Kandy Lake : Nuwara Wewa (නුවර වැව)

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This artificial lake (Kandy Lake /the Nuwara Wewa)  was built by the last king of Kandy (and of Sri Lanka), Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe to beautify 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.

Earlier, this area has been a paddy field called Tigolwewa. The construction of the new lake was resented by the priests of the Asgiriya and Malwattta Chapters but the King did not pay any heed to the protests. There had been a road through the former paddy fields leading to the Malwathu Viharaya and a temple belonging to the Asgiriya Chapter nearby. The Kobbekaduwa Temple was situated near the outer sluice. All these landmarks were inundated after the construction of the Lake.

The lake had been constructed using Rajakariya (state duty). Since there was already a beautiful pond called “Kiri Muhuda” at the center of Tigolwewa paddy field, the lake constructed subsequently too had been named as Kiri-Muhuda.

The king also added the “Valakulu Bamma” (the clouds wall) around the lake but before he could complete it, British forces invaded the city of Kandy and imprisoned the last Kandyan King in 1815. The Walakulu Wall still remains in the same unfinished state with a length of 2060 feet.

The triangular holes in the wall have been used to light oil lamps at night. This same design has been used for the outer wall of Sri Dalada Maligawa. He also built a dam across the lake to travel to the other side of the lake but then he destroyed it from both ends leaving only a portion in the centre creating an island. On the Dalada Maligawa side of the lake is the Queens Bathing House. Which is partially in the lake itself.

The perimeter of the lake is 3.21 km and the extent of the lake is 6544 square meters. The highest depth is 18.5 meters. The Walakulu Bemma wall runs to 633.82 meters.

At the centre lies a small island lies a building and some ruins known as Diyathilaka Mandapaya. It is said that this building was used by the king to relax.

References

  1. Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Also See

  • Kandy – The Last Kingdom of Sinhale

Map of the Kandy Lake (Nuwara Wewa)

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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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Travel Directions to Kandy Lake (Nuwara Wewa)

Kandy can be reached from Colombo on the old Colombo – Kandy road (option 1) which is scenic but heavy in traffic, especially on Fridays and Sundays. However, the new Central Expressway (option 2) has opened up a new route which is longer but less cumbersome.

Route 1 from Colombo to KandyRoute 2 from Colombo to Kandy
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala
Distance :150 km
Travel Time: 3.20 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
Through : Walapane – Raja Mawatha
Distance :100 km
Travel Time : 3.0 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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