Saturday, March 13, 2021

Bathalagoda Wewa and Inscriptions

Bathalagoda Wewa is a reservoir situated in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

This reservoir is said to be a very ancient construction (Arumugam, 1969). It is believed that this was built in pre-Christian times to supply water to the inhabitants of the early city called Parana Nuwara (Arumugam, 1969; Parker, 1909). According to Parker, the dimensions of the bricks found at the southern sluice of this reservoir are similar to those found from Vedikkinari-malai in Northern Province and Ruwanweli Stupa in Anuradhapura District (Parker, 1909). Comparing to the ages of the aforesaid two monuments, Parker believed that this reservoir has been constructed in the second of the early part of the first century B.C. (Parker, 1909).

It was repaired during the reign of King Kumara Dhatusena (515-524 A.D.) and later by Queen Kalyanawathi [(1202-1208 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969].

The breached reservoir was restored in 1890 and the present tank was completed in 1902 (Arumugam, 1969; Parker, 1909).

Parker in his publication has mentioned two inscriptions (Parker, 1909). The first one is a worn inscription in characters of the 10th century A.D. on a pillar at the embankment (Parker, 1909). The second one is a large slab inscription engraved by Queen Kalyanawathi [(1202-1208 A.D.) Parker, 1909].

Batalagoda inscription of Kalyanawathi
Reign: Kalyanawathi (1202-1208 A.D.)
Period: 13th century A.D.
Script: Medieval Sinhala
Language: Medieval Sinhala
Content: In the 5th regnal year of Queen Kalyanawathi, the lord named Cudamani of Mangalapura of Badalagoda Madyadesa, in the Kingdom of Maya repaired a breached sluice and built a second sluice for the reservoir. He repaired the image house of the abandoned Senevirat Pirivena temple built by Lak Vijaya Sinsingu Senevinavan and built a Kanchuka for the Stupa. He also repaired other components of the temple, bestowed four requisites to the invited monks and the harvest of the four Amunas from the fields of Sotemunin was offered to the monastery. Those who harm this religious endowment will become crows, dogs and will be boiled in the eight great hell.
Reference: The information board at the site.

The reservoir is fed by an inlet channel from Deduru Oya anicut and from its catchment area (Arumugam, 1969). The bund is about 4400 feet long and the water is extending in an area of about 700 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). The reservoir has 6 sluices and 2 spills (Arumugam, 1969).

1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.368.
2) Parker, H., 1909. Ancient Ceylon: An account of the aborigines and of part of the early civilisation. Luzac & Co. London. pp.397-400.

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This page was last updated on 13 March 2021
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