Kandalama Wewa ancient irrigation reservoir at Kandalama, Dambulla that extends the lifeline to the cultivators of the agricultural zone is located 8km north-east of UNSECO World Heritage Site of Golden Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Kandalama Wewa, a loveliest reservoir in Sri Lanka irrigate the farmlands of ; suppot fishery; supply drinking water; provide recreation and relaxation to the cultivators.
On the eastern bank of the Kandalama Wewa ancient irrigation reservoir at a distance of 10km from Rangiri Dambulu Rock Cave Temple is eco-oriented Heritance Kandalama luxury hotel owned and managed by the conglomerate Aitken Spence & Co. The distance from Heritance Kandalama luxury hotel to Dambulla Int'l Cricket Stadium Cricket via Sri Lanka Holidays Golden Rock Cave Temple is 14km.
Kandalama Wewa ancient man-made irrigation reservoir is nearly surrounded by large hills: and in the extent, where no natural barrier had been in existence for the waters, an embankment was constructed of hewn stones, piled up twenty feet high, and from 150 to 200 feet thick at the base, and a mile and one-third long.
Kandalama during the British colonial era
Year 1821. Quote John Davy of British Ceylon
Kandelle [Kandalama] is a scattered village, similar to the preceding [Minneriya]. It contains about sixteen families, who subsist, on the produce of one large paddy-field. The lake or tank of Kandelle [Kandalama], which is close by, is a great work, and the best example of the kind of work, that I have ever seen. The lake is about three or four miles in circumference, and, like that of Minere [Minneriya], skirted with green plains. The embankment by which the water is confined is a mile and one-third long. It extends nearly in a straight line, from a rocky hillock at one extremity, to a high ledge of rock at the other. Its perpendicular height may be twenty feet; at its base, it may be hundred and fifty or two hundred feet wide. Its face towards the lake is naked, sloped at an angle of about 45 degrees, and composed of stones that rise one above the other like steps. The stones are of the same size nearly; from two to three feet long, about two high, and from one to two wide.
The lake has two outlets: the principal one about a hundred yards from the rocky ledge, through which a river is constantly flowing; and another near the opposite extremity of the embankment, which is commonly dry, and carries off water only when the lake is unusually high. John Davy M. D., F.R.S: An Account of the Interior of Ceylon. And of its Inhabitants with Travels in that Island.
Year 1849 Quote Charles Pridham of British Ceylon
"The Lake of Kandelle [Kandalama], or as it is commonly termed, the Kandelle [Kandalama] water, is, in the opinion of connoisseurs, the most beautiful lake in Ceylon, and, from its being enveloped on all sides by lofty hills, it will bear inspection from several points. This is more than that can be said of many of the lakes, which are generally tame at the lower extremities. But it is the peculiar beauty of the waters of Kandelle [Kandalama], that in their case the ground ascends everywhere from their edge with a nearly equal degree of boldness.""During the rainy season, when the lake attains its greatest elevation, the area of ground over which the inundation extends may be computed at fifteen square miles.
This work of art, and others of nearly equally gigantic proportions in the island, sufficiently indicate that at some very remote period of Ceylon was a densely peopled country, and under a government sufficiently enlightened to appreciate the execution of an undertaking which, to men ignorant of mechanical powers, must have been an Herculean operation; for such is the capricious nature of the mountain streams of this island, where heavy rains frequently fall for many successive days without intermission, that no common barrier would suffice to resist the great and sudden pressure that must be sustained on such occasions.
Aware of this peculiarity in the character of their rivers, the Singhalese built retaining walls that support the waters of the lake of Kandelle [Kandalama] with such solidity and massiveness as to defy the utmost fury of the mountain torrents. Nearly the whole of its extent is formed with vast hewn masses of rock, faced with stones eight or ten feet thick at the base, placed like steps, and laid in regular layers, to move which by sheer physical force must have required the united labor of thousands." Charles Pridham Ceylon: Past and Present by Sir George Barrow, Bart, 1857, John Murrray, Albemarle Street, London
Creation of Kandalama Wewa Reservoir
Kandalama Wewa Reservoir was created by constructing a dam across the River Mirisgoniya Oya, a tributary of River Kala Oya.
Rehabilitation of Kandalama Wewa Reservoir
Kandalama Wewa Reservoir was rehabilitated by Department of Irrigation of Sri Lanka during the year 1952 to 1957
Kandalama Wewa Reservoir today
Today Kandalama Wewa Reservoir is an integrated water body of the grand Mahaweli Multipurpose irrigation Scheme
Catchment: 102 Sq.km; length of the dam: 1600meters; height of the dam: 21meters; capacity: 33.3 million cu. Meters
Source: Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resource Management
UNESCO World Heritage site of Golden Dambulla Rock Cave temple: distance from Kandalama Wewa is 8km; route: Kandalama Road off Kandy-Jaffna A9 Highway UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lion Rock Citadel Sigiriya; distance from Kandalama Wewa is 13km; route: Inamaluwa Sigiriya B162 Road Aukana Buddha Statue [3Km from Kala Wawa ancient Irrigation reservoir]: distance from Kandalama is 43 km; route: Tonigala Kala Wewa Galewela Road at Kekirawa off Kandy -Jaffna A9 Highway
Ibbankatuwa, a proto-historic megalithic burial site
Ibbankatuwa, a proto-historic megalithic burial site located at a distance of 3km from the town of , [or 14km east of Heritance Kandalamaluxury hotel], is carbon-dated to period between 700 – 400 B.C. Ibbankatuva megalithic burial sites containing 2 clusters of cist tombs spread over an area of 1 sq.km.
Dambulla Int'l Cricket Stadium
Cricket is located 3km west of the Golden Rock Cave temple close to the Ibbankatuwa Wewa irrigation reservoir. The distance from Heritance Kandalama hotel to Cricket via Golden Rock Cave Temple is 14km.