This artificial lake was built by the last king of Kandy (and of Sri Lanka), Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe to beatify the Temple of the Tooth Relic by excavating paddy fields in 1807. He called this artificial lake the :Kiri Muhuda" or the Milky Ocean.
He also added the "Valakulu Bamma" (the clouds wall) around the lake but before he could complete, British forces invaded the city of Kandy and prisoned the last Kandyan King in 1815. The Walakulu Wall still remains in the same unfinished state with a length of 2060 feet. The triangular holes in the wall has been used to light oil lamps in the night. This same design has been used for the outer wall of Sri Dalada Maligawa.
He also built a dam across the lake to travel to the other side of the lake but then he destroyed it from both ends leaving only a portion in the centre creating an island. On the Dalada Maligawa side of the lake is the Queens Bathing House. Which is partially in the lake itself. The perimeter of the lake is about 3.4 km and the walakulu wall runs to about 2060 feet around the lake.