Kala Wewa, built by the
King Datusena in 307 B.C, is a twin reservoir
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.
8 See also
This reservoir was built by the
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.
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. 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 but according to some historians it is one inch per
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
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
There is a 12 meter high standing statue of
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.
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.
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
Dambulla reaches Kekirawa in the Kekirawa
Divisional Secretariat and from there the distance to the tank is 6
miles (9.7 km).
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
^ "Kurunegala, Yapahuwa and Kalawewa". TourismSriLanka.org. Retrieved
2 April 2012.
^ "Ancient Sinhalese Irrigation". mysrilankaholidays.com. Retrieved 5
^ a b "Kala Wewa". Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 5 April
^ LankaLibrary Forum :: View topic -
Kala Wewa (Reservoir) - 470
Inland waters of Sri Lanka
Dams and reservoirs
(incl. ancient tanks)
Tissa Wewa (Anuradhapura)
Tissa Wewa (Tissamaharama)
Nai Aru Lagoon
Uppu Aru Lagoon
Kalu Ganga (Kukule Ganga)
Kelani River (Kehelgamu Oya
Mahaweli River (Amban Ganga
Walawe River (Belihul Oya)
Nay Aru (Mannar)
Nay Aru (Mullaitivu)
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 /