In comparison to all the massive tanks that were built by kings all over the island, the Kandy Lake is significantly smaller. It had a very big impact on the shaping of the kingdom and has maintained the area surrounding it as a calm and quiet location in the middle of the city that locals and tourists alike love to take an evening walk on.
The History of the Lake
Compared to the great tanks constructed by his predecessors, the Kandy lake has a short history having been constructed in 1807 by the last king of Kandy, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. It was named “kiri muhuda” or sea of milk for various reasons that are lost to legend today. The king was determined to build the lake, diverting important funds that should have gone into keeping the invaders at bay and he drowned or put to the stake anyone that dared to protest.
A Bloody History
The lake is surrounded by a bloody history including being the place where the womenfolk of a high-ranking Sinhalese official’s household were drowned when the king discovered a possible plot to hand his kingdom over to the British.
The Lake Statistics
With a circumference of 3.21 km and an area of roughly 6,500 square metres, the lake is topped off with a small island that is supposed to have been where the king housed his harem. It is also called the king’s pavilion for relaxation. It was used as an ammunition’s storage during the British colonial times and is in ruins today.
The Kandy Lake is situated to the right of the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the palace complex. It takes about 20 minutes from Kings Pavilion into the city to witness the beauty of the lake. It is a very short distance from any major hotel in Kandy.