Malagomuwa Wewa Bisokotu in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa – (වස්ගමුව වන තුල සැඟවුණු මාලගොමුව වැව බිසෝකොටු)

RATE THIS LOCATION :1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
Loading...

Wasgamuwa National Park is a jungle dotted with a large number of ancient Buddhist ruins known only to a few. They are inaccessible to general visitors to the park as well as anybody who wishes specifically visit the sites. There are no roads and the access is by foot many kilometres through the wildlife-infested jungle paths. Currently, only the treasure hunters seem to have unlimited access to these sites.

`The northern boundary of Wasgamuwa National Park is specially packed with ruins of the ancient civilization in Sri Lanka. Malagomuwa Reservoir is a comparatively medium-sized reservoir in this area now been destroyed and absorbed into the jungle of Wasgamuwa. Details of this reservoir were reported by HCP Bell in the 1905 Archaeological Commissioners report. This reservoir called Malagommana is ranked one of the largest reservoirs in Thamankaduwa.

The reservoir had been inspected in 1898 by a D Blair and reports

There are other irrigation works in the district unconnected with the great canals, yet worthy of remark –

One of these is Malagomuwa-vewa, situated in Meda Pattuwa, 3 miles south of Kotavella village. All that remains now is a sheet of shallow water covering about 40 acres, retained by a bund in perfect order on the south-east joining two hills of bare rock.

North of it the Nagaha-eti-ela flows through a narrow gorge between two hills of bare rock, and it is here that the tank was breached. A bund 60 ft. long and 30 ft. high with a sluice and spill in it would be all that is necessary to restore this tank, when it would cover 200 or 300 acres and irrigate the land between it and the Mahaveli-ganga. To this day names of ” fields ” are given to stretches of open land below it, testifying to its former usefulness, and the ruins of an ancient stone amuna were found on the stream issuing from the tank.

In a visit 3 years later in 1901, HCP Bell, then the Commissioner of Archaeology wrote that the embarkment was 700 yards long and 40 feet in height. It also reports 2 sluices, both equipped with Bisokotu and one of which was in working order. The two Bisokotuwa’s lie 850 meters apart.

The bund was examined by the Archeological Commissioner from end to end in 1901. It is formed by an earthen embankment some 700 yards in length by 40 to 50 feet in height, and lying approximately northeast and southwest, which joined up three groups of rocks. The bund is breached in two places.

There are two sluices in the bund, both with bisokotu (valve pits). One of these is still in fair order.

The bisokotuwa to the southwest was placed in a spit of the bund projecting slightly into the tank. It was 10 feet square, faced by stone slabs, with brickwork backing 8 feet in height. The intake was 25 ft. in length; the escape channel on the Pahapola, or outer side, of the bund 83 ft. This bisokotuwa fronts northwest and southwest.

The bund, here 50 feet in height, has been breached (the bindunkada or breach is 7 yards wide) close to the sluice on the west, 60 yards east of rocky high ground.

A stretch of earthen embankment 564 yards in length intervenes between this and the middle cluster of rocks.

There is a further length of 91 yards of the bund on to the second sluice to the northeast, which is located amid rocks at the extremity of the hillock known as Malagomuwa Kanda. This bisokotuwa also juts somewhat into the tank. It lies north and south. ‘Its square pit and brick support are of the same size as that of the other sluice, but its intake channel is only 21 ft. long and the outlet “race” 74 feet.

The Nagaha-eti-ela, flowing from the north, after receiving the Malagomuwa-ela on the west and describing a loop, continues eastwards. But instead of passing through the sluice, as in the olden days, it has breached the bund (45 ft. high) also to the west of the bisokotuwa, forcing its way through a rock bound gorge.

The catchment area of the tank probably ran back to the eastern slopes of the Sudukanda range.

The bisokotuwa to the southern side is placed in a spit of the bund projecting slightly into the tank. Bell provided the dimensions in 1905 as 10×10 feet on the sides, an 8-foot depth with 25 feet long intake. The outlet channel is Okamura’s report in 2012 provides more precise measurements of 370x320cm on the sides and a depth of about 390cm. The internal walls of the structure is built with precisely cut large slabs of stones with brickwork backing 8 feet in height. These slabs are 95cm high 140cm long and 35cm thick. The upper layer of the bisokotuwa is now collapsed but the lower layers of the wall are in a reasonable condition.

Also discovered here are rocks with wedge holes which had been prepared for splitting (photo 14) and based on the shape of these holes it can be assumed that this Bisokotuwa belongs to the era of the Polonnaruwa kingdom. According to officials of the Archeology department, this is the largest Bisokotuwa in the country ever discovered elevating the importance of preserving this site and protecting it from further damage by treasure hunters.

