Sembuwatta- The hidden Gem

Sri Lanka is home to many spectacular locations that are under the radar of many tourists and locals both alike. Most of these gems are tucked away safely in one of her many terrains and are quite hard to access. One such location is the Sembuwatta Lake located on the Alkaduwa estate in Matale district.

When my family decided to go on a picnic to Sembuwatta I was not that exited. I thought it will be just another drive with a view of tea plantations as far as the eye can see. (You got to understand being someone from the hill country and someone who has taken the Kandy-Nuwaraeliya road more times than I have ever visited my next door inhabitant, it doesn’t excite you as much as it should!!) But, boy was I wrong!!

To get to Sembuwatha Lake you have to go through the Alkaduwa estate, through lush tea plantations and greenery on a winding up hill road. Once you reach the old tea factory there is a small counter where you have to buy a ticket to enter the lake area. Here you can park your vehicle and go see the old tea factory up close. Then from there a small path leads you to the lake. From the ticket counter you can either opt for climbing your way up till the lake or you can go on your vehicle up to a certain point. Being a sucker for treks/climbs/walks however small it is, I chose the hard way! So we start climbing up the road and.. Behold a pretty little waterfall – small but pretty! The water that comes out of the lake through the outlet forms this waterfall. Again you have two options 1) you can climb up next to the waterfall – the hard way or you can just walk along the road till the lake.

The view leading to Sembuwatta
Tea Tea and Tea
More tea
The old tea factory
The road leading to the Lake
Pretty little Waterfall

Once you pass the water outlet you start seeing a clearance over a small hill, walk over the small hill and you finally see the lake. Trust me it takes your breath away at first sight. It’s like a backdrop from a Hindi film. The lake surrounded by tea plantations and a thick pine forest, just the sight of it is enough to calm your nerves.

The lake


Wildlife around the Lake
Tea plantation around the lake

There is a small path around the lake, through tea shrubs that you can walk and also there are small huts for you to sit and enjoy the view. And if you want to take a dip, there is a fresh water spring pool just next to the lake. There are no shops anywhere around the lake so you have to bring your food and drinks along and make sure the vehicle you take has good ground clearance- let’s just say that the road to Sembuwatta is not the most car friendly road. Sembuwatta is a great location if you’re searching for a place to relax and enjoy. Specially good if you are heading to Kandy and want a day off from hard core travelling.

Sri Lanka has a large number of lesser known places like this.. Go explore and let the world know about your findings below!!

Until next time, safe travels!!


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