Senanayaka Samudra, Inginiyagala, Ampara

The Senanayaka Samudraya, the largest body of water ever created in Sri Lanka, is a pleasing sight at sunset. Cradled between Siyabalanduwa and Ampara this giant reservoir is bordered by the rising mountains of Inginiyagala creating a sight that it majestic and breathtaking. 

A development of the Gal Oya Project, this reservoir that irrigates the dry lands of the east of Sri Lanka, remains a glorious testament to the most ambitious irrigation development project undertaken immediately after the Independence. 

Today nearly sixty years after its construction the Senanayaka Samudraya provides relief to man, birds and beast in the area with providing water, habitat and livelihood. Nearly 70,000 families in the East depends on the reservoir for water for their agricultural purposes while nearly 200 elephants roam the Gal Oya sanctuary the catchment area of the reservoir.  The islets within the reservoir are popular nesting grounds with many varieties of local and migrant birds and are best viewed by a boat ride in the reservoir. 


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Latitude: 7.197233 Longitude: 81.493117 Elevation: 262 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Udana Wickramasinghe

Recreational Opportunities

Boat ride, sightseeing, explore, photography and bird watching.

A journey on water towards the Gal Oya reserve falls across the Makara Kata or Makaraya, Dragon mouth in Sinhala. A whirlpool created by water flowing into a natural tunnel, where Gal Oya falls to the reservoir. The boat safaris during the dry season also bring the unusual sight of elephants swimming from one island to another island in the reservoir in search of food. 

Seasons Accessible



No entrance fee. If you request any services such as boat ride you need to pay directly to the service provider.

Accessibility Notes

There are different routes to reach the reservoir.

If you are coming from Colombo via Ratnapura-Monaragala, at Siyambalanduwa – Turn left onto Siyambalanduwa-Damana-Ampara Highway – Pass by Siyambalanduwa Post Office - take slight left turn onto Pallanoya Road and proceed towards Inginiyagala (Approximately 319 km and 5 hours drive from Colombo.)

If via Kandy, take the turn at Mahiyangana onto Bibile-Uraniya-Mahiyangane Rd turns slightly right and becomes Peradeniya-Badulla-Chenkaladi Highway --Continue onto Inginiyagala Road – Iginiyagala-(300 Km -5 Hours 20 Min).

From Ampara town - drive onto Ampara - Inginiyagala road that takes you to the reservoir. Approximately 25km.

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