Bolgoda, presumed to be the largest natural lake in Sri Lanka, covers almost two thirds of the Kalutara district, extending from Anguruwatota to Piliyandala. It is also the largest fresh water lake in Sri Lanka. The lake`s depth is said to range from 20-50 feet.
During the Dutch period of Sri Lanka`s history,(1624 – 1798) Bolgoda Lake was extensively used to transport people and goods from the upper stream of Kalu Ganga, particularly, from Ratnapura District. It was utilized as a very popular and convenient mode of transport of logs from the Sinharaja forest, in the upper reaches of the river to the many timber mills in Moratuwa.
The islands on the lake served as resting places for ferrymen. During the British period, Bolgoda Lake was a popular and famous hunting ground for birds and as a place of recreation for the British officers and adventurers who were stationed in Colombo city.
Some aspects of the history of Bolgoda Lake is shrouded in mystery, one of which is woven around a prince called Reevidev, who lived in the Bolgoda area during the time of king Parakramabahu II`s reign. The prince, who was said to be a voyeur, was in the habit of observing women bathing on the lake. It is said that the granite seat from which he is believed to have observed the women could still be seen when the water level in the lake is low.
Natural beauty and utility value
The Bolgoda Lake in Sri Lanka has an eco-system, which is rich in bio-diversity. It is full of mangroves, many aquatic living things and birds which add beauty to the lake.