Kande Ela Reservoir is is a tranquil lake surrounded by hills from on side and the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve from the other side on the route to Pattipola from Nuwara Eliya. The lake also known as Meepilimana Reservoir is situated about 10km or 30 minute drive from Nuwara Eliya on the route to Horton Plains is an ideal place to spend few hours on a trip to Nuwara Eliya. This reservoir was built in 1947-49 by Hon D.S. Senanayake and was opened in 1950 with a capacity of 2.17 million cubic meters coveting 4.5 square kilometers at full capacity. Water of this reservoir is used primarily for supply drinking water to the area. Therefore you will not find a single boat with a engine in this water body. Only power source allowed is human muscle power.
Here you can rent out a paddle boat or take ride in a boat which can accommodate about 6-7 -people. During one of our visits we hired a larger boat for a ride. The ride can take about 2 hours or more depending on the wind situation. These boats are built on top of platform made by tying plastic barrels together. When the wind is strong, rowing the boat against the wind is extremely difficult and slow. The wind also makes it externally chilly with nowhere to hide in the boat.
We went to the center of the lake pretty quick and we had to come back to the shore against the wind. The 2 oarsmen in the boat had to peddle it nonstop since the moment you stop, the wind carries it back to the center. We offered to help them and took turns in rowing which they happily accepted. The people who operate these boats have been doing this for decades and are seasoned to this strenuous task, but we came back to shore with frozen and sore shoulders.If you would like to spend the day, you can ask the boatman to drop you at the far end of the lake and pick you up later. But make sure you carry everything you need including the warm cloths since you will be isolated in the jungle for next few hours.