Who made yoda wewa in sri

 

 

It contributed to fulfill the cultivation demands of an agrarian nation nearly 2,000 years ago, withstanding challenges over the years, remaining as testaments to the ingenuity of Sri Lanka's ancient civilization. There is no word in the English parlance to replace what is holistically meant by the term wewa, for it is by no means a mere storage tank or a reservoir, terms that are commonly used. For the kings who commissioned the construction of these tanks, water was 'alive', an animate component of the universe, contrary to the Western thought on hydrodynamics, where water was inanimate and without life.

We were diverse, based on their size and mechanism. Many who studied this masterpiece find it quite extraordinary that a vast number of small wewu were built in villages during ancient times, especially during the Anuradhapura period. In some cases these wewu, collectively nourished a larger wewa and vise versa. Most wewu were planned and constructed according to a mechanism that facilitated every drop of rain water to be stored and effectively reused multiple times before it flowed to the ocean. Other unique and vital components of a wewa, such as amunu, tekkam or anicuts, river diversion channels, were also built to carry water from one destination to another.

Rulers who ensured sufficient supply of water during all seasons of cultivation and thereby addressed the hardships of their subjects became ‘living gods' among the ruled. Thus revered by the nation was King Mahasen (275 AD- 301 AD), who was known as 'Minneriya Deviyo' (god of Minneriya). He built many wewu, and the largest was the Minneriya Wewa, which was constructed during the Anuradhapura period. Water to this gigantic wewa was brought in by the Elahara anicut, which was built by King Wasabha nearly three centuries ago. Located within the Minneriya National Park, the wewa provides water for cultivation, continuing the noble task of bringing prosperity to the land. The Minneriya wewa and its surroundings provide the ideal spot for a wildlife enthusiast to watch herds of elephants in one open plain during the dry season.

These wevu were built by filling intervening gaps between adjoining hills with massive bunds, which was an essential feature of a wewa. It is amazing as to how it was constructed with exact precision and strength to withstand the pressure generated inside the water body. Researchers now believe that our ancestors had knowledge of the continuity of the types of geological rock suitable for the foundation of a bund. It is evident that the concept of conservation (of every known natural force) took precedence in the development of the country's hydraulic system, which resulted in the inclusion of essential components such as the Gasgommana, Perhana, Iswetiya, Godawala, Kuluwewa, Tisbambe, Kiul and Kattakaduwa. All these components or land strips surrounding a wewa served the purpose of withstanding the body of water therein, while maintaining balance with the ecosystem, where the wewa in turn became a massive water conservatory system.

The Aukana Statue, a granite rock, meticulously carved into a standing statue of the Buddha, whose gaze is thought to be directed at the Kala Wewa, is indeed an ingenious creation of art and craftsmanship. The Kala Wewa was built during the reign of King Dathusena, who was one of the greatest rulers of Anuradhapura. He united the country by defeating invaders from South India and ruled for 26 years. According to a historical narrative, King Dathusena having been confronted by his son Kashyapa to reveal his wealth had shown the vast expanse of the Kala Wewa as his only possession. King Dathusena also built the 'Yoda Ela' (which was later named Jayaganga), a giant irrigation channel, an implausible feat considering the era. The canal slopes at one inch per mile throughout its length of 54 miles. Yoda Ela carries excess water from Kala Wewa to Tissa Wewa. It is said that this canal did not merely transport excess water from Kala Wewa, but fed a large number of small village tanks, providing water for agriculture.
King Parakramabahu-I went on to create a true marvel of all time - the ‘Parakrama Samudraya’ or the Sea of ​​King Parakrama. According to historians, originally the Parakrama Samudraya was much vast than what remains now.

In ancient times, the power of a governing king greatly depended on the concept of 'Wewai, Dagabai, Gamai' where priority was for the construction of the reservoir to ensure economic stability, followed by a close bond with the Buddhist temple in the village - the place of worship for the people and monks who counseled the reigning monarch resided and the village.

This concept received prominence during the Polonnaruwa period, especially during the reign of the great monarch-King Parakramabahu I. He built a number of major wewu and restored old ones. Ensuring a sufficient supply of water for cultivation, King Parakramabahu I went on to create a true marvel of all time - the ‘Parakrama Samudraya 'or the Sea of ​​King Parakrama. According to historians, originally the Parakrama Samudraya was much larger than what remains today. The Parakrama Samudraya was constructed by combining Thopa Wewa, Eramudu Wewa and Dumbuthulu Wewa with channels. This wewa was given its name due to its enormity and appearance that made vistas of placid waters as far as the eye could fathom. According to chronicles, the King had diverted water from Amban Ganga, through the Anganmadilla Ela, to bring water to this massive reservoir, which is said to be a combination of more than three wewu in the times past.

The function of the sluice in a wewa too was extraordinary. Unlike typical reservoirs, the sluice in a wewa functioned together with a unique device known as the bisokotuwa. To this date, the exact function of a bisokotuwa has not been unraveled. Not all wewu were equipped with sluices, not due to lack of relevant technology, but because those were small village wewu which served a different purpose. It is believed that our ancestors maintained sufficient levels of water even during dry seasons and they became vital systems for the conservation of water. Continuous incursions into the country by foreign invaders for prolonged periods of time, one among many other reasons, eventually buried the ancient hydraulic civilization amidst the tropical jungles along with the vast ocean of skills and knowledge that was used to construct these wonders of the ancient world

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