We reached the Gal Oya Valley by taking the diversion road from Wadinagala on the Monaragala – Ampara Road. Its was almost as going through Wilpattu National Park except for the carpeted roads.
The first encounter you come across close to the Senananayake Samudraya is its fisheries habour. During dry season the water recedes for over 200 meters in to the lake exposing a vast plain with fresh growth. Its a beautiful scene with bright blue coloured boats flying colorful sails.
The plains also attracts wild elephants in the evening. They grace few hundred feet away from humans unperturbed by the human activity.
Passing the harbour you come across the earthen dam of the Senanayake Samudraya and the Inginiyagala mountain rises majestically at the far end of the dam.
Senanayake Samudraya is the largest and one of the most iconic reservoirs with a earthen dam built after receiving freedom from the British and was completed in 1953. The reservoir sometimes referred to as “Inginiyagala Reservoir” or or the “Gal Oya reservoir” is part of the Gal Oya multipurpose irrigation system project which started in the year 1949 and completed in 1953 by the first priminister of Sri Lanka, D. S. Senananayake.
Water from this reservoir is used primarily for irrigation in the Uva and Eastern provinces, in addition to powering a small hydroelectric power station.
In addition to colonization of this area, the most important aspect of this project was the establishment of 3 wild life sanctuaries (Gal Oya National Park, Senanayake Samudraya Sanctuary and Gal Oya Valley South West Sanctuary) to protect the wildlife and to protect its catchment area.
The reservoir consist a catchment area of 384 square miles has a earthen dam, 3600 feet in length and 140 feet in height comprising 2 million cubic yards of soils. This can store 770000 acre feet capacity of water. A 1020 feet concrete spill has been constructed far away from the main dam. It is 770 feet in spill length and 60 feet in height comprising 6 doors and distributes water by the sluice with 13 feet in diameter.
- Ancient Reservoirs of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Senananayake Samudraya
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 Senananayake Samudraya
Route from Monaragala to Senananayake Samudraya
|Through : Siyambalanduwa – Wadinagala|
Distance : 75 km
Travel time : 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map