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flowed into that river. It is opposite the Tissa tank, on the other side of the valley. Nothing is known of its history, the ancient name having been lost. Its sole object seems to have been the storage of water for irrigating rice lands.
The embankment runs in a general north-west and southeast line, and is 11,400 feet long, or 2 miles; its line forms a long curve and reverse curve, a shape for which there appears to be no special reason in the contour of the ground. The side slopes are extremely flat, and it is this peculiarity that induces me to include it as one of the very early works. On the inner side the rate of inclination was about 7.4 feet horizontal to I foot vertical, and on the other about 6-8 feet to I. The top seems to have been 15 or 20 feet wide; but all is now very much worn down, and when originally made it may have been higher at these places, and therefore narrower at the top. The depth of water retained in the reservoir if, as at the works on the opposite side of the valley, the flood-escape was at a level of five feet below the crest of the bank, was about 12 feet 6 inches. At this level the area was 1407 acres, and the capacity 380 million cubic feet.
No sluice has been discovered in the embankment,1 which is also so much worn down, except at a few points, that it is impossible to recognise the ancient flood-escape.
Doubtless the work would be of a little later date than those nearer the capital, which have been described last. It must have been carried out after the population of the neighbourhood had increased, and required facilities for the extension of cultivation. It is almost certain that water was obtained from the Kirindi-oya, for filling the tank; but no direct channel into it has been discovered in the thick forest and jungle which covers the valley, although one was taken off from the river at a distance of some two and a half miles above the dam which diverted water to Tissa-waewa. After flowing some distance in a cut channel, the water may have been
1 Mr. Hamer, the engineer who has charge of the works of restoration that are now being undertaken, informs me that he has not yet dug out the soil in the bed of the main breach. The sluice may have been at this site.
allowed to find its own way into the reservoir by gravitation.
It was in the lands below this work that Gōna-gama was situated, the village near the site at which Wijaya is supposed by me to have landed. The pool which still preserves the ancient name is four or five miles from the tank.
This reservoir is mentioned in the Mahāvansa (i, p. 93) as being in existence during the reign of Kākavaņṇa-Tissa, the father of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, that is, some years prior to 161 B.C. Its importance in those early times may be judged from the fact that the king's second son, Tissa, who succeeded Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi on the throne, was specially stationed at it * to superintend the agricultural works in progress,'—possibly a reference to the reclamation of the irrigable lands to which it supplied water.
The place is occasionally mentioned in later times. In the middle of the seventeenth century, at the time of the first arrival of the Dutch in Ceylon, the country about it was termed 'a rich, prosperous, and populous district' (Mah., ii, p. 332).
This reservoir has never been satisfactorily identified; but as it was certainly in south-eastern Ceylon, and a work of great importance, there is every probability that it is the tank now known as Kandiya-kaṭṭu or Maha Kandiya, a reservoir which has been supposed to be capable of irrigating 10,000 or even 20,000 acres of rice fields. The 'prosperous and populous' neighbourhood of the work is totally abandoned, with the exception of two small hamlets; all has relapsed more or less into its original wild forest.
According to the topographical survey, the reservoir is supposed to be narrow, but very long in the direction parallel to the bank. It was formed near the foot of the Kandian mountains, by raising a low embankment across a hollow on each side of a central stretch of high ground, so as to retain a great sheet of water that was perhaps six miles in length parallel to the banks, but possibly less than one mile in width on the average. Although so large, it seems to have had a very limited catchment area, but water may have been
diverted into it from an adjoining river. I have not visited the place, and therefore cannot describe the works.
The southern part of what is now the Eastern Province was of so much importance in pre-Christian times that it may be accepted as certain that several other reservoirs were in existence there in the first three centuries before Christ. At present, however, there are no data by which they can be identified,1 and if they are mentioned in the histories their original names are unknown. Some of the works were among the earliest to be restored in modern times, and their masonry structures were pulled down and rebuilt, leaving no trace of their primitive state, of which also no descriptions were preserved.
In the account of one of the 'Lost Cities,' Parana Nuwara, I mentioned that the reservoir made at it is of pre-Christian date. Its age is proved by the dimensions of the bricks found at its southern sluice, its flood-escape, and a building which may have been a wihāra, close to the southern end of the embankment. Among the nearest dimensions which I have found elsewhere are those of the bricks used in a ahll at Veḍikkināri Malei, a low hill in the Northern Province, where the inscriptions Nos. 41, 42 and 43 of my list are found at some caves, and may belong to the second century B.C. The breadth and thickness of the bricks in the Ruwanwaeli dāgaba at Anuradhapura are also similar. Thus the reservoir was made when the large bricks were in vogue in the second, or early part of the first century B.C.
1 Tradition attributes the construction of one or two of the smaller
ones to Duttha-Gāmiņi.
There is a worn inscription in characters of the tenth century on a pillar at the embankment, which indicates that it was then restored, or was in working order; and a longer one on a large slab left there by Queen Kalyānawati (1202–1208 A.D.), and cut in the third year of her reign, in which she relates that she had examined the sites of the known sluices,' and had rebuilt one of them, besides causing three breaches to be filled up.
There is no tradition regarding the date when the tank burst again; possibly it was not very long after the time of its restoration, as part of the embankment was covered with large forest trees when I undertook its repair in 1890.
The reservoir was doubtless constructed chiefly for the use of the inhabitants of the early city called Parana Nuwara; but partly also for irrigating some adjoining rice fields. The bank blocks up the valley of a minor stream; but instead of taking it square across the stream in the usual way the designer wisely adopted an oblique line, in order to utilise some elevated ground, and effect a saving in earthwork. He merely closed up a hollow on each side of this central high ground, and by doing so made the reservoir of greater capacity than if the direct line across the valley had been followed.
The bank was originally 6000 feet, or about 1 miles, in length from end to end, but the actual length built was only about 4000 feet. The top was from 10 to 12 feet wide, and the sides sloped at the rate of 3 feet horizontal to one foot vertical