Kala Wewa (Sinhala:කලා වැව) built by the King Datusena in 460 A.D, is a twin reservoir complex (Kala Wewa & Balalu Wewa) which has a capacity of 123 million cubic meters. This reservoir complex has facilitated with a stone made spillway and three main sluices. From the central major sluice, a 40 feet wide central conveys water to feed thousands of acres of paddy lands and ends at the historical capital Anuradhapura city tank Tissa Wewa meandering over 87 km (54 mi) at a slope of 6 inches per mile and is another wonder of primeval hydraulic engineering facility in ancient Ceylon.
This reservoir was built by the King Dhathusena who ruled the country during 455 – 473 CE in the 5th century.
Tamil invaders who arrived from South India ruled the north part of the country during the period from 429 to 455 AD. King Dhathusena defeated the invaders and united the country and then he wanted to rebuild the irrigation system by constructing several tanks, canals, etc., in and round the kingdom of Anuradhapura.
After completion of construction of Kala Wewa, the king built another tank called Balalu Wewa (Sinhala : බලලු වැව) nearby and connected the two tanks together making the biggest tank in Sri Lanka. King Mahinda II who ruled the country during 777 – 797 CE expanded the tank further. Water of the tank was transferred to the Thisa Wewa (Sinhala : තිසා වැව) in Anuradhapura by an ancient 54 miles (86.9 km) long canal called Jaya Ganga alias Yodha Ela (Sinhala : යෝධ ඇල) which has a fine slope of one foot per mile but according to some historians it is one inch per mile.
King Dhathusena was very keen on information with regard to a spot very suitable to construct a tank to be the massive one in the history of Sri Lanka. There are some folklore on how the king was able to find a place for the tank he imagined. There was a man called Kadawara who left his family and went to live in the jungle due to his wife's unbearable and repeated insults and disrespects towards him. After some years in the jungle he was well accustomed with wild animals and lived with a flock of deer. One day a hunter suddenly noticed this strange man living with animals in the jungle; went to the palace and told the king that it seems that this strange man lives in the forest in order to guard an unknown treasure there. King sent his army to catch him. Kadawara was caught and brought to the palace. When the king questioned him of the treasure, Kadawara revealed his true story and told real reason for his leaving the city and living in the jungle. Then king asked him of any interesting thing he had seen while living in the jungle. Kadawa said, "No sir, I have not seen anything interesting but in a brook somewhere in the jungle, water is being blocked by the flora called Kala that has been grown across that stream. According to this legend, it was the spot wherein the king created the Kala Wewa.
First restoration to the tank is done by King Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.The tank was renovated several times in the past as in the period of British Governor Sir William Henry Gregory (1872–1877 and Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon (1883–1890). After the British rule in the country and in 1958, the tank's bund was reconstructed connecting the tank with Balalu Wewa.
Its circumference is 40 miles (64.4 km) and has a total area of 7 square miles (18.1 km2) at full capacity. Length of the dam is 22,572 feet (6,879.9 m) and the height is 48 feet (14.6 m).
There is a 12 meter high standing statue of Buddha created by same ruler. This statue is named after the village it is situated so it is called Avukana Buddha statue (Sinhala : අව්කන බුදු පිළිමය) and it can be seen over-looking at the tank near by.
The reservoir served as one of largest irrigation tanks in ancient time. While supplying water also for the small tanks in rural areas on the way, the canal Jaya Ganga carried water from Kala Wewa and stored enough water in the Thisā Wewa for the population of then capital city of Anuradhapura.well
Being one of main storages in the Mahaweli Irrigation Scheme since 1976, the tank serves to the population in the North Central Sri Lanka.It is used for fresh water fishing and the flora, specially the grasses in its valley, is the main sources of silage for the herds of cattle in the area.
The way to Anuradhapura via Dambulla reaches Kekirawa in the Kekirawa Divisional Secretariat and from there the distance to the tank is 6 miles (9.7 km).
The ancient Sinhalese excelled in the construction of tanks (Wevas) or reservoirs, dagobas and palaces in Sri Lanka, as evident from the ruins which displays a rich variety of architectural forms.
Sri Lankan state-sponsored colonization schemes is the government program of settling mostly farmers from the densely populated wet zone in the sparsely populated areas of the dry zone in the North Central Province, Southern Province, Uva Province, Sabaragamuwa Province, Northern Province and the Eastern Province regions near tanks and reservoirs being built in major irrigation and hydro-power programs such as the Mahaweli project to create farming and fishing communities. This has taken place since the 1950s.
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Thammannakulama or Thammannkulam located in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, is the largest town in the city of Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura Airport located near Thammannakulama. Nuwara Wewa is situated in the middle of Thammannakulama. Modern Anuradhapura City was created by the people of Thammannakulama, and is a Buddhist town.
Dhatusena was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled from 455 to 473 AD. He was the first king of the Moriyan dynasty. In some records, he is also identified as Dasenkeli. Dhatusena reunited the country under his rule after twenty six years, defeating the South Indian invaders that were ruling the country at that time. Dhatusena made eighteen irrigation tanks, a large irrigation canal known as Yodha Ela, and the Avukana Buddha statue, a large statue of Gautama Buddha.
Mahasena, also known in some records as Mahasen, was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 277 to 304 AD. He started the construction of large tanks or reservoirs in Sri Lanka, and built sixteen such tanks. After becoming king, Mahasen discriminated the Theravada Buddhists in the country, and destroyed several temples including Mahavihara before his chief minister led him to realise his mistakes. The Jethavana stupa was also built by Mahasen. His countrymen regarded him as a god or deity after the construction of the Minneriya tank, and he was named Minneri Deviyo.
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The Anuradhapura Kingdom, named for its capital city, was the first established kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka and Sinhalese people. Founded by King Pandukabhaya in 377 BC, the kingdom's authority extended throughout the country, although several independent areas emerged from time to time, which grew more numerous towards the end of the kingdom. Nonetheless, the king of Anuradhapura was seen as the supreme ruler of the country throughout the Anuradhapura period. Buddhism played a strong role in the Anuradhapura period, influencing its culture, laws, and methods of governance. Society and culture were revolutionized when the faith was introduced during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa; this cultural change was further strengthened by the arrival of the Tooth Relic of the Buddha in Sri Lanka and the patronage extended by her rulers.
The Anuradhapura period was a period in the history of Sri Lanka of the Anuradhapura Kingdom from 377 BC to 1017 AD. The period begins when Pandukabhaya, King of Upatissa Nuwara moved the administration to Anuradhapura, becoming the kingdom's first monarch. Anuradhapura is heralded as an ancient cosmopolitan citadel with diverse populations.
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Nachchaduwa wewa is a reservoir near Thammannakulama, Sri Lanka. The reservoir is used to store water brings from Kala Wewa through Yoda Ela channel. The reservoir was severely damaged in 1957 flood and the restoration of the tank was completed in 1958.
Konduwattuwana Wewa or Kondawattuwana Wewa is an ancient reservoir located in Ampara, Sri Lanka. The reservoir lies on the Ampara – Inginiyagala main road, approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) away from the town of Ampara. The site with ancient Buddhist ruins which belonging to the Konduwattuwana reservoir area is a formally recognised an archaeological site in Sri Lanka.
Yoda Ela or Jaya Ganga, an 87 km (54 mi) long single banking water canal carrying excess water from Thisa wawa reservoir to Kala wawa reservoir in Anuradhapura. The Yodha Ela is known for achieving a rather low gradient for its time. The gradient is about 10 centimetres per kilometre or 6 inches per mile.
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