Constructed by prince Saliya, son of king Dutugemunu (161-131 BC) in the 140 BC, Mahavilachchiya Wewa lies on the north-east boarder of Wilpattu National Park. This irrigation reservoir has been built by daming the Thalawa Oya which is a tributary of Modaragam Oya. Historical records states that king Dhatusena (459-477) had extended the Jayaganga Canal to feed Mahavilachchiya Wewa with the excess water from Kalawewa in addition to the water flowing on the Thalawa Oya. Identified in ancient texts as “Mayetti Wapi” , King Udaya (797-801) is recorded to have expanded this reservoir further.
Based on a plaque installed during a renovation in 1955, this irrigation reservoir has a capacity of 32,500 acre feet (40 Mn cubic meters) of water and covers approx 10.5 km2 of land when full. Bases on the same plaque, the reservoir supports over 2500 acres of paddy land. The water is supplied to the farmland on over 2 canals on the left and the right banks. The left bank canal is 5km long and the right bank canal is 13.5 kms long. The ancient embankment is almost 2.5 km long and both slice gates are about 3.5 feet wide.
The Mahavilachchiya Wewa lies about 1 kilometer away from the Vilachchiya Town.
- Ancient Reservoirs of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Mahavilachchiya Wewa
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Traveling to Mahavilachchiya Wewa
Route from Colombo to Mahavilachchiya Wewa
|Through : Puttlam|
Distance : 222 km
Travel time : 5-6 hours
Driving directions : see on google map