Tissa Wewa Reservoir in Anuradhapura (අනුරාධපුර තිසා වැව)

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Tissa Wewa is an ancient irrigation reservoir that was built by King Devanampiya Tissa (250-210 BC). Only Panda Wewa and Abhaya Wewa are considered to be older than Tissa Wewa. The embankment of Tissa Wewa is 11,000 feet long (Two miles) and 25 feet high. The width of the top of the reservoir was found to be 12 feet to 18 feet. The base of the embankment is 160 feet. Tissa Wewa covers an area of approximately 550 acres.

Mahawansa reports that King Bhatikabaya  (20 BC-9 AC) pumped water using a machine up to Ruwanweli Seya and sprayed water onto flowers which covered the full stupa. Further, water from this reservoir was also used to fill the tanks of Ranmasu Uyana, the Royal water garden next to the Isurumuniya Viharaya.

Tissa Wewa receives water through the ancient canal of Jaya Ganga, an ancient canal originating at Kala Wewa. The excess water is released to the Malwathu Oya River. The embankment of the Tissa Wewa tank is approximately 3 km long.

Parker in 1909 reports that the embankment appears to be in its original state ( that of 1100 years ago) and is so solidly built, with little maintenance this bund will last forever. Just as he commented, the Tissa Reservoir continues to feed water to the Anuradhapura even today.

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Map of  the Anuradhapura Tissa Wewa

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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 Anuradhapura Tissa Wewa Reservoir (up to Anuradhapura)

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Bus

Anuradhapura is easily reached by bus, train or private transport. Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses start at the Colombo Fort Main Bus Station. There are luxury busses which start from various places in Colomb travelling past Anuradhapura, to Vavuniya and Jaffna. However, you need to search the web and book a seat. These luxury buses mostly travel at night reaching their final destination early in the morning.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Train

5 daily trains are starting from Fort Railway Station to Anuradhapura. Generally, the first train leaves at 9.40 am and the last train at 8.30 pm. Travel time is 4-5 hours depending on the number of stops of the particular train.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Car or Van

Anuradhapura can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttalam (Puttalama) and through Kurunegala. Travelling from Puttalam, you will pass the scenic Wilpattu area. There are two main routes to Anuradhapura from Kurunegala. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is through Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the most commonly used is the Kurunegala-Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura
Through : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance from Colombo : 210 km
Travel time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute from Kandy to Anuradhapura
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Narammala – Wariyapola – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance from Colombo :203 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katugastota – Matale – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :136 km
Travel Time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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