Mahavilachchiya Tank of Anuradhapura Kingdom – මහවිලච්චිය වැව

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Mahavilachchiya Tank

Mahavilachchiya Tank
photo courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Constructed by prince Saliya, son of king Dutugemunu (161-131 BC) in the 140 BC, Mahavilachchiya tank lies on the north-east boarder of Wilpattu National Park. This irrigation tank 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 Tank 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 tank 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 tank 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.

Primary Sources : Sri Lankawe Iparini Wew ha Wari Karmanthaya – Yuraj Padmin Soysa

 

Also See

Map of  the Mahavilachchiya Tank

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

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Traveling to Mahavilachchiya Tank

Route from Colombo to Mahavilachchiya Wewa

Through : Puttlam
Distance : 222 km
Travel time : 5-6 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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Posted in Ancient Reservoirs