Ruins of Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna over Deduru Oya – දැදුරු ඔයේ සූකර නිජ්ජර ගල් අමුණ නටබුණ්

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Ruins of Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna over Deduru Oya

Ruins of Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna over Deduru Oya
Image source : ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පැරණි ජල කළමණාකරණය මගින් වර්තමානයට ලබාගත හැකි ආදර්ශය

Stone weirs across major rivers were a primary tool of the ancient kings to divert water to irrigation tanks and as well as man made canals to paddy fields faraway. Therefore along with the technical developments of the irrigation tanks, the weirs (locally known as Amuna) and canal technology too were developed. The weirs (dams), canals and the irrigation reservoirs enabled our ancient kings to create wast and complex irrigation networks across dry zone using the natural rivers of the region.

Today Deduru Oya is considered the boarder which seperate the dry zone from wet zone in the northern boarder. The river starting from mountains in Matale falls to the sea from Chillaw travelling 142 kilometers across Kurunegala and Puttalam districts. The primary tributories of this rivers are Kimbulwana Oya, Hakwatuna Oya, Kospothu Oya, Maguru Oya and Kolamunu Oya.

Deduru Oya was known as Jajjara Nadee (ජජ්ජර නදී) during ancient times.  According the the Minor Chronicle of Sri Lanka (Chulavamsa) before being consecrated as the king, Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186) built 3 Amuna’s on this river at three places. These are;

  1. Kottabaddha Amuna (කොට්ඨබද්ධ අමුණ)
  2. Sukara Nijjara Amuna (සූකර නිජ්ජර අමුණ)
  3. Doradaththika Amuna (දෝරදත්තික අමුණ)

He had also built a 4th amuna called Jajjara Nijjara (ජජ්ජර නිජ්ජර) after he was consecrated.

Kottabaddha Amuna presumably lie in the Nikaweratiya area and had provided important clues on building of wooden weirs in ancient Sri Lanka.  According to Prof. C.R. Withanachchi this amuna has been been constructed at the location 7.71017222, 80.02055556. However no remains of this amuna exists thus the location is subject to debate. It is said that the ancient engineers had warned of the instability of the location for a dam to the king Parakramabahu but he was determined to built it here. As predicted, maintenance of the amuna has been far more difficult and had been totally destroyed after time.

Doradaththika Amuna lies across Pahala Yaya on the right bank and Walpaluwa on the left bank. According to Chulawamsa, this amuna has been built to cultivate the land between Kottabaddha Amuna and the Sukaranijjara Amuna. Jajjara Nijjara Amuna is believed to be the place known as Raja Bamma today. This lies in the Bambarayaya Janawasama Estate in Wellawa town.

Ruins of the Sukara Nijjara Amuna lies about 1 km downstream from the bridge over Deduru Oya on the Padeniya Anuradhapura road in the area surrounding Ebawalapitiya Viharaya. Remains of an ancient stone bridge can be found another kilometer down the river.

According the Henry Parker who describes the status of this amuna in 1889 on his archaeological report on Deduru Oya valley, this has been a magnificent piece of construction of the ancient Sri Lanka. The amuna is 360 feet (85.3 m) long and 40 feet wide. 135 length of the dam at the center has been washed away. The blocks of rocks at the top as well as bottom has been finely cut and bonded with a lime based cement. The joints are rarely wider than 1 ¼ inches. The rocks facing the water has been carefully and expertly interlocked with each other.

This amuna was built to carry water to the Magalla Wewa (reservior) built by king Mahasen (276-303).  Due to natural counturs of the area, it has not been possible to construct a canal at the amuna. When the water level of the river rises due the amuna, it was diverted to an natural canal 180 meters above the amuna. Then 856 meters down the canal, a new canal has been constructed using the natural slope to carry water to Magalla Wewa.

 

References

  • මහා පරාක්‍රමබාහු රජුගේ වාරි කර්මාන්ත : ශාස්ත්‍රපති සමන්තිලක විජේවර්ධන
    දිවයින පෙබරවාරි 22, 2012
  • Ancient Irrigation System of Dry and Intermediate Zones as Revealed from Ancient Canals – Prof. C.R. Withanachchi
  • ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පැරණි ජල කළමණාකරණය මගින් වර්තමානයට ලබාගත හැකි ආදර්ශය – මහාචාර්‍ය්‍ය චන්දන රෝහණ විතානාච්චි
  • වාරි කර්මාන්තයේ මහා පරාක්‍රමබාහු ලකුණ : සී. ඩබ්ලිව්. නිකොලස්
  • පොළොන්තලාව, පුරාණ කොට්ඨබද්ධ අමුණ පිළිබඳ විමර්ශනයක් -මහාචාර්‍ය්‍ය චන්දන රෝහණ විතානාච්චි

Also See

Map of the Ruins of Ruins of Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna over Deduru Oya


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Traveling Directions to the Ruins of Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna over Deduru Oya

Route from Kekirawa to Ruins of Sukara Nijjara Gal Amuna over Deduru Oya

Through : Galkulama
Distance : 10 km
Travel time :20 mins
Time to spend : 30 mins – 1 hour
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