Comprising almost 65 hectares of area, Beira Lake Colombo Sri Lanka is a location of epic scenic beauty. Constructed and named by the Portuguese in the late sixteenth century, it was originally built as a means to defend against local kings. It worked very well, as it was guarded by crocodiles and its original area was much greater. Beira Lake was in fact so large that it had several islands, some of which were large enough to house a village and an entire plantation of coconut trees. The British took over and converted this beautiful lake into a spot for recreational activities such as rowing and yachting. Enjoying a Beira Lake boat ride is a popular thing to do here. There is no Beira Lake entry fees as such, but there are charges for boating and rowing.
Today, Beira Lake is connected to an intricate network of canals all over Colombo. This helps in easy transportation of goods across suburban Colombo. But back in 1810, Colombo’s first botanical garden, which is Kew Gardens was opened up in Slave Island. For over one hundred and forty years, Beira Lake has been home to Colombo Rowing Club and is now a serene place indeed. This besides, the lake is also home to several species of flora and fauna. Some of the most commonly seen examples are egrets, storks, cormorants, pelicans, monitor lizards, and a variety of fish. Swan boat rides around the lake are particularly enjoyable. Another big attraction at Beira Lake is the floating marketplace.
Currently, there are two islands in Beira Lake Colombo. One hosts the beautiful Simamalaka Viharaya and the other is known as Kaala Doowa. The Simamalaka Viharaya is a Buddhist place of worship built under Muslim patrons and local help. With exquisite blue roof tiles and a fancy wooden pavilion, this spot is an instant hit among tourists. The small, but beautiful island hosts a stupa and other small shrines to honor local gods and goddesses. There is also a Bodhi tree, which is of little surprise since it is a Buddhist shrine. Kaala Doowa is the other island in Beira Lake and is a well-known hotspot for romancing couples. The sunset and boat rides are particularly romantic here. To make things even more scenic and memorable, the island has quite a population of cute bunnies.
The lake is also very close to Viharamahadevi Park, Gangaramaya Temple, and Gangaramaya Park, all worth a visit. A steel bridge across the lake makes things even better. Especially during the Vesak festival, when the lake and the bridge are decorated as part of the festivities. Make sure to find out the Beira Lake timing before you head there.
One of the popular tourist places in Colombo, the lake is an ideal place to spend your evenings in Colombo after a full-day sightseeing tour. An early morning visit allows beautiful sunrise views and birding opportunities. Gangaramaya Temple, Viharamahadevi Park, and Galle Face Beach are notable places near Beira Lake.