Parakrama Samudraya Reservoir( wewa)
Parakrama Samudraya Reservoir( wewa) in Polonnaruwa was built by King Parakramabahu the Great; it is a massive tank that once encompassed five large reservoirs. Engineers today say that this intelligent design feature was used to relieve the pressure on the main dam, and many are baffled by the sheer volume of this feat.
Including the remains of sluice gates on the dam, plenty of other mysterious design elements and ruins are found across the banks; their purposes have still not been speculated. Apart from its engineering brilliance, the reservoir today has become a quintessential part of the region’s ecosystem, and thus it supports a wider variety of birds and animals. Furthermore, it has also become a popular tourist attraction in the area where travellers could embark on a boat ride amidst the tank’s surreal waters. Of course, you could see a part of the reservoir from the comfort of our resort establishment, but if you wish to explore more, tours to the reserve along with boat rides can be arranged by contacting the front desk.
Parakrama Samudra, also known as the Sea of King Parakramabahu, was a solution to Sri Lanka's lack of regular water for agriculture. It was constructed in Polonnaruwa by King Parakramabahu I during his reign from 1153 AD to 1186 AD. Originally consisting of five large reservoirs, including Thopa Vewa, built in 386 AD, the system was expanded. In addition, many smaller reservoirs were built around the primary reservoirs to regulate water flow.
However, during reconstructions in the 19th century, a new structural error caused the water to flow to Bhu Vewa instead of Thopa Vewa. As a result, engineers built a temporary dam to halt the water flow, permanently separating the last two reservoirs from the system and reducing the reservoir's capacity. The reconstructions also ignored the complex ancient technology used in the original construction.
Today, Parakrama Samudra has a length of 14km (8 ½ miles), a height of 12.2m (40 feet) from the outside, and an average depth of 25 feet. Although smaller than the original system, it remains an important water source for agriculture in Sri Lanka.