|Native name||කැළණි ගඟ (Kelani Ganga)|
களனி கங்கை (Kelani Gangai)
|Major cities||Kitulgala, Avissawella, Malabe, Colombo|
|Source||Horton Plains National Park|
|Length||145 km (90 mi)|
|• minimum||20–25 m3/s (710–880 cu ft/s)|
|• maximum||800–1,500 m3/s (28,000–53,000 cu ft/s)|
The Kelani River (Sinhala : කැළණි ගඟ) is a 145-kilometre-long (90 mi) river in Sri Lanka. Ranking as the fourth-longest river in the country, it stretches from the Sri Pada Mountain Range to Colombo. It flows through or borders the Sri Lankan districts of Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Gampaha and Colombo. The Kelani River also flows through the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, and provides 80% of its drinking water.
The Kelani River has two main tributaries in its upper reaches: the Kehelgamu Oya and the Maskeli Oya. These two contribute to hydro-electric production in Sri Lanka, housing several major reservoirs, ponds and power stations. Castlereigh Reservoir and Norton Reservoir are constructed across the Kehelgamu Oya, while Maskeliya Reservoir, Canyon Reservoir and Laxapana Reservoir are constructed across the Maskeli Oya. In its lower reaches, some more tributaries connect to the Kelani River, out of which the most famous are the We Oya at Yatiyanthota, the Gurugoda Oya at Ruwanwella, and the Seethawaka Ganga at Avissawella.
The Kelani supplies approximately 80% of the water used in Colombo. In addition, the river is used for transport, fisheries, sewage disposal, sand mining and for production of hydroelectricity. Through these factors, many people depend on the river for their daily routine in life. Depending on the operation of three reservoirs, the river flow varies from 20 m3/s (706 cu ft/s) to 25 m3/s (883 cu ft/s) in the dry seasons, and 800 m3/s (28,252 cu ft/s) to 1,500 m3/s (52,972 cu ft/s) during the monsoons. The annual sand extraction from the river is approximately 600,000 m2 (6,458,346 sq ft) to 800,000 m2 (8,611,128 sq ft). From a barge, people dive to the river bed, from where the sand is lifted to the barge in a bucket, and when the barge is full, it is taken to the river bank and unloaded by a separate team. The sand mining causes the river bed to sink by approximately 10 cm (4 in) per year. At present, two main concerns in connection with the river are flooding during the monsoon and saline intrusion in the dry season.
In addition, Kelani River water levels affect the flood risk to Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, to a considerable extent. One reason is that part of the city and suburbs of Colombo lie on the lower flood plain of the river. Exposure of Colombo and the upper catchments of Kelani River to the South West Monsoon is another reason.
The problems are related: the saline intrusion is enhanced by the deepening of the river caused by the sand mining. Regulation in order to prevent the saline intrusion can reduce the water quality in other ways, and can increase the flood risk. Sand mining is economically important nationally and to the many people involved.
The Kelani stream flow was investigated just upstream of Ambatale at Hanwella, with engineers analyzing the river discharges from 1973 to 2004 (in million m³/month).
Kelani River is connected closely with the Sinhala Buddhist culture of Sri Lanka, especially with the people living on the area identified as the Kelani Valley. This derives primarily from the fact that the Kelani River is associated with two of the most venerated Buddhist shrines and pilgrimages, i.e. Sri Pada Mountain and Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya. There are a number of folk poems that mention the Kelani River, such as the following:
මලේ මලේ ඔය නා මල නෙළා වරෙන්
අත්ත බිඳෙයි පය බුරුලෙන් තබා වරෙන්
කැලණි ගඟේ ඔරු යනවා බලා වරෙන්
සාදුකාර දී ඔරුවක නැගී වරෙන්
මහවැලි කැලණි කලු වලවේ යන ගංගා
සමනොළ කන්ද මුදුනේ සිට පැන නැංගා
බෑවුම් තැනිතලා හෙල් අතරින් රිංගා
මේවා ගලයි මිණි කැට දිය යට හංගා
3. හංස සන්දේශ කරුවා කැළණි ගඟ දුටු අයුරු සමනොළ මුදුන සිරිපද ඔබන මගුලට නිකසල මහ සඟන ගෙන වඩින මුනිඳුට පැහැදුල සුනිල් මිණියෙන් කළ මග ලෙසට මනදොළ පිරෙයි ගඟ සිරිසර දුටු තොපට
The Kalyani Ordination Hall in Bago, Myanmar derives its name from the Kelani River.
