The last Sinhalese king of Kandy, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe converted a large paddy field adjoining the Temple of the Tooth to build this lake in 1807. Devendra Moolacharya was it’s architect. There was also a dam across the paddy fields, starting from the Pattiruppuwa (Octagon) side, where the steps leading into the lake by the Mahamaluwa (Great Terrace) are still visible. Today the Kandy Lake undoubtedly enhances the city’s beauty with the unique wall ‘Diyarali Bamma’ depicting ripples of water, surrounding it.
The small island in the middle of the lake with some ancient ruins was used by the king's harem for bathing and also by the king for relaxation and connected to the palace by a secret tunnel.
The ‘Ulpange’ or the Queen’s Bathing Pavilion is situated partly in the waters of the Kandy Lake and the other part on land near the Temple of the Tooth Relic. This was part of the palace complex.
A thrilling boat ride around the lake gives a breathtaking view of the picturesque city from a brand new view point. One can also observe many species of birds such as the Indian cormorants, wood storks, pelicans and the white egret storks nesting in the lush trees around the lake. The Kandy City Tour offers delightful boat rides in all it’s tours.