Ancient Weerawila Gal Amuna across Kirindi Oya (වීරවිල ගල් අමුණ)

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Weerawila Gal Amuna (Galamuna) is a site, where one of the earliest irrigation dams was built across the Kirindi Oya. This would have been a small stone built dam constructed for the purpose of controlling the floods of the main stream. At present there is no evidence of the ancient dam at the site except the large natural stones lying in the riverbed. It seems that the remains of the ancient dam were removed or completely destroyed. The peculiarity, which is observed in this site, is its natural formation. In the riverbed at the point where the ancient dam might have been constructed, the bedrock is completely exposed. This would have been a great advantage for the designers of an ancient dam.

No literary or archaeological evidence has been found to date on this site. However Brohier in 1934 notes some details of this dam. He states that the date of construction of the dam is not known. But as the Sitharawila and Yoda Wewa reservoirs could not be expected to fill without this assistance, it is certain that the dam and its channel cannot be assigned to a later date and was possibly also built in the reign of regional king Mahanaga.

He also notes that Harrison, a civil engineer had visited this site 70 years ago and reported on the ruins in 1858. He has left a record of his observations, in which he says that the original constructors of these works were fully aware that a very strong barrier indeed would be necessary for the purpose. Harrison notes that the dam would have stood 15 feet above the riverbed built of large roughly-hewn blocks of stone, only a few of which are less than a ton in weight, while most of them are far heavier.

Henry Parker notes the uniqueness of this dam quoting Harrison and states

“the astonishing fact that instead of being taken across the river by the shortest possible line, as one would expect, it was built at an oblique angle, which, from the traces I saw, I judged to be nearly forty-five degrees from the direct line. There is a possibility that this does not prove that the principle of the oblique dam and of its greater discharging power than one built square across a river – the knowledge of which was only acquired in comparatively recent years in Europe— was understood in Ceylon in very early times. Mr. Harrison, in commenting on this oblique dam stated that in India there was an idea that one built at such an angle would be less exposed to the action of the current than one built square across the river. The Sinhalese possessed profound practical knowledge of the best methods of dealing with water … ”


  1. Somadeva, R., 2006. URBAN ORIGINS IN SOUTHERN SRI LANKA. Doctoral Thesis in Archaeology. Uppsala University.
  2. Brohier, R., 1980. Ancient irrigation works in Ceylon (1934). Colombo: Ministry of Mahaweli Development, pp.390-393.
  3. Parker, H., 1909. Ancient Ceylon. 1st ed. London: Luzac, pp.390-393.

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Map of Ancient Weerawila Gal Amuna

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Traveling Directions of Ancient Weerawila Gal Amuna

From Tissamaharama to Ancient Weerawila Gal Amuna
Distance : 5 km
Travel time : 10 mins
Time to spent : ½ hour
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