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Parakarma Samudra

Polonnaruwa, Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
Location : Polonnaruwa
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Overview
The Parakarma Samudra is a big artificial lake situated in the west of the Old Town and is one of the most striking features of Polonnaruwa which is nearly 1,000 years old.
In ancient times, the city and the surrounding area were watered by this unique lake and even today it provides water for irrigation. Built by the King Parakramabahu, the Parakrama Samudra is spread over an area of 5940 acres.
The pinnacle of the glorious hydraulic civilisation of ancient Sri Lanka, this massive water body was built by King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186) combining five tanks, including Thopa Wewa, Dambulu Wewa and Eramudu Wewa.
During reconstruction of the Parakrama Samudraya, the water which was supposed to come to the Thopa Wewa had started flowing to the Bhu Wewa. Then the engineers constructed a temporary dam to block the water flowing to the Bhu Wewa. This temporary wall then became a permanent road and this road isolated Kalahagala Wewa and Bhu Wewa from the Parakrama Samudraya.
As at today, the dam of Parakrama Samudraya is 8 ½ miles (14 kilometres) in length and 40 feet (12.2 metres) in height. The body of water has average depth of 25 feet. Over 18,000 acres of paddy land are supported by this reservoir.

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