Muthurajawela the Swamp of Royal Treasure
The name Muthurajawela has been derived from Sinhalese language which the majority of Sri Lankans use to communicate. The meaning can be translated in to English simply as “Swamp of Royal Treasure”. Treasures of kings in olden days are believed to be buried in that area.
Muthurajawela Marsh is situated towards the southern part of Negombo. The boundaries span from Negombo lagoon which also helps to create a costal eco system, and Kelaniya River situated at the northern tip of Colombo. Muthurajawela is in close proximity to Colombo.
Muthurajawela Marsh is said to be the island’s largest saline peat bog. It is believed to have originated about 7000 years ago. There are some residuals which extend up to 500 years towards the history from now.
Muthurajawela bears staggering species of flora and fauna. Numerically 192 flora and 209 fauna, excluding 102 species of birds have been discovered. Some indigenous floras and faunas have also been found in Muthurajawela marsh. Visitors may see water birds such as herons, egrets in abundance in the lagoon and the marsh. It is also a residence for 40 different species of fish, of which 15 falls under the category of indigenous fauna. The nocturnal animal, slender Loris, which is believed to be endangered, can be seen once in a blue moon.
Muthurajawela marsh has been declared as s sanctuary by the government in 1996 due to its vast bio diversity. Visitors may be assisted by the Muthurajawela marsh centre. The centre educates people about the importance of Muthurajawela. The staff at Muthurajawela marsh centre is available everyday except Monday; from 7.00 a.m to 6.00 p.m. Visitors may be given well trained guide. Also a boat ride will be given for visitors through the marsh and lagoon. Visitors will not only be able to travel on water, if they are interested, they can walk on the land and view the natural greenery. Early mornings or evenings are the best times to view, Muthurajawela. Late mornings and afternoons should be avoided in order to get rid of harsh sun rays.