The island of Sri Lanka has an incredibly interesting history, and it goes back millennia. In regards to its more recent past, the colonial times, the island was respectively occupied by three powerful European entities, with each leaving their unique imprint on the land. One such imprint is the man-made Beira Lake, and it has influences of all three of these entities. It is in one of the most upscale areas in Colombo, with many current as well as upcoming luxury apartments in Colombo Sri Lanka to be found such as Capitol TwinPeaks.
The lake was initially built by the Portuguese, and served a defensive front to aid them against attacks from the Sinhala Kingdom of Sitawaka. The lake was also purposefully infested with crocodiles to ensure that no enemy forces would be able to swim across.
When the Dutch took over, they expanded the lake greatly, and even built some reclaimed islands such as Slave Island. Some of the islands were quite large, and had thriving villages on them as well as plantations containing hundreds of coconut trees.
During the British colonial times, the lake’s crocodiles were removed and the surrounding land was developed greatly. The lake became a hotspot for recreational activities such as rowing and yachting and the area surrounding it boasted lavish celebrations and festivities such as a grand ball to celebrate the British victory of Waterloo. It was also the British that opened Ceylon’s first botanical garden, and featured saplings contributed by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
The Beira Lake is currently a vibrant hotspot, and is particularly popular with young couples. The area surrounding it contains many cafes and restaurants, as well as industrial buildings. For a small fee, one could even venture onto the lake on a swan-shaped pedal-boat. If you ever find yourself in Colombo, the Beira Lake is surely a place worthy of a visit.
Damon Starky is a creative nomadic travel writer, who is well informed and experienced on a wide range of interests that would connect to the needs of any type of traveler.