We reached the Gal Oya Valley by taking the diversion road from Wadinagala on the Monaragala – Ampara Road. It was almost like going through Wilpattu National Park except for the carpeted roads.
The first encounter you encounter close to the Senanayake Samudraya is its fisheries harbour. During dry season the water recedes for over 200 meters into the lake exposing a vast plain with fresh growth. It’s a beautiful scene with bright blue-coloured boats flying colorful sails.
The plains also attract wild elephants in the evening. They grace a few hundred feet away from humans unperturbed by human activity.
Passing the harbour you come across the earthen dam of the Senanayake Samudraya and the Inginiyagala mountain rises majestically at the far end of the dam.
Senanayake Samudraya is the largest and one of the most iconic reservoirs with an earthen dam built after receiving freedom from the British and was completed in 1953. The reservoir sometimes referred to as “Inginiyagala Reservoir” or the “Gal Oya Reservoir” is part of the Gal Oya multipurpose irrigation system project which started in the year 1949 and was completed in 1953 by the first priminister of Sri Lanka, D. S. Senanayake.
Water from this reservoir is used primarily for irrigation in the Uva and Eastern provinces, in addition to powering a small hydroelectric power station.
In addition to the colonization of this area, the most important aspect of this project was the establishment of 3 wildlife sanctuaries (Gal Oya National Park, Senanayake Samudraya Sanctuary and Gal Oya Valley South West Sanctuary) to protect the wildlife and its catchment area.
The reservoir consists of a catchment area of 384 square miles and has an earthen dam, 3600 feet in length and 140 feet in height comprising 2 million cubic yards of soil. This can store 770,000 acre feet capacity of water. A 1,020-foot concrete spill has been constructed far away from the main dam. It is 770 feet in spill length and 60 feet in height comprising 6 doors and distributes water by the sluice with 13 feet in diameter.
- Hydro Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Senananayake Samudraya
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.
Traveling to Senananayake Samudraya
Route from Monaragala to Senananayake Samudraya
|Through : Siyambalanduwa – Wadinagala
Distance : 75 km
Travel time : 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map