Beira Lake is a nice place to chill out on a cool day - it's a hot spot for couples but there's a great view for anyone to enjoy here especially at night when it's lit up.
You can stroll down the quiet walkways under the shade of trees, paddle out on the lake on a swan-boat, visit the water-temple on the lake, cross the bridge to lovers' island, or have some juice or tea nearby.
The pathways just around Beira Lake and even the pavements on the road level have been beautifully done-up for a while now. The place is extremely green. It's a beautiful space to walk through, with the giant trees and the view of the sparkling lake.
Watch out for crow poop though. Loads of evil crows here who'll challenge you to a game of target-practice.
For 100 rupees you can get into these swan-shaped boats and take a ride out on the lake for 30 minutes. The boats are two-seaters (though three can fit in too) and they have life vests if you're the paranoid type. You have to cycle pedals and use a steering wheel to manouvre yourself around - it's pretty simple, and fun with friends because floating on a lake in a giant swan is probably the silliest thing you can do in this city. You might encounter a couple of ducks or giant-beaked birds on your journey.
We don't recommend dipping your fingers in the water though - the lake looks gorgeous but we're pretty sure it's gross on the inside, judging by some of the debris found on the edges of the lake.
The giant suspension bridge on the lake is hard to miss. Cross it to step onto a small island of well-paved floors, loads of trees and flowers, and a weird green dome-like thing in the middle.
Since our country is still so awkward about public displays of affection, the authorities have built this island so you can go smooch each other there without the judgmental eyes of aunties etc staring you down. It's a beautiful space that's even kind of romantic with the greenery, the occasional duck, and the view of the watery expanse. Full of only couples who are there for privacy though, so not advisable to go there by yourself to check it out, it can get kind of awks because what has been seen cannot be unseen. Best part is if you look for this place on Google Maps it shows it as 'Children's park'.
The water temple
The Seema Malaka on the lake is, in our opinion, the best part about Beira Lake. Its roof and its rows of elegant Buddha statues are unmistakable from a distance. Funded by S. H. Moosajee decades ago, its a lot of things in one: there's a central prayer area inside wooden paneling, a walkway that takes you to the 'Treasury of Truth' where you can read religious text, and another walkway that takes you to a space that has giant Buddha statues, a stupa, a Bo tree and interestingly, statues of Hindu gods like Ganesh and Kali. The temple is meticulously maintained and is a wonderful place for quiet contemplation, especially given the quiet of the surrounding lake.
After your tour around Beira Lake you can have something refreshing to drink at the nearby Tea Breeze
Visit the lake during Vesak when it's lit up - the temple on the lake will especially look beautiful.