A River Runs Through It: The Maduganga Wetlands in Sri Lanka
While in south-west Sri Lanka, we took a cruise of the Madu Ganga River, a shallow body of water north of Galle that flows into the Indian Ocean. With a smaller lake, the Madu Ganga River forms the Maduganga Wetland. The many mangrove islets along the river may be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka. The wetland has great ecological, biological and aesthetic significance, being home to 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families and to 248 species of vertebrate animals. The Maduganga Wetland was declared in 2003, in terms of the Ramsar Convention.
During the river cruise, we stopped at two islands. One island, connected to the shore by a long walking bridge, is the home to 250 families. We walked into the village and the kids were all outside. The fence looks odd but it was just marking the edge of the school grounds, not keeping them locked up. Everyone stopped to watch us.
Kothduwa Island is the home of a lovely Buddhist temple, Koth Duwa Raja Maha Viharaya.