The Academy Award-winning The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed on the Kelani River near Kitulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge (and, supposedly, the submerged train cars that plunged into the river in the climactic scene).
The following table shows the major bridges over Kelani River:
|No.||Name of Bridge||Location||Road||Length||Year of Completion|
|1||Mattakkuliya Bridge||6° 58.847', 79° 52.505'||Mattakkuliya-Hekitta Road||xxx||xxx|
|2||Sri Lanka - Japan Friendship Bridge||6° 57.625', 79° 52.712'||Madampitiya-Peliyagoda Road||xxx||xxx|
|3||New Kelani Bridge||6° 57.268', 79° 52.960'||Colombo-Kandy Road||275m||1959|
|4||Railway Bridge||6° 57.280', 79° 53.384'||Main Railway Line||xxx||xxx|
|5||Kelanisiri Bridge||6° 56.974', 79° 55.218'||Kelanimulla-Kelaniya Road||130m||2008|
|6||OCH Bridge||6° 56.276', 79° 58.311'||Outer Circular Highway||xxx||In construction|
|7||Kaduwela Bridge||6° 56.175', 79° 59.113'||Kaduwela-Kandy Road||xxx||xxx|
|8||Nawagamuwa Bridge||6° 55.511', 80° 1.190'||Nawagamuwa-Mapitigama Road||xxx||xxx|
|9||Hanwella Bridge||6° 54.601', 80° 5.001'||Hanwella-Urapola Road||xxx||xxx|
|10||Pugoda Bridge||6° 58.404', 80° 7.401'||Kosgama-Pugoda Road||xxx||xxx|
|11||Gurugalla Bridge||6° 59.730', 80° 12.835'||Talduwa-Meewitigammana Road||xxx||xxx|
|12||Karawanella Bridge||7° 1.208', 80° 15.748'||Colombo-Hatton Road||xxx||xxx|
|13||Garagoda Bridge||7° 1.684', 80° 17.652'||Yatiyantota-Magammana Road||xxx||xxx|
|14||Behenella Bridge||6° 59.792', 80° 21.593'||Thaligama-Behenella Road||xxx||In construction|
Yala (යාල) National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park, and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, commonly known as Kotte, is the official administrative capital of Sri Lanka. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is a satellite city and located within the urban area of Sri Lanka's de facto economic, executive, and judicial capital, Colombo.
Aberdeen Falls is a 98 m (322 ft) high waterfall on the Kehelgamu Oya near Ginigathena, in the Nuwara Eliya District of Sri Lanka. Aberdeen is named after Aberdeen, the third largest city in Scotland and the capital of Aberdeenshire. Kehelgamu Oya is a major tributary of the Kelani River.
Pusweli Oya is a major tributary of Kelani Ganga river in Sri Lanka.
Laxapana Falls is 126 m (413 ft) high and the 8th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 625th highest waterfall in the world. It is situated in Maskeliya area in Nuwara Eliya District, about 16 km (9.9 mi) from Maskeliya town on Maskeliya-Norton Bridge road, in a village called Kiriwan Eliya. It is formed by Maskeliya Oya near the confluence of Kehelgamu Oya and Maskeliya Oya which forms Kelani River. The falls gives its name to twin hydroelectric power stations, Old Laxapana Power Station which generates 50 MW of electricity and New Laxapana Power Station which generates 100 MW.
Adam's Peak is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., "sacred footprint", a 1.8 m rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Hanuman or Shiva, i.e., "Mountain of Shiva's Light", and in some Islamic and Christian traditions that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas.
Kalu Ganga is a river in Sri Lanka. Measuring 129 km (80 mi) in length, the river originates from Sri Padhaya and reach the sea at Kalutara. The Black River flows through the Ratnapura and the Kalutara District and pass the city Ratnapura. The mountainous forests in the Central Province and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve are the main sources of water for the river.
