As you travel about 3km passing Mihintale Junction off Anuradhapura, you will come across the ancient Mahakanadarawa Wewa reservoir, one of the large reservoir s built almost 2000 years ago to cultivate the surrounding land. Infortunately, the British had built a gravel road bisecting the reservoir to reach Trincomalee and today this has become a major highway (A12) which connects Anuradhapura and Trincomalee.
Mahakanadarawa Wewa has been built by damming the Kanadara Oya which is the main tributary of the Malwathu Oya river. This reservoir has been called ‘Kana Wapi‘ and ‘Kanadiyadora‘ in the ancient time and is attributed to king Mahasen (276-303). 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.
To reach the embankment of the reservoir you need to turn off from the Kanadarawa junction and travel 3 kilometers inland through villages with hamlets. The embankment of the reservoir is 2.8 km long and covers 34,000 acres (13.76 sq. km) when full. The total water holding capacity is 36 250 acre feet ( 44,714,000 cubic meters). Even today there about 3500 families depending on the waters from the reservoir farming 6100 acres of paddy land.
From the embankment you can get a good view of the Mihintale Mountains. Traveling a further 2 km from the dam, you will find one of the longest ancient stone bridges in the country which has been partially restored.
- Hydro Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Mahakanadarawa 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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Traveling to Mahakanadarawa Wewa
|Route from Colombo to Mahakanadarawa Wewa
|Through : Putlam – Anuradhapura
Distance : 332 km
Travel time : 5-6 hours
Driving directions : see on google map