Category: Ancient Reservoirs

Pavakkulama (Pavatkulama) Reservoir in Vavuniya – වව්නියාවේ පාවක්කුලම වැව

Pavakkulama (Pavatkulama) Reservoir in Vavuniya

Pavakkulama Reservoir is the largest ancient reservoir found in Vavuniya district. According to a notice board installed by the Irrigation Department, Its embankment is 10,364 feet (3.2 km) long and has a gross capacity of 27,000 acre feet (33 million cubic meters).

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Iratperiyakulama Reservoir – ඊරට්ටපෙරියකුලම (ඉරට්පෙරියකුලම) වැව

Iratperiyakulama Reservoir

The Iratperiyakulama Wewa (reservoir) is the second largest reservoir in the Vavuniya district second only to Maha Pawakkulama Wewa which was created by joining Pawakkulama Wewa and the Ulukkulama Wewa.

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Ancient Mamaduwa Wewa – වව්නියාවේ මාමඩුව වැව

Mamaduwa Wewa (ancient reservoir) buit in the 6th Century photo by : nadun chanaka

The massive Mamaduwa reservoir with a 2km long embankment was built in the 6th century by king Aggabodhi I and has been renovated by many kings thereafter.

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Tampitiya Reservoir Ancient Bisokotuwa and Sluice in Mahaoya – මහඔය ටැම්පිටිය වැව පුරාණ බිසෝකොටුව සහ සොරොව්ව

Tempitiya Reservoir on the way to Niyandawaragala Archaeological Ruins in Mahaoya

Tempitiya Reservoir is credited to king Saddhatissa (137-119 BC) of Anuradhapura kingdom and said to have been restored by the British in 1838 making it one of the first ancient reservoirs to be restored by the British in the Ampara District.

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Mutukelina Wewa and the Observation Point in Kandy – මහනුවර මුතුකෙලින වැව

Mutukelina Wewa and the Observation Point in Kandy

This one of the hidden jewels that Kandy which managed escape the average traveler. The Mutukelina Wewa lies in a tranquil background surrounded by mountains about 17 km away from Kandy town, The tank lies 1000 meters above sea level and is small with a surface area of about 15,000 square meters.

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Kande Ela Reservoir in Nuwara Eliya – නුවර එලියේ කන්දේ ඇල ජලාශය

Kande Ela Reservoir

Kande Ela Reservoir is is a tranquil lake surrounded by hills from on side and the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve from the other side on the route to Pattipola from Nuwara Eliya. The lake also known as Meepilimana Reservoir is  situated

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Rambakan Oya Reservoir – රඹකැන් ඔය ජලාශය

The water outlet to the main canal of Rambakan Oya Reservoir

The Rambakan Oya Reservoir lies far away from human habitation, 17 km away from the Maha Oya town. Ancient ruins at this location proves that a reservoir has been planned thousands of years ago at the same location.

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Senananayake Samudraya – සේනානායක සමුද්‍රය

Senanayake Samudraya and with the Inginiyagala mountain rising majestically at the far end of the dam

Senananayake Samudraya (“Inginiyagala Reservoir” or or the “Gal Oya Reservoir”) is one of the most iconic reservoirs buit after independence with the Inginiyagala Mountain in the backdrop.

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Erupothana Wewa at Mahakachchakodiya – එරුපොතාන වැව

The sluice gate of Erupothana Reservoir created using a natural rock formation.

Erupothana is a historically important location in the Sri Lankan annals being the birth place of Nandimithra, one of the ten giant warriors of King Dutugemunu (161-131 BC).

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Kondawattuwana Wewa and Monastic Ruins – කොණ්ඩවට්ටවාන වැව සහ බෞද්ධ නටබුණ්

Kondawattuwana Monastic Ruins directions board which is apparent is wrong

The Kondawattuwana reservoir first built in the 1st-3rd century BC had been renovated recently to provide irrigation and drinking water to the villages nearby. A stone edict has been found near the reservoir dates back to the reign of King Dapulla the fourth of the 10th century AD.

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Rambakan Oya Ruins of Ancient Granite Canal – අම්පාර රඹකැන් ඔය ගල් ඇල

Rambakan Oya Ruins of Ancient Granite Canal

Ruins of the ancient Rambakan Oya giant rock canal lies close to the new Rambakan Oya Reservoir project. The canal has been built with massive interlocking granite blocks which kept the rocks in position even in the worst conditions.

