The Info List - Kala Wewa

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Kala Wewa, built by the King
Datusena in 307 B.C, is a twin reservoir complex ( Kala Wewa
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.


1 History 2 Legends 3 Renovation 4 Size 5 Attraction 6 Purpose 7 Route 8 See also 9 References

History[edit] This reservoir was built by the King
who ruled the country during 455 – 473 CE in the 5th century.[1] Tamil invaders who arrived from South India
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) near by and connected the two tanks together making the biggest tank in Sri Lanka.[2] His son 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[2] but according to some historians it is one inch per mile.[3] Legends[edit] King
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.[3] Renovation[edit] First restoration to the tank is done by King
Parakramabahu I
Parakramabahu I
in the 12th century.[4] The tank was renovated several times in the past as in the period of British Governor
Sir William Henry Gregory (1872–1877[1] and Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon (1883–1890).[5] After the British rule in the country and in 1958, the tank’s bund was reconstructed connecting the tank with Balalu Wewa.[6] Size[edit] Its circumference is 40 miles (64.4 km) and has a total area of 7 square miles (18.1 km2) at full capacity.[1] Length
of the dam is 22,572 feet (6,879.9 m) and the height is 48 feet (14.6 m).[7] Attraction[edit] There is a 12 meter high standing statue of Lord Buddha
Lord Buddha
created by same ruler. This statue is named after the village it is situated so it is called Avukana Buddha statue
Avukana Buddha statue
(Sinhala: අව්කන බුදු පිළිමය) and it can be seen over-looking at the tank near by.[2] Purpose[edit] 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
Kala Wewa
and stored enough water in the Thisā Wewa for the population of then capital city of Anuradhapura. Being one of main storages in the Mahaweli Irrigation Scheme since 1976, the tank serves to the population in the North Central Sri Lanka.[6] 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.[1] Route[edit] 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).[2] See also[edit]

Dhatusena of Anuradhapura Yodha Ela (Jaya Ganga)


^ a b c d "Things To Do - Excursions: Kala Wewa". The Elephant Corridor. Retrieved 5 April 2012.  ^ a b c d "Kala Wewa". KirigalPoththa. Retrieved 5 April 2012.  ^ a b Senevirathna, Wasantha (4 Apr 2012). "Kalawewa". Divaina (in Sinhala). Colombo 13, Sri Lanka. Upali Newspapers Limited. p. 1. ..සැතපුමකට අගලක් වැනි බැස්මක් සහිත..  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ "Kurunegala, Yapahuwa and Kalawewa". TourismSriLanka.org. Retrieved 2 April 2012.  ^ "Ancient Sinhalese Irrigation". mysrilankaholidays.com. Retrieved 5 April 2012.  ^ a b "Kala Wewa". Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 5 April 2012.  ^ LankaLibrary Forum :: View topic - Kala Wewa
Kala Wewa
(Reservoir) - 470 AD

v t e

Inland waters of Sri Lanka

Dams and reservoirs

With hydroelectric capabilities

Bowatenna Broadlands Canyon Castlereigh Deduru Oya Dyraaba Gal Oya Kotmale Kukule Ganga Laxapana Maskeliya Moragahakanda Moragolla Nilambe Norton Polgolla Randenigala Rantembe Samanala Udawalawe Upper Kotmale Victoria

Irrigation-only (incl. ancient tanks)

Beira Lake Diyawanna Giant's Tank Giritale Tank Inginimitiya Iranamadu Tank Kala Wewa Kalu Ganga Kandalama Kandy Lake Kantale Lake Gregory Lunugamwehera Maduru Oya Minneriya Tank Muthuiyankaddu Kulam Puhulpola Rajanganaya Rambakan Oya Ratkinda Tissa Wewa (Anuradhapura) Tissa Wewa (Tissamaharama) Ulhitiya Vavuni Kulam


East coast

Batticaloa Lagoon Chalai Lagoon Chundikkulam Lagoon Kokkilai Lagoon Kokkilai Lagoon Nai Aru Lagoon Nanthi Lagoon Ullackalie Lagoon Upaar Lagoon Vadamarachchi Lagoon Valaichchenai Lagoon

West coast

Jaffna Lagoon Mundal Lagoon Negombo Lagoon Puttalam Lagoon Uppu Aru Lagoon

Southern coast

Koggala Lagoon Rekawa Lagoon Malala-Ambilikala Lagoons Rathgama Lake



Deduru Oya Gal Oya Gin Ganga Kala Oya Kalu Ganga
Kalu Ganga
(Kukule Ganga) Kelani River
Kelani River
(Kehelgamu Oya Maskeliya Oya Pusweli Oya) Kirindi Oya Kumbukkan Oya Maduru Oya Maha Oya Mahaweli River
Mahaweli River
(Amban Ganga Kotmale Oya Nanu Oya) Malvathu River Menik Ganga Mi Oya Walawe River
Walawe River
(Belihul Oya) Yan Oya


Akkarayan Aru Kanakarayan Aru Kodalikkallu Aru Madu Ganga Mandekal Aru Mavil Aru Nay Aru (Mannar) Nay Aru (Mullaitivu) Netheli Aru Pali Aru Pallavarayankaddu Aru Parangi Aru Per Aru Piramenthal Aru Theravil Aru Valukkai Aru Verugal Aru

Related organizations

Mahaweli Authority Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management

List of dams and reservoirs in Sri Lanka List of rivers of Sri Lanka

Coordinates: 8°01′N 80°31′E / 8.017°N 80.517°E / 8