The Castlereigh Dam is a gravity dam built across the Kehelgamu Oya, a major tributary to the Kelani River, approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) south-west of Hatton, in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.
The Norton Dam is a gravity dam built across the Kehelgamu Oya, which is a major tributary to the Kelani River. The dam is built at Norton Bridge, in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.
The Kehelgamu Oya is a major upstream tributary of the Kelani River. The tributary measures 50 km (31 mi) in length, originating from the hills of the Horton Plains National Park, before passing through the Castlereigh Reservoir. Kehelgamu Oya converges with the Maskeliya Oya at Kalugala, forming the 100 km (62 mi) long Kelani River. The river is heavily used for hydroelectric power generation.
The Maskeliya Oya is a major upstream tributary of the Kelani River. The tributary measures approximately 40 km (25 mi) in length, originating from the hills of the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, before passing through the Maskeliya Reservoir. Maskeliya Oya converges with the Kehelgamu Oya at Kalugala, forming the 100 km (62 mi) long Kelani River. The river is heavily used for hydroelectric power generation.
The Deduru Oya Dam is an embankment dam built across the Deduru River in Kurunegala District of Sri Lanka. Built in 2014, the primary purpose of the dam is to retain approximately a billion cubic metres of water for irrigation purposes, which would otherwise flow out to sea. Site studies of the dam began in 2006 and construction started in 2008. It was ceremonially completed in 2014, with the presence of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The Hamilton Canal is a 14.5 km (9.0 mi) canal connecting Puttalam to Colombo, passing through Negombo in Sri Lanka. The canal was constructed by the British in 1802 and completed in 1804. It was designed to drain salt water out of the Muthurajawela wetlands. The canal was named after Gavin Hamilton, the Government Agent of Revenue and Commerce.
Beginning on 14 May 2016, a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal caused torrential rain to fall across Sri Lanka, causing floods and landslides which affected half a million people. As of 25 May 2016 the death toll was 101 with 100 missing.
The Uma Oya Hydropower Complex (also internally called Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project or UOMDP) is a irrigation and hydroelectric complex currently under construction in the Badulla District of Sri Lanka. Early assessments of project dates back to 1989, when the first studies was conducted by the country's Central Engineering and Consultancy Bureau. The complex involves building a dam across Dalgolla Oya, and channelling water over a 3,975 m (13,041 ft) tunnel to Mathatilla Oya, both of which are tributaries of the Uma Oya. At Mathatilla Oya, another dam is constructed to channel 145,000,000 m3 (5.1×109 cu ft) of water per annum, via a 15,290 m (50,160 ft) headrace tunnel to the Uma Oya Power Station, where water then discharged to the Alikota Aru via a 3,335 m (10,942 ft) tailrace tunnel. The Alikota Aru is a tributary of the Kirindi Oya.
Koggala Lagoon is a coastal body of water located in Galle District, Southern Sri Lanka. It is situated near the town of Koggala and adjacent to the southern coast, about 110 km (68 mi) south of Colombo. The lagoon is embellished with eight ecologically rich small islands.
Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons are two interconnected coastal water-bodies located inside the Bundala National Park, Hambantota District in the Southern Province, Sri Lanka. It is 260 km (160 mi) from Colombo to the arid south. The Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons are two of the three key lagoons located within the Bundala Ramsar wetlands.
2018 Sri Lanka floods and landslides caused from an annual heavy southwest monsoon beginning around 19 May. As of 26 May 2018; the monsoon floods affected in about 19 districts, killed at least 21 people, about 150, 000 people were affected and further left approximately 23 people missing. The death casualties were reported from 22 May onwards in the provinces including South, Northwest, North and East. About 4 people were reported dead due to lightning, 5 people were killed due to floods and lightning, 8 people died due to drowning and further left 4 people dead resulting from fallen trees. The DMC report claimed about 400, 000 people have been displaced to safer locations. About 105 houses were reported to have fully damaged and over 4832 houses have been partially damaged.
Mawanella Bridge is the oldest operational brick bridge in Sri Lanka. The bridge was built in 1833 in Mawanella over the Maha Oya. The arch bridge has four arches, with each arch 15 m (49 ft) in length and is constructed entirely from bricks.