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Angammedilla Gal Amuna (Rajabemma) at Polonnaruwa – අංගම්මැඩිල්ල ගල් අමුණ

Rajabemma at Angammedilla , Polonnaruwa

Angammadilla Gal Amuna (stone weir) also known as Rajabemma creates one of the main feeders to Parakrama Samudraya. This weir is credited to king Parakramabahu (1153-1186) who had tapped the water of Amban Ganga (river) to his Parakrama Samudraya Reservoir.

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Haththota Amuna – මාතලේ හත්තොට අමුණ

The Ancient Section of Haththota Amuna

Haththota Amuna (Hattota Amuna) is an ancient weir (anicut) with 46 km long feeder channel constructed across the Kalu Ganga, a tributary of Amban Ganga near Pallegama during the reign of Aggabodhi II (608-618 A.C.)

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Kalinga Yodha Ela – Mapping of Sri Lanka’s Ancient Navigation Channel – කාලිංග යෝධ ඇල

Kalinga Yodha Ela - Mapping of Sri Lanka's Ancient Navigation Channel

During glory days of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom (12th century AD), say the elders, ships sailing the Mahaweli River vía Kalinga Ela collected local rice production and transported it even abroad.

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Angamuwa Wewa Reservoir – අංගමුව වැව

Angamuwa Wewa

Angamuwa Wewa is built by damming the Lunu Oya, which is a tributory of Kala Oya. The embankment is 10 meter high and about 1.8 km long. The tank can hold 13.5 mn cubic meters of water.

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Kala Wewa and Yodha Ela (Jaya Ganga) – An irrigation wonder of Ancient Sinhalese – කලා වැව හා ජය ගඟ

Drought had dried out water from Balalu wewa. There are few waterholes scattered around apart from the main water body. Trees that were once drowned in the lake have now reappeared and the lake bed is full of vegetation.

The massive Kala Wewa and Jaya Ganga irrigation scheme of King Dhatusena (459-477) with a 87km canal maintaining a laser precision 1:10,000 slope is considered one of the best engineered irrigation schemes of the ancient world.

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Mahakanadarawa Wewa – මහකනදරා වැව

Sunset over Mahakandara Wewa

Mahakanadarawa Wewa is a large reservoir built by king Mahasen (276-303) by damming the Kanadara Oya which is the main triburory of the Malwathu Oya river. It is reported that king Sena II (853-887) had built a weir at a place called Kattaththa and diverted water to Kanadara Oya though a 12 kilometer canal to increase the supply of water to Mahakanadarawa Wewa.

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Kuda Vilachchiya Wewa and its Ruins inside Wilpattu – කුඩාවිලච්චිය වැව හා නටබුන්

The massive bisokotuwa of Kuda Vilachchiya before destruction by treasure hunters

The most well preserved and the largest Bisokotuwa lies in the little known Kuda Vilachchiya Wewa inside the Wilpattu National Park. This ancient reservoir is believed to have been built by King Wasaba (67-111 AD).

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Mahavilachchiya Wewa Reservoir of Anuradhapura Kingdom – මහවිලච්චිය වැව

Mahavilachchiya Tank

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.

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Kantale Wewa Reservoir – කන්තලේ වැව

The Kantale Tank

The picturesque Kantale Wewa ( tank) is the largest contribution of King Agbo II (608-618) who ruled only for 10 years. Renovation of the Kantale Wewa was carried out by Parakramabahu the Great (1153 – 1186) and has been not short of attention from the colonial times.

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Kotmale Reservoir – කොත්මලේ ජලාශය

The sun setting over the Kothmale Reservoir

The picturesque Kotmale Reservoir was impounded way back in November 1984 and power generation at the hydro-electrical power station commenced in June 1985. The electricity generated is 206 megawatts.

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Padaviya Wewa and ancient Inscription – පදවිය වැව

About - Padaviya Tank

In the north-easten part of the North Central Province, there are 2 large ancient irrigation tanks – Padaviya Wewa and Vahalkada Wewa. Of these Padaviya has commanded more attention, perhaps because the traditional belief that it was largest of the

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Yoda Wewa at Tissamaharama – තිස්සමහාරාම යෝධ වැව

Yodha Wewa at Tissamaharama

It is believed that this tank was built by King Mahanaga in the late 3rd Century BC and the Duratissa Wewa mentioned in the ancient texts is the current Yodha Wewa in Tissamaharama.

