Sunday, March 29, 2020

Parakrama Samudra, Polonnaruwa

Parakrama Samudra
Parakrama Samudra (lit: Sea of Parakrama) is a large man-made irrigation reservoir located near the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

Parakrama Samudraya is said to be a result of connecting three original reservoirs (Schiemer, 2012). The northernmost reservoir is the oldest and referred to as Topa Wewa (Schiemer, 2012). Chronicles mention that Topa Wewa was constructed during the reign of King Upatissa I [(365-406 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963]. The middle part represents the Eramudu Wewa and the southernmost part is the Dumbutula Wewa. The middle and southern parts of the reservoir were constructed during the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great [(1153-1183 A.D.) Schiemer, 1981]. The dam of the middle part was destroyed in 1854 and the area subsequently swallowed by the forest (Schiemer, 1981). In 1945, the dam was reconstructed (Schiemer, 1981).

The reservoir
This shallow reservoir (Z max= 12.7 m) which is extending in an area about 25.5 km2 is considered as one of the larger reservoir of an ancient irrigation system (Schiemer, 2012). It has a natural catchment area of about 75 km2 located on the western side of the lake (Schiemer, 2012). The same side is bordered by the Sudukanda ridge (Schiemer, 2012). The reservoir is mainly fed by a channel from the Amban Ganga river and the inflow is regulated by the anicut at Angamedilla (Schiemer, 2012).
  • Reservoir data

    Length of bund : 12.38 km
    Bund height (Max.) : 9.45 m
    Catchment area : 71.71 km2
    Area at full supply level : 2539.50 Ha.
    Capacity at f. s. l. : 134.07x106 m3
    Dead storage : 18.45x106 m3
  • Sluice & spill data

    No of sluices : Three - (I), (II), (III)
    Sill level : [(I) 51.51 m, (II) 51.82 m, (III) 51.82 M.S.L.]
    Max discharge : (I) 13.02 m3/s, (II) 4.53 m3/s, (III) 1.41 m3/s.
    Spills : Natural (N) and Radial gates (RG)
    Sill level : (N) 59.30 m, (RG) 59.15 m
    Length : (N) 121.96 m, (RG) 30.48 m

1) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.174.
2) Schiemer, F., 1981. Parakrama Samudra (Sri Lanka) Project, a study of a tropical lake ecosystem I. An interim review: With 3 figures and 1 table in the text. Internationale Vereinigung für theoretische und angewandte Limnologie: Verhandlungen, 21(2), pp.987-993.
3) Schiemer, F., 2012. Limnology of Parakrama Samudra—Sri Lanka: A case study of an ancient man-made lake in the tropics (Vol. 12). Springer Science & Business Media. pp.1,4-5.

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This page was last updated on 28 March 2021
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