Featured Image: Lanka.com
The Hamilton Canal (also known as the Dutch Canal) is a canal connecting Puttalam to Colombo, two of the main cities in Sri Lanka. It was used for the purpose of a supply route in the times of the Dutch administration. During Dutch rule, the canal was named after Gavin Hamilton, the Government Agent of Revenue and Commerce. The canal is still being used. It runs across towns offering a view of houses, old churches and fishing villages.
Visitors can take a tour of the canal through a boat or have a bicycle ride along it. The area of the Dutch Canal in Negombo is a busy one. The ride does not offer extraordinarily-spectacular nature views but it will offer a glimpse of authentic Sri Lankan life. The journey provides a local flavor and ring. You can also enjoy the lagoon that leads to the sea. It is amazing how many different things you will view – different dwellings, one being a mansion sitting next to a fisherman’s shack. If you visit in the evening, all the boats will be gone to sea and there will be no fish stall to see except empty ones. The best time to visit is the morning when the boats that were fishing in the night come in and trade their fish.
At one point, the Hamilton Canal reaches the Muthurajawela marsh, a paradise with flowers, birds, fish and butterflies, and also, the occasional crocodile and python. This is where you need to explore the short stretches of marsh between canal and sea, since it is located on a beautiful and lush section of the canal, just before it empties into the Negombo Lagoon.
The one and a half hour boat ride takes one along the Hamilton Canal, through the marsh onto the lagoon. Along the way you are able to get images of water bodies and mammals. The whole place has a unique charm and offers a different experience.
Our team at The Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo would be delighted to arrange an excursion for you to take a delightful boat ride on Hamilton Canal. Do get in touch upon arrival at the hotel for your stay.