Sembuwatta Lake Matale Sri Lanka

Exploring Hidden Beauties

Photo credits : Stephen Timewell from

Sembuwatta Lake - The real craftsmanship of human creativity.

After spending our night in Kandy for the Esala Perahera , we started our day to Matale early in the morning. If you are visiting Matale area , don't forget about Sembuwatta Lake. This lake is situated at Elkaduwa in Matale District of Sri Lanka. One of the best and vacation friendly places in Sri Lanka. This lake is man made and all the eco system around this lake is carefully designed and crafted.

Why Sembuwatta is important ?

As we mentioned before , this is a great place for a vacation and camping. There are lots of things to see and also many activities to enjoy. You will never feel bored or disappointed about this place. Trust me, you won't. At the very first time, you enter to this place, you will see the real beauty of this place surrounded by green mountains and a unique tea plantation.

  • Elevation : 1080 m
  • Weather : 28°C, 80% Humidity
  • Coordinates : 7°26′13″N 80°41′59″E
  • Type : Reservoir
  • Max. depth : 9–12 m (30–39 ft)

sembuwatta map We started our journey from Kandy to Sembuwatta Lake. Average time is 1hr & 30 mins.

There are some alternative roads to Sembuwatta Lake. But we recommend you to use Google Maps. Because some roads are not in good condition. And lots of bends and slops all over the road. So if you are driving, you have to be more careful.

History of Sembuwatta Lake

Sembuwatta Lake is situated at Elkaduwa plantation. Scottish people visited this plantation in 1860. They started tea plantation in year 1922. There was a tea factory and it was destroyed during the second world war between 1939 - 1945. The tea factory you can visit now is built in year 1945 and made it operation level in 1949.

After creating a tea factory, they wanted a power source for all the machines in the factory. This is the idea for Sembuwatta lake. So they converted the place they used to play Polo into a lake. Unfortunately in 1987,they closed the tea factory and the lake was abandoned.

In 2005, a new superintendent was assigned to Elkaduwa state, Mr. Radley Dissage. ( ) In that time, the whole plantation was in a bad situation making millions of losses. It was not profitable and also not enough money to pay salaries for the workers. First of all , Mr. Radley managed to discuss all the problems with the workers and settle as much as he can. Then he established the abandoned hydro power plant with his own money and gave electricity to all the workers. And also he managed to give some jobs to many people in this area. And also he developed the school and helped students too. To continue their education and make their home a better place.

By the time being, he developed the whole lake and the surrounding eco system. Not only that, but also he designed and developed a swimming pool next to the Lake. This is not a normal artificial swimming pool you can see everyday, this is a natural swimming pool.

Sembuwatta Lake This is the natural swimming pool captured by our drone.

Sembuwatta Lake Sembuwatta Lake Sembuwatta Lake You can't get a view like this anywhere else in Sri Lanka. A lake , tea plantation and some great bunch of mountains surrounded by eco system.
Photo credits : Stephen Timewell from

This view is not easily visible to normal eye when u are in Sembuwatta Lake. There are many tress and some mountains near by, If you are using a drone, you can see the following view. You can see all green. Not polluted by urbanization and millions of human beings. That's why we recommend this place for a good vacation.

Sembuwatta Lake Sembuwatta Lake Sembuwatta Lake Sembuwatta Lake Drone view of the Sembuwatta surrounding.
Photo credits : Stephen Timewell from

This is not just a lake with a good view. There are many activities you can enjoy. After enjoying the surrounding, we went to have a boat ride. There are many types of boats available here. You can enjoy a good boat ride to a really affordable rate. Don't miss that. You will love a nice photography of you when you are at the middle of this amazing lake.

Sembuwatta Lake Sembuwatta Lake This is the boat we took. These boats are safe and worth for the money you pay.
Photo credits : Stephen Timewell from

If you are young and like adventures, cable jump is also good for you. There is a small mountain neaby the lake. You have to buy a ticket from the small office near the lake and then you have to go there for this jump. This is so nice and never miss this.

Sembuwatta Lake Both girls and boys can attend this event. Don't miss this opportunity.

Some more importnt facts.

This is a great place for drones and photography. Many people come here for photo shoots and speccially wedding pre shoots. Some music videos also made in here because of the unique sets of eco system and natural beauty. But if you are going to use drone, you have to pay some amount and take the permission. And also if you are taking photographs for commercial purpose, still you have to pay some amount. Those money directly sent to the well being of this lake and all the people living in this area. So you are doing a service in another way.

Sembuwatta Lake Sembuwatta Lake Photo credits : Stephen Timewell from You can see him in this photo. He is trying to take his drone up after caliberating the drone.

From the main road, you have to travel around 5 km to the Sembuwatta Lake. The road is not in good condition. If you are coming by a car , you have to be very careful when you are driving in this road. A 4x4 offroad kind of jeep is best for this. But don't worry, there are many Tuk Tuks available for you at the start of this rough road. You can park your car and take a Tuk Tuk easily.

Sembuwatta Lake You can see there are many Tuk Tuks available on the top of this mountain too. The cheapest and best way to travel in Sri Lanka.

If you visit Sembuwatta Lake, don't forget to take some selfies to remember. A great place for couples to enjoy a day without any hassle or problems. Really friendly people and more convenient locations , activities and many more. And also make sure you are taking some food and drinks. There are no any shops to take a meal. I think in future, they will provide those facilities too.

Sembuwatta Lake

Please feel free to comment and ask any question from us. We are happy to help you. Hope you will enjoy.

[ In this article , all the photo credit goes to Stephen Timewell from UK , Chanaka and Piyumi from Sri Lanka. All photos belong to Navigator360 and corresponding photographers. Downloading and using these photos without noticing owners is prohibited. Check About us page for more information. ]

Thank you.