Sorabora Wewa which was called the Sea of Binthanne in the ancient past, is unique to all other ancient reservoirs a this is considered the only existing reservoir which does not make use of a Bisokotuwa, the heart of all other large reservoirs of the country. This ground breaking invention was the single factor which enabled the ancients to build massive reservoirs since 4th century BC.
Generally all the reservoirs have the sluice gates which regulate the water flow out of the reservoir on the massive embankments. It was the Bisokotuwa which regulated the water pressure at the sluice gates inside the tank and protected the embankment from erosion.
The builders of the Sorabora Wewa didn’t place the sluice gates at the embankment but used a strategically located natural rock away from the embankment and cut a deep canal which acted as the sluice for the tank. Since the rock was not subject to erosion by the pressure of water, the ancient builders had decided to do away with the tried and tested Bisokotuwa for this creation.
The tank is believed to be built during the 2nd century BC when the warrior prince Gemunu was warring with the Tamil invader Elara by a relatively unknown general called Bulatha.
King Dutugemunu is said to have given his royal cape and made him a general in the army and given him a village called Udaththawa for the contribution he alone has made.
The village donated to Bulatha called Udathwewa is today known as Udaththuwa and lies about 8 km north of Hasalaka town. There are ruins of a large reservoir at Udaththuwa known as Uda Wewa with a sluice gate built similar to Sorabora Wewa and without the use of a Bisokotuwa. Using the natural rock to build the sluice gate seems be unique to Bulatha and these two tanks are the only 2 known reservoirs in the ancient irrigation history of Sri Lanka to use this technology. It is also said in the legend that this upper lake was created to wash the giant mamoty used by him to build the Sorabora Wewa.
Villagers say that 180 bushels of paddy were cultivated under this tank in the history and evidence is mentioned at the entrance to know that this tank was renovated on 11.11.1888.
Currently, with the establishment of the Dambara project, this reservoir has been gone to disuse with the lake bed converted to a paddy field. Farmers’ organizations in the area are now requesting the government to restore this reservoir to its normal condition.
Note that the location marked on the Google Map below only points to a approximate area of the reservior.
- සොරබොර වැවේ සොරොව්වට සමාන සොරොව්වක් හිමි මහියංගණය උඩ වැව අභාවයට යයි – sri lanka news (2020) Newsfirst. එම්.ටී.වී චැනල් ප්රයිවට් ලිමිටඩ්. Available at: https://www.newsfirst.lk/sinhala/2020/01/03/සොරබොර-වැවේ-සොරොව්වට-සමා (Accessed: October 20, 2022).
- Hydro Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Udaththuwa Wewa (Uda Wewa)
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 Udaththuwa Wewa (Uda Wewa)
|Route from Colombo to Udaththuwa Wewa (Uda Wewa) at Mahiyanganaya|
|Though : Kelaniya – Ambepussa – Kandy|
distance : 200 km
Travel time : 6-7 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map