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Yoda Wewa at Mannar – supporting the rice bowl of Sri Lanka – මන්නාරම අස්වැද්දූ යෝධ වැව

Yodha Wewa (Giant Tank) during Dry Season

The Yodha Wewa in Mannar is one of the largest tanks in the island and was It was built by King Dhatusena (459-477) by damming the Malwatu-oya, later known as Manawatu Wewa.

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Vavunikulama Reservoir – වවුනිකුලම වැව

Vavunikulama Tank

According to Parker Vavunikulama Reservoir was built in the 3rd centaury BC. He reports when the reservoir was full the water covered an extent of 1975 acres, and the tank then had a capacity of 596 million cubic feet. The embankment is 13,350 feet or 2.5 miles (4 km) long.

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Urusita Wewa and the Seven Hooded Cobra Guard Stone – ඌරුසිටා වැව

The Seven Hooded Cobra Carving at the ancient sluice gate of Urusita Wewa Reservoir

Urusita Wewa is believed to be built in the 3rd centrury BC. The tank is well known due to the well preserved Seven Hooded Cobra Carving on the sluice gate.

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Tissa Wewa in Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර තිසා වැව

Tissa Wewa

Tissa Wewa was built by King Devanampiya Tissa.(250-210 BC). The embankment of Tissa Wewa is 11,000 feet long (Two miles) and 25 feet high.Tissa Wewa has an area of approximately 550 acres.

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Basawakkulama Wewa (Abaya Wewa) – First Reservoir to be in the recorded history of Sri Lanka – බසවක්කුල මවැව

Basawakkulama Wewa – First Reservoir to be in the recorded history of Sri Lanka

Basawakkulama Wewa First Reservoir to be in the recorded history of Sri Lanka today carries 174 hectares of water at the surface even after 2500 years, the tank still continue to supply water to Anuradhapura.

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Thuruwila Wewa in Anuradhapura – තුරුවිල වැව

Thuruwila Wewa

Thuruwila (Turuwila) is an ancient reservoir in (Wewa) Anuradhapura district built by King Mahanaga un the third century B.C. This can be considered as the forth Wewa (reservoir) to be built in Sri Lanka.

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Tabbowa Wewa Reservoir – තබ්බෝව වැව

Tabbowa Reservoir during the rainy season

The Tabbowa Wewa (also written as Thabbowa, Thabbova, Tabbova) is a ancient irrigation system in the Mee (Mi) Oya basin, constructed by damming the Nanneri Oya, a major tributary of the Mee Oya , The tank is believed to be built by King Kawantissa.

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Usgala Siyambalangamuwa Wewa – සියඹලන්ගමුව වැව

Siyambalangamuwa Tank

The Siyambalangamuwa Tank is one of the many tanks built by the ancient Sri Lanka’s King Mahasen (276-303) who ruled during the Anuradhapura Kingdom. The tank is located west of Kala Wewa which is another wonder of King Mahasen.

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Panda Wewa – The First man made Reservoir in the World – පාන්ඩ වැව

Senanayake Samudraya

Panda wewa (now known as Kottambapitiya Wewa) the is situated closer to Ancient Kingdom is Panduwasnuwara is believed to be the tank built by King Panduwasdeva (504-474 BC) in 450 BC for irrigation as well as for daily use by the citizens of Panduwasnuwara.

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Nuwara Wewa of the Ancient Anuradhapura Kingdom – නුවර වැව

Sun setting over Nuwara Wewa of Anuradhapura

Nuwara Wewa is the largest of the three man made reservoirs in Anuradhapura The other two are Basawakkulama ( Abaya Wewa) and the Tissa wewa. Nuwara Wewa is believed to be built by King Vattagamini Abaya popularly known as King

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Nachchaduwa Wewa Reservoir – නාච්චාදූව වැව

Nachchaduwa Wewa

Mahagallaka reservoir (today known as Nachchaduwa Wewa) is considered to be one of the sixteen large reservoirs built by King Mahasen (276-303). Nachchaduwa lies just outside the city of Anuradhapura .

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Kaudulla Wewa Reservoir – කවුඩුල්ල වැව

Grazing Elephants near the Kaudulla Tank

Said to be built by King Mahasen in the 3rd century, Kaudulla Wewa bund is 15 meters tall and with a width of 120 meters at the base and runs for a distance of 9.2 km with a capacity of 64 million cubic meters covering an area of 24.5 sq. km.

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Minneriya Wewa Reservoir – මින්නේරිය වැව

Minneriya Tank

The Minneriya Wewa was built by the great reservoir builder, King Mahasen (276-303) who ruled in Anuradhapura. This reservoir occupied 4670 acres and it’s strong 13 meter tall dam running along a distance of 2km held over 20 billion gallons of water.

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Wilpita Wewa / Lenabatuwa Wewa – විල්පිට / ලේනබටුව වැව

Wilpita wewa / Lenabatuwa wewa

Lenabatuwa Wewa also known as Wilpita Wewa or Hali Ela Wewa lies between Akuressa and Kamburupitiya, and is part of the Oliyagankele Forest Reserve ecosystem.

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Mahagala Wewa Reservoir – මහගල වැව

Mahagala Wewa

Mahagala Wewa reservoir is situated 25 miles (45 km) from the Hambantota town, towards the northern boundary of the district. This was repaired in 1953. The catchment area of the tank is 96 sq km.

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Debara Wewa in Tissamaharama – දෙබර වැව

Debera Wewa in Tissamaharama

It is presumed that Debera Wewa in Tissamaharama was constructed by King Mahanaga. This is the smallest tank in the Tissamaharama area.

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Weerawila Reservoir – වීරවිල වැව

Weerawila Tank

Weerawila Reservoir is the biggest reservoir in the Tissamaharama area. It is fed by the Kirindi Oya. This reservoir was reconstructed during the period of Governor Sir Hugh Clifford (1925-27).

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Bandagiriya Wewa Reservoir – බඳගිරිය වැව

Spill of Bandagiriya Tank

Bandagiriya Wewa is situated 20 km from Hambanthota towards the interior of the country. It has not yet been ascertained as to who had constructed this reservoir.

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Tissa Wewa at Tissamaharama – තිස්සමහාරාම තිස්ස වැව

Tissa Wewa at Tissamaharama

The First Oblique Dam in the world The Tissa Wewa is one of the four large ancient irrigation tanks in the area and is believed to be constructed the 3rd Century BC by King Yatala Tissa, or regional king Maha

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Sorabora Wewa with a Unique Natural Stone Sluice – සොරබොර වැව

sunrise effects @ Sorabora wewa

Sorabora Weva’s fame lies in the marvelous engineering feat in the ancient sluice cut out of a huge boulder creating a narrow gorge through which the mighty waters of the Sorabora wewa ram into the stone cut sluice.

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Giritale Wewa Reservoir – ගිරිතලේ වැව

Sun setting over Giritale Tank

Giritale Wewa does not aspire to No. 1 and No. 2 nor (may be) to subsequent reservoirs, by way of the area covered, leaving those priority places to reservoirs as Minneriya Wewa and Parakrama Samudra but if one were to give it a priority place by way of fabled history that could turn out to be factual too, Giritale Wewa comes somewhere among the top.

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Bathalagoda Wewa Reservoir in Kurunegala – කුරුනෑගල බතලගොඩ වැව

Bisogala and Rambodagalla reserve seen over Bathalagoda Reservoir

Bathalagoda Wewa that sustained ‘Parana Nuwara’ It was impossible to capture the vast loveliness that stretched all around us. The sunbeams, pale and yet waking lit the crack of the dawn. Nothing seemed to stir, except the cold wind that

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Kandy Lake (Nuwara Weva) – නුවර වැව

Queens Bathing house on the edge of the Kandy lake

Kandy Lake or the Nuwara Wewa was built by the last king of Kandy (and of Sri Lanka), Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe to beatify the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa) by excavating paddy fields in 1807. He called this artificial lake the :Kiri Muhuda” or the Milky Ocean.

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Parakrama Samudraya (The Sea of Parakrama) – පරාක්‍රම සමුද්‍රය

Parakrama Samudraya

This vast water reservoir was built by King Parakramabahu the great (1153-1186) and today what you see as the Parakrama Samudraya is only a portion of his original creation.Parakrama Samudraya originally consisted of five large reservoirs separated by smaller dams to reduce the pressure on the main dam.

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