Ancient Wilewewa Amuna Across Yan Oya

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A search of the Yan Oya canals reveals a wealth of information on the purpose of building sluices at each site. The construction of dams across the waterway to divert the water flowing in a certain waterway for agricultural purposes coincided with the ancient irrigation industry. These are called Amuna in Sri Lanka. Scattered ruins of the Yan Oya indicate that there were several such Amunu across the Yan Oya in ancient times.

Some of these are

  1. Ilukwewa Amuna
  2. Kokebe Amuna
  3. Wilewawa Amuna
  4. Habagama Stone Bridge and Amuna
  5. Yan Oya Stone Bridge and Amuna
  6. Wahalkada Amuna

Ancient Wilewawa Amuna is located at the end of the village of Wilewewa in the Horowpathana Divisional Secretariat Division in the Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province. Wilewewa village lies about 4 km south of the Nanumillewa junction on the Anuradhapura – Trincomalee road.

Historical sources do not mention the Wilewewa Amuna. However, this amuna had supplied water to the left bank of the Yan Oya. Evidence of that canal can still be seen and it is now known as the Giant Canal (Yodha Ela). It is said that this canal supplied water to a large number of reservoirs in the area at the same time. Among them are Wara Wewa, Pothanegama Wewa, Hambaregama Wewa and Mahawewa. The main purpose of constructing this amuna can be identified as supplying water to a large ruined reservoir in the Makichchawatakuwa area, an ancient village near Habagama. This reservoir is located at the end of all other reservoirs mentioned above.

What is unique about this reservoir is that it is built very close to the Yan Oya. The bund of the tank is built about 500 meters parallel to the left bank of the Yan Oya. Only parts of the bund remain intact today. The destruction of this bund may have been due to the inability of the Maha Wewa to withstand the excess water flowing from the upper tanks during heavy rains. Even today the overflow water of the Wile Wawa flows into the Yan Oya through the Maha Wewa.

This amuna has been severely damaged due to natural and human activities. Over time, the Yan Oya route has turned south at the amuna. However, this amuna is still fully connected to the left bank of the river. Built on a natural rock foundation, the Wilewewa Amuna is 42 meters long and 9.5 meters wide. It is difficult to get an idea of ​​the height of the amuna as the top surface is completely destroyed.


  1. විතානාච්චි, ච. රෝ. සහ මෙන්ඩිස්, ඩී. තු. , 2017. මධ්‍ය යාන් ඔය නිම්නයේ කොක්එබේ මෙගලිතික සුසානය ආශ්‍රිත පුරාවිද්‍යා කැනීම හා තදාශ්‍රිත ප්‍රදේශයේ පුරාණ මානව ජනාවාසකරණය. 1st ed. මිහින්තලේ: ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජරට විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය.

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Map of Wilewewa Amuna Across Yan Oya

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Travel Directions to Wilewewa Amuna Across Yan Oya

From Anuradhapura to Wilewewa Amuna Across Yan Oya
Though : Kahatagasdigiliya – Horowpathana
Distance : 61 km
Travel time : 1 hour 30 minuts
Time to Spend : about 30-60  minutes
Driving directions : see on Google Map


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