Garanduwa Lagoon

Garanduwa Lagoon (Sinhala: ගරාඬුව කලපුව) is an atoll lagoon and a mangrove forest situated in Mirissa in Matara District, Sri Lanka (Gunarathne et al., 2018). Out of 89 lagoons in the country, Garanduwa is the only inland lagoon located nearly 1 km away from the sea (Senaratna et al., 2015). It is intermittently connected to the sea by two restricted inlets; Mirissa Udupila Ela and Thalaramba Lamasuriya Ela (Priyadarshana et al., 2014; Senaratna et al., 2015).

Historical value
The name Garanduwa is derived from a Sanskrit term because of the presence of many crocodiles in the past (Senaratna et al., 2015). Prince Keerthi who later became King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.) is said to have built his palace on Siribaddana Island which is located within the lagoon (Priyadarshana et al., 2014; Senaratna et al., 2015).

The old temples Garanduwa and Nadeethirarama are located in the vicinity of this lagoon.

The lagoon
The lagoon is extending in an area of about 0.32 km2 (Priyadarshana et al., 2014). It lies in the Lowland Wet  Zone of the country and floristically it belongs to the Southern Wet Lowlands (Priyadarshana et al., 2014). Two main rivers, Nilwala Ganga and Polwatu Oya, flow around the lagoon and the latter is connected to the lagoon at the northern end (Priyadarshana et al., 2014).

The lagoon has a rich biodiversity. Different varieties of trees, mangroves, insects, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals are found in the lagoon environment (Gunarathne et al., 2018; Priyadarshana et al., 2014).

1) Gunarathne, K.R.G.M., Kodikara, K., Kokuhennadige, H., Madarasinghe, S. and Loku Pulukkuttige, J., 2018. Diversity and ecosystem health of inland mangrove forest in Garanduwa lagoon, southern province, Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the 15th Academic Sessions University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka. p.47.
2) Priyadarshana, T., Manatunge, J. and Wijayaratna, N., 2014. Finding solutions to address the issues caused by modifications made to Garanduwa Lagoon. pp.1,6,8-10,14-23.
3) Senaratna, D., Premakumara, M.M.K. and Gamage, U., 2015, October. Biodiversity, Historic Importance and Threats of Garanduwa Lagoon Situated in Mirissa Tourist Zone A Case Study. In Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium (Vol. 20). p.103.
Location Map
This page was last updated on 5 November 2023

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