Nuwara Wewa (Anuradhapura)

Nuwara Wewa, Anuradhapura
Nuwara Wewa (lit: The City Tank; Sinhala: අනුරාධපුර නුවර වැව) is a reservoir in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. It is situated on the east side of the Malwatu Oya River and about 2.5 km distance from the present town.

According to the view of Parker, this tank is believed to be a work of the early part of the 1st century B.C. probably during the reign of King Valagamba (103, 88-77 B.C.) of Anuradhapura (Parker, 1909). and it has been recorded in the Thuparama Slab Inscription of King Gajabahu I (114-136 A.D.) as the "Nakara-vapi" tank (Arumugam, 1969; Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1933). It was enlarged, improved and added a feeder channel from Nachchaduwa Wewa during the reign of Moggallana II [(535-555 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969]. It was utilized partly for irrigating rice fields and partly for supplying water to adjoining monasteries and suburbs (Parker, 1909).

The present tank was restored in 1890 (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
Except for the drainage from its own catchment area, the reservoir is fed by an ancient channel from the Nachchaduwa tank (Arumugam, 1969). The bund of the reservoir is about 4.25 miles long and the water is extending in an area of about 3,000 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has two spills and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969).
Ancient sluice 
As recorded by Parker in 1909, there was an ancient sluice at Nuwara Wewa (Paranavithana et al., 2020; Parker, 1909). However, it was demolished by the British later to construct new structures (Paranavithana et al., 2020).

Nuwara Wewa, Anuradhapura

1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.319.
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.150.
3) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wikramasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Thuparama slab inscription of Gajabahu I. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. p.116.
4) Paranavithana, G.N.; Jayasundara, J.M.W.S.; Harindra, H.W.G.; Ranasinghe, W.D.N.; Ranasinghe, R.S., 2020. Investigation of hydraulic characteristics of ancient inlet sluice barrel in Nuwara Wewa reservoir. Proceedings of the 22nd IAHR-APD Congress 2020, Sapporo, Japan. pp.1-8.
5) Parker, H., 1909. Ancient Ceylon: An account of the aborigines and of part of the early civilisation. Luzac & Co. London. pp.400-402.

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This page was last updated on 24 October 2023
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