The Beira Lake is the largest body of water in Colombo. The most visible section of the lake is seen adjoining the old Parliament House, the current Presidential Secretariat, and extends towards the rear of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on the southern section.
Possibly once a lagoon with the Kelani river feeding it, the Beira Lake presently covers 65 hectares of water. The Lake once occupied approximately 165 hectares of land about 100 years ago. It spills into the Indian Ocean at Galle Face.
During the time of the Portuguese, many intricate canals were built between the lake and other important areas of Colombo; these canals provided an easy way of transporting goods within the city and suburban areas.
Today, the lake has two distinct bodies of water. A narrow canal, which runs through Slave Island, connects the two bodies. The smaller lake, with its center island and the Seema Malaka, borders Navam Mawatha and is a popular recreational area. The larger lake, lined with many warehouses, borders D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha and can be admired from the Cinammon Lakeside Hotel. This part of the lake has been home to the Colombo Rowing Club and is the venue for the annual Royal Thomian Regatta.
The lake is home to storks, pelicans, monitor lizards, and various species of fish.