Although not the largest ancient reservoir of Sri Lanka, the Kala Wewa near Kekirawa is the most famous irrigation project of the Sinhalese civilization. Built by King Dathusena in the mid 5th century, the Kala Wewa allowed to diverte water from the Kala river to the area of Anuradhapura, which until then had been irrigated mainly be the waters of only one river, the Malwattu Oya. For that purpose, the „Giant Canal“ Yoda Ela, also known as Jaya Ganga, carried excess water from the Kala Wea along an 87 km long single banking canal to the Tissa Wewa in Anuradhapura, almost doubling the amount of water available in the heartland of the ancient Sinhalese civilization. The circumference of the Kala Wewa, which covers 18 square kilometers, is 65 kilometers. The length of the dam is almost 7 km. According to the Mahavamsa, a chronicle from the 6th century, the construction of Kala Wewa is intimately connected to the story of Sigiriya. Today’s travelers see the Kala Wewa when visiting the close-by Aukana Buddha, which is the largest standing Buddha from ancient times that can be seen in the Cultural Triangle.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka