Ancient Ilukwewa Amuna Across Yan Oya

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A search of the Yan Oya canals reveals a wealth of information on the purpose of building sluices at each site. The construction of dams across the waterway to divert the water flowing in a certain waterway for agricultural purposes coincided with the ancient irrigation industry. These are called a Amuna in Sri Lanka. Scattered ruins of the Yan Oya indicate that there were several such Amunu across the Yan Oya in ancient times.

Some of these are

  1. Ilukwewa Amuna
  2. Kokebe Amuna
  3. Wilewawa Amuna
  4. Habagama Stone Bridge and Amuna
  5. Yan Oya Stone Bridge and Amuna
  6. Wahalkada Amuna

This ancient Ilukwewa Amuna is located below the Hurulu Wewa, which is located about 500 meters away from the main road of the Ilukwewa village on the Galenbindunuwewa – Kahatagasdigiliya road in the vicinity of the Ilukwewa village in the Galenbindunuwewa Divisional Secretariat Division in the Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province. To reach this place you have to travel 5.2 km from Ilukwewa towards Halmillewa and travel 600 meters to the right on the Ilukwewa Anicut road as indicated by the Irrigation Department.

Historical sources do not mention this ancient anicut. But legend has it that this anicut is older than Hurulu Hurulu Wewa. At present a new anicut has been built on the site of this ancient Amuna. This is what the Irrigation Department now calls the Ilukwewa Anicut. The granite for the new anicut has been obtained by destroying the ancient amuna. Therefore there is very little evidence remaining of this ancient wonder here today. The ruins of the ancient amuna can be seen below the new anicut, near the left bank of Yan Oya.

The ancient Ikukwewa Amuna was built using a natural rock bed that lay across Yan Oya. Holes have been cut on this rock bed to place vertical rock pillars and to build the walls horizontally using these pillars. Oval holes related to the Anuradhapura period and rectangular holes related to the Polonnaruwa period are found in the stones. Therefore, this anicut seems to have been used from the Anuradhapura period all the way to the Polonnaruwa period.


  1. විතානාච්චි, ච. රෝ. සහ මෙන්ඩිස්, ඩී. තු. , 2017. මධ්‍ය යාන් ඔය නිම්නයේ කොක්එබේ මෙගලිතික සුසානය ආශ්‍රිත පුරාවිද්‍යා කැනීම හා තදාශ්‍රිත ප්‍රදේශයේ පුරාණ මානව ජනාවාසකරණය. 1st ed. මිහින්තලේ: ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජරට විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය.
  2. Withanachchi, C.R. (2015) “මධ්‍ය යාන්ඔය නිම්නයේ වාරි පුරාවිද්‍යාව,” The Journal of Archaeology & Heritage Studies, 2(1), pp. 50–78.

Also See

Map of Ancient Ilukwewa Amuna Across Yan Oya

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Travelling Directions to Ancient Ilukwewa Amuna Across Yan Oya

From Anuradhapura to Ancient Ilukwewa Amuna Across Yan Oya
Through : Mihintale – Thammanewa – Galenbindunuwewa
Distance : 45 km
Travel time : 60 mins
Time to Spend : 15-30  minutes
Driving directions : see on google map


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