Saturday, November 16, 2019

Eth Pokuna

Eth Pokuna
The Eth Pokuna (lit: the Elephant Pond) is an old pond situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Located to the south-west of the Abhayagiri Stupa in close proximity to Lankarama Viharaya, the pond is considered as one of the largest man-made ponds in the country (Jayasuriya, 2016).

History
The pond which is believed to be the ancient Maspotha Pokuna is presently called "Eth Pokuna" (the Elephant Pond) because of its gigantic size. It is said to have been built to store water for the usage of Buddhist monks who were living in Abhayagiriya Monastic Complex.
 
Pond
The rectangular-shaped pond is 159 m long, 53 m wide and 10 m deep. The size is said to be six times larger than the size of the Olympic swimming pool. Several flights of steps at all four sides provide access to the bottom of the pond.

The water to this pond had been supplied from nearby reservoirs through underground conduits and one of which functions even today (Jayasuriya, 2016). The Gamani Wewa (Perumiyankulam tank) located to the north supplies water to the pond through a conduit when it is over-flowing (Wikramagamage, 2004). The water which comes through conduits first flows into a cistern sluice ("Bisokotuwa") located in the southwest corner of the pond and after slowing the speed, the water then flows to the pond along a stone-made drain. The existing sluice suggests that the water of Eth Pokuna may have been distributed to other ponds in the vicinity (Jayasuriya, 2016). A channel taking the water out of the pond has also been discovered to the south of the pond at the bottom to the east (Wikramagamage, 2004).
 
A Cobra sculpture
A fragmentary stone sculpture of cobra was discovered from the Eth Pokuna with a slight projection upwards by the Cultural Triangle (Wikramagamage, 2004). 

Attribution
1) Eth Pokuna in Anuradhapuraya by Kurun is licensed under CC BY SA 3.0

References
1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.25.
2) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.105,115.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 9 January 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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