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Kaludiya Pokuna ( black water Pond ) – Mihintale

Description

Kaludiya Pokuna is a pond located in Mihintale, Anuradhapura. It presents evidence of holding one of the most exceptional water-powered developments of the Sinhalese monarchy. The Pond is one of the three surviving millponds and waterways which breathe up-to-date in the area. The Pond, established at the foot of the western slopes of Mihintale, is enclosed by what is considered to be the remains of a stupa and monastery. The Pond receives its name because it appears dark most of the time due to trees and bushes nearby jungles.

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The Location and Description of Kaludiya Pokuna

Nestled at the foot of the western slopes of Mihintale, Kaludiya Pokuna is the largest pond among the three in the area. Experts believe that this ancient water body might be the Porodini Pokuna mentioned in the tablets of Mahinda IV. "Kalu-diya pokuna" translates to the "black water pool," which describes the sombre reflections of the surrounding forests and mountains mirrored on its surface throughout the day.

The Complex of Buildings

The area surrounding Kaludiya Pokuna reveals a complex of well-planned structures, showcasing the advanced hydraulic civilization of ancient Sri Lanka. These structures include artificial moats that run through some of the buildings, bathhouses, and toilets within the premises. Such architectural features indicate a sophisticated understanding of water management and sanitation systems.

Sinhalese Hydraulic Civilization in Mihintale

In the serene and beautiful forested surroundings of Mihintale, Kaludiya Pokuna stands as a testament to the early Sinhalese hydraulic civilization. The monastic establishment that flourished in this region necessitated the development of an extensive network of irrigation channels, utilizing both natural water sources and artificial ponds. These waterways served the dual purpose of providing water for the community's daily needs and supporting agricultural activities.

Other Ponds and Waterways in the Area

Apart from Kaludiya Pokuna, the Mihintale region boasts two other notable ponds and bathing places: Naga Pokuna and Sinha Pokuna. These water bodies, along with Kaludiya Pokuna, further demonstrate our ancestors' ingenuity and foresight in harnessing water's power for the benefit of the community.

Kaludiya Pokuna reminds us of our ancestors' remarkable hydraulic engineering, landscape design, and sculpture skills. It serves as a historic site of immense value, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. As custodians of our past, we must preserve and protect these sites for future generations. We invite you to visit Kaludiya Pokuna and experience the awe-inspiring beauty and ingenuity that it embodies.

FAQs

  1. Can we swim in Kaludiya Pokuna?
    • No, swimming is not permitted in Kaludiya Pokuna to ensure the site's preservation.
  2. Are there any guided tours available at Kaludiya Pokuna?
    • Yes, guided tours are available at the site, providing visitors with insightful information about its historical and cultural significance.
  3. Is there an entrance fee to visit Kaludiya Pokuna?
    • Yes, access to the site is a nominal entrance fee, which goes towards its maintenance and conservation.
  4. Are there any restrictions on photography at Kaludiya Pokuna?
    • Photography is allowed at the site; however, drones and tripods may require special permission.
  5. Are there any facilities available for visitors at Kaludiya Pokuna?
    • Yes, there are restroom facilities and a visitor centre near the entrance, providing information and assistance to visitors.

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