Saturday, 5 December 2020

Kantale Wewa

Kantale Wewa Kantale Wewa (Sinhala: කන්තලේ වැව; Tamil: கந்தளாய் அணை) is a reservoir located in Kantale in Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka.

Kantale Wewa
The reservoir has been identified as the ancient Gangatata (also known as Gangatala) tank built by King Aggabodhi II [(604-614 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969; Nicholas, 1963]. It was improved by King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) in the 12th century A.D. (Arumugam, 1969). An inscription by Parakramabahu I mentions the length of the bund of Gangatala tank as 4300 riyan (Nicholas, 1963). King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) built an alms hall named Parvati at Gangatala (also called Caturveda-Brahmapura) and declared the tank a sanctuary for animals (Nicholas, 1963). In the 13th century, the Gangatala area was under the occupation of Tamil invaders (Nicholas, 1963).

Local Tamils are in the belief that this is the Thirukulam tank (the Sacred tank) of Kulakoddai Arasan built for the upkeep of Koneswaram Temple lands at Thambalagamuwa [(or Tampalakamam) Arumugam, 1969]. 
Restorations and disasters
The reservoir was restored in 1869 (Arumugam, 1969). On 20 April 1986, the dam breached due to the crumbling and collapse of one of its two sluices (Samarajiva et al., 2006). About 127 people were killed and more than a thousand homes were destroyed or damaged (Samarajiva et al., 2006).

Except for the drainage from its own catchment area, the reservoir also receives drainage from Gal Oya and Alut Oya catchments through the Kantale Yodha Ela (Arumugam, 1969). The reservoir has 2 sluices and 1 spill with 10 radial gates (Arumugam, 1969).

1) Kantale Dam by Raveendran Mathusha is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.255.
2) 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.46.
3) Samarajiva, R., Goswami, D. and Ennen, L.R., 2006. Concept paper for a dam-related hazard warning system in Sri Lanka. LIRNEasia. p.3.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 6 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


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