A few kilometers past Elkaduwa (near Kandy) there’s a hidden alpine lake. It was originally a polo grounds for the planters, flooded to generate electricity for the people below. It’s such a beautiful scene that it’s almost impossible to describe, or photograph. You are level with the clouds, above still green waters, rimmed by verdant tea and impossible skies. Which is to say, it’s a nice place. It’s almost empty and very quiet and still. People are plucking tea and gardening, going about the day, living in this Bollywood love dream.
Sembawatta Lake is about 2km from Elkaduwa, itself near Wattegama, itself near Katugastota, itself near Kandy. From Kandy you take the road out to Katugastota, I think it’s the turn off right before the Queen’s Hotel and Lake begins, where you have to turn. Take that all the way to Katugastota, then turn right towards Bambarella, Matale. Then keep going till Wattegama where you turn left towards Elkaduwa. Then straight till about the 6th kilometer post (I think), and turn back into and up the Elkaduwa Estate. If that is all confusing, just remember the towns and ask.
The road is quite bumpy and may scrape your car. They charge Rs. 150 for entrance. You’re not supposed to swim or curse or drink. I did the former but it was a bit cold and deep and I don’t necessarily recommend it.
If you’re staying in the area, Green View is cheap (Rs. 1400 to 1600) and has amazing 360 views, albeit in mediocre and poorly maintained rooms.