Saturday, December 15, 2018

Rambaken Oya Reservoir and Archaeological Ruins

Rambaken Oya Reservoir
Rambaken Oya Reservoir is a large irrigation tank situated in Maha Oya Divisional Secretary's Division, Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by traveling along the reservoir road about 14 km distance from Maha Oya town.

Rambaken Oya development scheme
Rambaken Oya multipurpose irrigation scheme was commenced in 2007, as a solution for the drinking and irrigation problems in the area. Under the main scheme, construction of the reservoir (56 MCM capacity, 797 ha. water spread area), the dam (1225 m. length) and 2 radial gated spill ways were completed. Several minor tanks were also rehabilitated (Polwathu Wewa, Pollebedda Wewa, Niloba Wewa, Kiralagas Wewa and Dumana Wewa) or newly constructed (Buruthana Wewa and Pinthaliya Wewa) as a part of the total project. The completed reservoir was declared open in 2013, by the then president of Sri Lanka.

Archaeological ruins
During the dam construction, a large number of archaeological ruins including a 1 mile long ancient dam was discovered from the site. The old dam had been constructed in a standard manner connecting two nearby mountains, Gorikanda and Galkanda. Around 115 m long dressed stones, made to use for a twin barrel sluice are also found near to the dam. However, the remaining ruins indicate that the construction of Rambaken Oya dam was not completed.
1 mile long ancient dam of Rambaken Oya Scattered ruins, Rambaken Oya
There are several opinions regarding the ancient Rambaken Oya reservoir. Some authors believe that the reservoir was commenced by a prince named Giri Abaya who ruled the east in the 3rd century B.C. According to other authors it was a work started by Prince Saddhatissa, who was administrating this area under his elder brother, King Dutugemunu (161 BC – 137 BC).

A protected monument
The ancient Tank bund of Rambukken Oya (Watawala Kandiya) situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Pollebedda, in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Maha Oya is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 January 2009. 

Spill ways, Rambaken Oya The old sluice
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1586. 23 January 2009. p. 108.

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