The closest airport to Kandy Lake is the Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), in Colombo. The distance from Kandy Lake to Bandaranaike International Airport is 52.2 miles or 84 km.

Visitors can reach Kandy Lake from CMB Airport via train, bus or taxi.

One can board a train at Colombo Railway station to get to Kandy Railway Station. It is one of the inexpensive and safest modes of transport in Sri Lanka.

The cheapest type of travel from Bandaranaike International Airport to Kandy Lake is the public bus transport. The 3.5 hr ride costs around 170 LKR (Rs. 66.58) per person.

Though expensive, the hired taxis or air-conditioned tourist cars provide visitors a comfortable and fastest ride to Kandy Lake from CMB Airport.

Best Time To Visit

The most suitable time to visit Kandy Lake is in the winter season from December to April. The weather during winters here will be dry and pleasant. It will be perfect for sightseeing and trekking.

Kandy experiences 2 monsoons, Yala and Maha, between May to July and from October to November respectively. The climate during these seasons remains fickle and humid. Though it remains unsuitable for visiting many of the places, one advantage of this season is the absence of crowds.

The April month in Sri Lanka witnesses’ huge crowds as Sinhalese New Year falls in the middle of the April month.

Other Essential Information

Kandy City, Sri Lanka

Entry fee:
Free. There are no entry fees for Kandy Lake.

Monday- Sunday between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

History of Kandy Lake

Kandy Lake was built by then King Raja Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1807, adjacent to the Temple of the Tooth. It is situated in the middle of the hill city, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
It was said that local tribes and chieftains opposed the King to the use of their people as laborers in constructing the lake.

The King had oppressed the uprising by putting the protesters to death on stakes in the lake. The lake, which extends over 6,544 sq. m with a circumference of 3.21 km, developed under the supervision of Deveda Moolacharya.

A 633.82 meters
wall called ‘Walakulu Bamma’ or Cloud’s wall, built around the lake by King Wickrama Rajasinghe, enhances the beauty of the lake. The wall, which extends to approximately half of the lake, still stands unfinished to this day. A building along with a few very old ruins, is located at the center of the island.

Story doing rounds is that the building on the island, located in the middle of the lake, was used by the then king and his harem for bathing and relaxation. Locals believe that the island is connected to the palace by an underground tunnel.

The island was later used by the British, after annexation, as an ammunition store. A fortress-style parapet was constructed around the island by the British. The Queen’s bathing pavilion was later used by the British as a library.

Travel Tips for visiting Kandy:

Kandy is considered a religious and culturally conscious city. So, visitors are advised to wear conservative yet casual dresses.

2. Tourists should always carry sunglasses and sunscreen lotions, as Sun can be severe during the day.

3. Traffic can be chaotic and scary. Tourists are requested to plan their itinerary accordingly. Even a distance of 5 km can take more than 30 minutes at peak hours.

4. Foods are spicy in general in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Visitors are advised to enquire and ensure the contents before ordering.

5. Guests are advised to carry bottled mineral water and stay hydrated during their stay in Sri Lanka.

6. They are suggested not to use public restrooms because of unhygienic conditions. Hotels have good washrooms and their service can be utilized by visitors in case of emergency.

7. Visitors should not leave their expensive belongings like camera, handbag, etc, unattended.

8. The weather near the Kandy Lake tends to be slightly cooler than the inland. Long-sleeved clothing is advisable for guests visiting the Lake.

9. Visitors should bear in mind that the surroundings and the Lake are notified as ‘protected’. Any act of polluting it will attract punitive actions.

10. Visitors are notified to desist causing any ruckus near the Lake, as it may disturb the prayers offered at the adjacent Temple of the sacred tooth relic.
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Kandy Lake FAQs

Can tourists go for boating on the Kandy Lake?

Yes. Tourists can go boating on the Kandy Lake. It can cost around Rs.1500 -2000 ($20) for a 20-minute ride around the lake.

What are the languages spoken in the areas around Kandy City?

The languages spoken by people in and around Kandy city are Sinhala, Tamil, and English. Though English may not be spoken as fluently as other languages, it is understood by almost everyone.

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