Mahiyanganaya Sorabora Lake

Believed to have been built during the 2nd Century BC by a giant, the Mahiyanganaya Sorabora Lake is one of the more ancient reservoirs in Sri Lanka built by human hands. Built by using ingenious methods of controlling the flow of water, along with a natural surrounding filled with lush foliage and unique fauna, the Mahiyanganaya Sorabora Lake is an exquisite site for the wide eyed traveller to camp in and experience just a slice of the Paradise Island’s natural bliss.

Best Known For

  • Built using ingenious irrigation technology that still functions even today, the lake is famed for being one of the more unique manmade lakes in the country, as it incorporates a lot of the natural features of the area, especially the natural rock outcrop that can be seen in the form of the sluice gate.
  • Coupled with a vast expanse of rustic beauty in the form of calm waters and evergreen foliage, along with a trove of birds gliding over the lake looking for prey, the lake is an idyllic setting for the nature lover to revel in.

Interesting Facts

  • The Mahiyanaganaya Sorabora Lake has its origins in the 2nd Century BC, during the reign of King Dutugemunu.
  • It is believed that the lake was created by Bulata the giant, in order to create a better irrigation system for the people of the area, as there was quite a shortage of cultivatable land due to the warring kings of Dutugemunu and Elara.
  • Bulata the giant was initially given the task of supplying betel leaves to King Dutugemunu’s army, however, had to endure quite an arduous journey to retrieve them.
  • While going along his daily routine, the giant noticed a stream of water between 2 hills, near Mahiyanganaya, and realized that if it were to be damned, a reservoir that could provide vital water for thousands of paddy fields could be made.
  • Ever since this realisation, Bulatha decided to damn the stream of water, while doing his usual rounds of retrieving betel for the king.
  • Completed in secrecy, with the help of his wife, Bulatha invited King Dutugemunu, who had by now defeated King Elara, to ceremoniously open the lake, which was then called the ‘Sea of Binthanne’.
  • Upon opening the lake, King Dutugemunu gave his cape to Bulatha and designated him as a general of his army due to this selfless act.
  • The reservoir was built with a 40-foot tall, 11-feet wide embankment, which stretches about 500-metres, complete with a unique sluice gate carved out of the solid natural rock.
  • Apart from its unique engineering feat, the lake is surrounded by some exquisite flora, along with some amazing wildlife, perfect for the nature lover to delve into.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The Mahiyanganaya Sorabora Lake can be visited throughout the year, however, the months from January to April have been known to draw out quite a number of adventure tourists, due to the favourable weather conditions.
  • The best way to experience the lake is by partaking in some fishing, canoeing or overnight camping, which can be easily organised by an adventure company or even by yourself, should you be the solo traveller.
  • If attempting to do any of those activities by yourself, it is important to be prepared with all the necessary equipment, including clothes, tents, snacks water etc.
  • Please keep in mind that the lake is one of natural splendour, therefore it is your responsibility to keep it in its natural splendour by refraining from bringing any polythene or any other pollutants.
  • Do bring along your camera and picture the breathtaking sceneries of the lake during the sunset, along with the evergreen backdrop teeming with an abundance of birdlife.

In conclusion, the Mahiyanaganaya Sorabora Lake proves to be one of the more exquisite ancient manmade lakes in the country that allows many a traveller to become one with nature and learn about Sri Lanka’s ancient history.

The information displayed is provided by Mahiyanganaya Sorabora Lake

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January - April


Nature and Outdoors

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