Sri Lanka is blessed with beautiful rivers and lakes that run through the country making it one of the most popular tourist destinations. The Madu Ganga or Madu River in particular is a river located in the south west of Sri Lanka which joins the sea at Balapitiya and is visited by locals and tourists all-round the year. Madu Ganga is complete with hundreds of little islands scattered through the river and plenty of Madu Ganga hotels, which are dotted along the river.
A boat ride along the river will take the keen explorer in between the mangroves, where travellers are advised to keep a keen eye out for crocodiles or water monitors! So be careful not to fall over! While on the boat safari, it is a great way to spot some wild fauna in Sri Lanka, like monkeys swinging from the trees or colourful kingfishers diving for their prey. As the surrounding islands are mostly wet and marshy, visitors are treated to a wide array of flora as well. The boat ride through the Madu Ganga usually lasts for a couple of hours, although be sure to watch as the sea water mixes with the fresh water, as the tides change. Many hotels in the area such as The River House Balapitiya offer guests boat rides along Madu Ganga.
The largest island known as MahaDuwa, or locally known as Maduwa, is home to a Buddhist monastery. This island is thus the more popular one for the travellers of the Madu Ganga. Worshippers flock to this island to offer flowers and prayers, while young monks excitedly display a 150 year old religious book, fringed by coconut palms which were believed to have held the Sacred Tooth Relic once.
The locals that live along the river are known to produce cinnamon and is therefore a great place to get some fresh, real cinnamon! The river is also a great source for seafood, in particular lagoon prawns! Big, delicious prawns are caught in traps, mostly after the sun sets.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+