Birthed in the central highlands of the island and gently meandering along in every direction, the rivers in Sri Lanka each tells a varied story. Some gushing over mountain peaks and crashing over waterfalls. Others taking a serene tranquil journey along the lowlands and plains. All reaching the same end as they flow into the waters of the Indian Ocean.
The rich network of rivers in Sri Lanka makes the island an oasis at any time of year, a naturally watering the paradise garden with its splendid heritage. The highest concentration of rivers and lakes is found in the south-west of the country, making it possibly the most fertile area in Sri Lanka.
Mahaweli River , the longest river in the island and 330km in length originates from the Hatton mountain range and gently flows across Kandy and right to the east where it eventually passes through Trincomalee, one of the finest natural harbours in the world. The river, having been dammed in several places, is not only a major source of water for irrigation purposes, but also plays an important role in the hydro-electric power generation of Sri Lanka. Mahaweli River has thus played an important role in the lives of the people of the country providing them with the basics even for sustenance.
The Kelani River Sri Lanka originating at the foot of the Sri Pada mountain range is one of the most important water sources for Colombo. Flowing along through the hill country and eventually ending at the ocean in Colombo, the river changes during the monsoon period and dry season. The Kelani River Sri Lanka is an integral part of the lives of those living close-by as it is used for irrigation, hydropower generation, transportation and fisheries among others.
Some other major rivers in Sri Lanka among the 103 dispersed island-wide are the Aravi Aru, the second-longest river in the country, the Malwathu Oya, the Walawe River, and the Kalu River.