Ancient Kokebe 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 a number of 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

Kokebe Amuna is one of the few ancient anicuts built across the Yan Oya in the Central Yan Oya Valley. This amuna is located in the Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province bordering the Kahatagasdigiliya Divisional Secretariat. Remains of this ancient stone weir can be seen across Yan Oya which flows from the edge of the village of Ethalawetunuwewa on the Dachchahalmillewa Kekirawa road. This weir is located very close to Kokebe mountain. The left bank of the Yan Oya is bounded by the Kokebe forest in this area.

Details of this amuna are not found in the ancient annals, however, a large number of archeological ruins are found in the vicinity of Kokebe mountain, which is very close to this amuna. Remains of a large prehistoric cemetery can also be identified near this place. Inscriptions found in the Kokebe mountain confirm that the area has been inhabited since ancient times. Since the canal of this amuna cut towards this ruined area, it can be assumed that the water requirement of that area may have been met by this weir and the canal.

At present, only a few ruins are visible in this anicut. Evidence of this can be seen at the bottom of the Yan Oya River and on the left bank. There are several foundation stones used to support the amuna at the bottom of the river still in its original form. The stone slabs have been placed at a slight slope therefore it can be assumed that this anicut was built at an angle to the Yan Oya waterflow. There is some evidence on the left bank of the site where the dyke was connected to the banks of the Yan Oya. Several boulders protruding from the bank can be seen at this place. According to the available evidence, the Kokebe Amuna was not as large as the other weirs found on Yan Oya.

According to Dr Withanachchi, this amuna is located at latitude and longitude 8.506792, 80.840258. This place also is marked on Google Maps below. However, according to the above description by Dr Withanachchi, the Kokebe anicut should be located close to Kokebe Mountain and the Kokebe Archaeological site. But the GPS location marked above lies 17 km downstream on Yan Oya from Mount Kokebe.


  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.

Also See

Map of Ancient Kokebe Amuna across Yan Oya

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Travel Directions to Ancient Kokebe Amuna across Yan Oya

From Anuradhapura to Ancient Kokebe Amuna across Yan Oya
Through : Medawachchiya – Kebithigollewa
Distance : 61 km
Travel time : 90 mins
Time to Spend : about 30  minutes
Driving directions : see on Google Map


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