The bund of the reservoir is in 2 parts where it merges with a rock cluster in the middle. The first segment was measured to be 564 yards (5`16 meters). Then it connects the cluster of rocks. The second Bisokotuwa lies is 91 yards long (83 meters) along the second segment of the rock after the rock cluster amidst rocks at the extremity of the hillock known as Malagomuwa Kanda. This bisokotuwa too is somewhat juts into the Malagomuwa Wewa. Bell notes that its square pit and brick supports are of the same size as that of the other sluice, but its intake channel is only 21 feet long and the outlet “race” 74 feet. .The Nagaha-eti-ela, flowing from the north, after receiving the Malagomuwa-ela on the west and describing a loop, continues eastwards. But instead of passing through the sluice, as in the olden days, it has breached the bund (45 ft. high) also to the west of the bisowkotuwa, forcing its way through a rock bound gorge.

The bisokotuwa was measured as 350 cm x 330 cm at the top with a depth of 280 cm or more by Okamura. Part of the inner wall remained while the rest collapsed inside. The bottom is filled with the earth and scattered with collapsed stone plates and bricks.

References

  • Bell, H., 1909. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon – North Central, Central, and Northern Provinces Annual Report 1905. Colombo: Archaeological Department of Ceylon, p.45.
  • Okamura, T., 2012. Ruins of Wasgomuwa National Park – Sri Lanka — 2009/2010 Survey Report. Tokyo: South Asian Ruins Exploration and Research Society (SARERS)

Map of Malagomuwa Wewa Bisokotu in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa

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 Malagomuwa Wewa Bisokotu in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa

Route from Dambulla to Wasgamuwa National Park Entrance
Through : Bakamuna
Distance : 80 km
Travel time : 1.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

© www.amazinglanka.com

0-09 m (87) 10-19 m (76) 20-29 m (43) 30-39 m (50) 40-49 m (24) 50-99 m (49) Ambalama (155) Ancient Anicuts (31) Articles (0) Asanaghara (8) Ashtapala Bodhi (5) Attraction Articles (3) Attractions (218) Beaches (9) Biosphere Reserves (3) Botanical Gardens (4) Bridges (34) Cave Art (6) Caving (7) Churches (17) Cities (9) Destinations (15) Dethis Pala Bodhi (15) Devalaya (41) Events Articles (2) Flora and Fauna (48) Forts (49) Heritage (1608) Heritage Articles (28) Historic Events (5) History (7) Hot Springs (9) Hydro Heritage (85) Irrigation Articles (4) Islands (15) Kovils (25) Kuludage (11) Lighthouses (27) Memorials (50) Mile Posts (6) Mosques (3) Museums (8) National Parks (22) over 100 m (20) Pabbatha Vihara (11) Personalities (7) Pillar/Slab Inscriptions (35) Pre Historic Burial Sites (19) Prehistory (38) Prehistory Articles (2) RAMSAR sites (6) Ravana (12) Reservoirs (46) Rock Inscriptions (1) Ruins in Wilpattu (5) Ruins in Yala (25) Santuaries (7) Sluice Gates (11) Stone Bridges (18) Strict Nature Reserves (3) Sumaithangi (3) Survey Towers (13) Tampita Vihara (239) Travel (3) View Points (16) Walawwa (12) War Memorials (23) Waterfalls (375) Wildlife Articles (24) Yathuru Pokuna (4)

Abhayagiri Monastery (21) Ampara District (193) Anuradhapura District (202) Badulla District (113) Batticaloa District (20) Colombo District (73) Galle District (62) Gampaha District (57) Hambantota District (103) India (1) Jaffna District (72) Kalutara District (50) Kandy District (187) Kegalle District (151) Kilinochchi District (13) Kingdom of Anuradhapura (80) Kingdom of Kandy (14) Kingdom of Kotte (9) Kingdom of Polonnaruwa (55) Kurunegala District (168) Maha Vihara (14) Mannar District (47) Mannar Island (10) Matale District (83) Matara District (41) Mihintale (22) Monaragala District (93) Mullaitivu District (20) Negombo (6) Nuwara Eliya District (117) Polonnaruwa District (113) Puttalam District (33) Ratnapura District (156) Trincomalee District (47) Vavuniya District (30) waterfalls in Sinharaja (3) z Delft 1 (5) z Jaffna 1 (20) z Jaffna 2 (24) z Jaffna 3 (12)

Leave a Reply