Mahakanadarawa Wewa | Ancient Kanadiyadora Tank

Mahakanadarawa Wewa
Mahakanadarawa Wewa (Sinhala: මහකනදරාව වැව) is a reservoir situated close to the Mihintale urban area in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. 

This has been identified as the ancient Kanadiyadora or Khanu-vapi tank constructed by King Mahasena (276-303 A.D.) of Anuradhapura (Arumugam, 1969; Fernando, 1980). It was started to be known as Maha Kanadara Wewa when a feeder channel was built to it during the reign of King Sena II [853-887 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969]. The tank was repaired, restored and improved during the reigns of King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.) and King Parakramabahu I [(1153-1186 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969].

The present tank was restored in 1958 (Arumugam, 1969). It was declared in 1966 as one of the Wildlife Sanctuaries under the Department of Wildlife Conservation (Wickramasinghe et al., 2021). 

The reservoir
The reservoir has been constructed by damming the Kanadara Oya, a tributary of Malwathu Oya (Arumugam, 1969; Wickramasinghe et al., 2021). The embankment is 2.8 km long and covers 34,000 acres (13.76 sq. km) when it is fill with maximum capacity (Wickramasinghe et al., 2021). The reservoir has 36,250 acre feet water capacity and feeds 2525 ha of farm lands (Wickramasinghe et al., 2021). It has three spill and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). The southern part of the reservoir has been crossed by the Anuradhapura – Trincomalee road.

Mahakanadarawa Wewa
See also
Mahakanadarawa Ancient Bridge

#) extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.322.
2) Fernando, A.D.N., 1980. Major ancient irrigation works of Sri Lanka. Journal of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 22, pp.1-24.
3) Wickramasinghe, S., Jayathilake, C. and Herath, C., 2021. Population status and seasonal diversity of water birds in Mahakanadarawa Wewa, Dry Zone Sri Lanka. Wildlanka.

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This page was last updated on 21 October 2023

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