The Hamilton Canal is a 14.5km waterway, which was originally constructed by the Dutch and later fortified by the British in 1802. It is named after the then Government Agent of Revenue and Commerce, Gavin Hamilton. A leisurely cruise along the calm waters of this canal is an intriguing journey with an insight to the life in Negombo.
The vibrant town of Negombo is known for its scenic beaches as well as spicy and delicious seafood and majestic colonial buildings. Regarded as the ‘little Rome’, Negombo allows visitors to experience quaint colonial artistry and its influence on Sri Lankan architecture. The churches reflect on rich styles including gothic and neo classicism.
The Hamilton Canal traverses past local fishing villages that have an abundance of colourful catamarans and motorboats. See the Lellama, the main fish market of Negombo where fishermen haul their fresh catch. The seafarers, their beliefs and practices before setting out on the voyage, their graceful return with a bountiful catch, and the fish auctions at Lellama, offer interesting aspects of Sri Lankan life and its diversity.
From the Negombo Lagoon, visit Muthurajawela, a wetland habitat with a variety of mangroves. Known as the largest coastal marshland in Sri Lanka, Muthurajawela is home to endemic species of flora and wildlife.
Enjoy the sight of colourful fish and water birds who patiently wait for their prey. The boat ride offers a perfect opportunity for bird watching, including Indian cormorants, Eurasian Curlew, purple herons, ducks and kingfishers as well as to observe other aquatic animals.
Passing the lush greenery against the soothing fresh breeze, a boat ride down the Hamilton Canal is a journey to collect good memories and plenty of scenic photographs.