A breezy boat ride on the <a href="http://www.urlaub-sr-lanka.info/index.php/madu-
ganga">Madu Ganga </a>will not only take your breath away but will invigorate your
senses and uplift your soul. The Madu River, situated in the Galle District is a fitting
example of the intricate river channels which decorate<a href="http://www.urlaub-sr-
lanka.info"> Sri Lanka's </a>south west coast.
In the global context, the ecological importance of this site has garnered it the `Ramsar
Wetland' status in 2003 being the second largest wetland in Sri Lanka with a colossal 915
hectares with 23 islands inhabited by nearly 300 families. The Madu Ganga Sanctuary is
now a Tourist Development Area and a Special Area Managed (SAM) by the Coast
Conservation Department. Balapitiya is where the `Madu Ganga' makes its home.
Along with the smaller Randombe Lake, to which it is connected by two narrow
channels, it forms the Madu Ganga wetland. Its estuary and the many mangrove islets on
it form a complex coastal wetland ecosystem. It has a high value in ecological, biological
and aesthetic significance, home to 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families and to
248 species of vertebrates. Madu Ganga is possibly one of the last remaining tracts of
pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka. Prawn farming stations also exist along the Madu
During the pre-colonization period, Madu Ganga was a pivotal point where one of the
main water ways connected cities and ancient Sinhala kingdoms together. It is claimed
that the main secret of the Madu Ganga is its subtle tide. On any occasion during the low
tide, the sea water comes inland and blends with the fresh water and in the evening, the
opposite happens creating an exciting natural formation.
The Amarapura Nikaya had its first Upasampada (higher ordination ceremony) on a fleet
of boats anchored upon it in 1803. The Madu Ganga santuary is also home to a wealth of
flora and fauna. At Diga-duwa (Long Island), bear witness to several plants which are
used in ayurvedha having stood the test of time.
Streaming and meandering along the way, the peace and solitutude at Madu Ganga
inspires you to be concerned about Mother Nature.
Further along the way, another small islet described as Satha Pahe Dupatha has a nearly
800 years old Dewalaya but without a holy statue. Koth Duwa has a temple which is
called Kothduwa Raja Maha Viharaya. The main treasure of Madu Ganga is its
mangroves that act as a bio-lock to the area by giving protection to the variety of aquatic
plants and animal life.
They provide a home for different kinds of aquatic plants, crabs, shrimps, fish, various
invertebrates and other animal life including crocodiles. In earlier years, Madu Ganga and
its islets were renowned for their mangroves, but these are now increasingly under threat.